Review – Escape Room: The Game [spoiler free]

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OVERVIEW

Escape Room: The Game is, you’ve guessed it, an escape room game! But where other escape games use cards or simple decoder discs to reveal correct answers, Escape Room: The Game uses an innovative electronic device called the Chrono Decoder!

The game comes with four unique adventures to escape from, all of which give you an hour to complete. The four adventures increase in difficulty so it is advised you play them in order, firstly escaping from prison for a crime you didn’t commit, then finding an antidote for a virus. Next you will have to deal with a nuclear bomb threat and finally some Indian Jones exploits will find you escaping from a cursed Aztec temple.

Each adventure works in much the same way, the adventures are presented in their own envelopes, each with three parts to work through. You will need to complete various puzzles to find the key codes in order to progress to the next part of the story, opening another envelope or box or successfully escaping the game! You input the key codes into the Chrono Decoder using an array of special keys, each code requires four keys in the correct order. The keys have a whole host of numbers, letters and symbols on them so the key codes can come in many different forms.

Player Count3 – 5 players*
Age16 +
Play Time60 mins
Weight2.19 / 5
PublisherIdentity Games (Europe)| Spin Master (US)

*This is the recommended player count from the publisher

Disclaimer: This game was provided by the publisher, but my reviews are always 100% honest and all photos and opinions are my own!

GAME PLAY 8/10

I have been really enjoying playing through these adventures, the puzzles so far have been fun with plenty of ‘a-ha’ moments! There are various cyphers on the side of the Chrono Decoder and in each of the four adventures one of these cyphers will be used, these work really well and make each game a little different.

At first I thought the Chrono Decoder was going to be a little gimmicky but I actually really like it! It’s much more satisfying than just finding a card in a deck that tells you if you pass or fail and it does add to the thematic nature of the game. It also tells you when hints become available, this gives you a good indication on how far behind or ahead you might be which I really like and doesn’t happen in other escape games i’ve played!

The recommended player count is 3 – 5 players but we have played with two players as well as three players and we still managed to escape with time to spare so I do think it could be played with two people or even solo if you really fancied a challenge! Obviously it will be harder will less people working on it though. I usually only play escape room games with Daniel as I often think too many people will leave someone twiddling their thumbs and I think this could be the case with this game if played with 5 players. But honestly it all comes down to how well you all can work together.

AESTHETICS & COMPONENTS 8/10

Each of the four escape rooms in the game have their own theme with unique components and puzzles. Mostly the puzzles are made of paper components but there are a few surprises thrown in too!

The Chrono Decoder is pretty cool but does have a few flaws. On the sides there are multiple ciphers which you will need to use in the game but as these are unpainted they can be quite hard to read in certain lights.

It’s also worth noting that it does not have a pause function! This does add to the thematic nature and stress of the game, but I can imagine this could be difficult for some people, especially if you try to play while your kids are asleep and they wake up in the middle of your escape attempt!

Overall though there’s a lot of fun stuff in the box!

RULES & TEACHING 8/10

The rules are simple and easy to teach as there really isn’t much to know. You will need to understand how the keys and various decoders work but other than that you can dive straight in!

Most escape room games come with a system for hints, either through apps or cards and Escape Room: The Game is no different. The system is card based but with a nifty little red filter device which reveals the hidden text on the cards. The hints are useful without being too obvious, so it doesn’t feel like you’re being given the answers out right.

REPLAYABILITY & VALUE 6/10

There are 4 games in the box with a run time of around 60 minutes per game. The game retails at around £40, so you are looking at £10 per game, which makes it slightly more reasonable than the Exit series, but with a bigger investment up front.

You will need to write on, fold and otherwise destroy some of the components, which means the game is not replay-able without a little work. But the components that are damaged in the game are available to reprint online, so you could ‘reset’ the box if you wish to pass it on to a friend for example.

There are also expansions, but these don’t seem to be currently available in the UK unfortunately, although Germany and the US should have no issues finding these. The expansions require you to have the base game as they will use the decoder also, but there is a second version of the box available in the US and German market which includes 3 new adventures but comes with another decoder, which seems a shame to me as this could be a waste of money and plastic if you wanted to take on more escape rooms.

OVERALL SCORE 30/40 = 7.5

RECOMMENDED IF…

… you enjoy escape room games or live escape rooms
… you are looking for something a little quirky from your escape rooms


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