Escape Room The Game has been on the market for a while now. Since escape games are still very popular, it’s not surprising that Noris and Identity Games have given their game system a whole new bunch of expansions. Whether you are helping Sherlock Holmes, desperately trying to reach the escape capsule in space or trying to escape from an amusement park. There seems to be something for everyone. We have faced all the expansions and give you a small overview.
A murder has been discovered and the great Sherlock Holmes needs our help. Nothing could be simpler. In the Murder Mystery expansion, we try to be detectives.
The adventure comes with a high difficulty level. Among the Escape Room The Game adventures it is the only one with a difficulty of 5 stars. We were challenged right from the first clue, but never overchallenged. We collected clue after clue and managed to catch the real murderer within the estimated hour. However, it was not possible without clues. During the whole game we only hung on one spot and did not get further. Through the help system of Escape Room The Game we had to read through some already solved clues until the deciding clue came. After that we were back on the right track, didn’t need any more clues and 2:43 before time ran out the handcuffs clicked. It was close, but especially the close adventures are the most fun.
A hell of a criminal case
Murder Mystery is a very good adventure, even if the high level of difficulty makes it a bit daunting at first. After all the frustrating adventure Aztec Temple is supposedly one level easier than Murder Mystery. The big difference lies however not in the level of difficulty but in the puzzles. They are coherent and don’t bring along a superimposed abstraction. Here criminalistic methods have to be used to find the suspects and that’s exactly what we enjoy. Only one riddle tainted the overall impression.We were not the only ones who had problems with this puzzle, also a group of friends failed exactly at this point. In short, Murder Mystery was a lot of fun for us and is in our opinion one of the best adventures. Here simply everything is right: The puzzles together with the story let the players dive wonderfully into the world of Sherlock Holmes.
Welcome to Funland
Coulrophobia – the pathological fear of clowns – is not something you should have if you want to play this Escape Room The Game adventure. Walk into the Funland, the old amusement park at the outskirts of the city. Strangely enough we are the only visitors of the park. While visiting a show we are captured by a clown and have to try to escape from the park.
With a difficulty of 3/5 stars this should be possible, we thought. The first puzzles went quite fast. The game offers enough possibilities, how the individual solution fragments must be put together to get the first correct code. But then we came fast to a deadlock and had to reach for our first clue card. After it told us what to look for, the solution suddenly seemed obvious. How could we have missed that? After that we went fast through the other puzzles and after 52 minutes and 48 seconds we escaped.
Story pulled out of the clown’s hair
We are not afraid of clowns, so there was nothing to stop us from playing Welcome to Funland. The puzzles were okay, but not really challenging for us. Only on one puzzle we were simply blinded. Others had no problems with this puzzle, but with others puzzles That is completely normal, because people and their experiences are different. So there is no criticism of the puzzles. That’s more appropriate for the story. So far we found most Escape Room The Game adventures very thematically held. Here it seemed rather as if Identity Games thought: “Let’s do something with clowns or something like that”. Let’s be honest: We are the only visitors during a magic show and then we are supposed to go on stage as assistants? Anyone with a rational mind would not do something like that.
And there are other logical errors in the story. That made it impossible for us to immerse ourselves in the setting of the adventure until the end. The puzzles were worked off mechanically, the mood just didn’t want to arise. Altogether seen the adventure was only nice and we could have done without it too, and we didn’t miss anything great. With us it came to another unpleasant effect: Due to the internal mechanism of the Chronodecoder, an actually wrong solution was evaluated as correct and we had solved the adventure with bravura. We only noticed this after looking at the example solution. All in all, Welcome to Funland was simply not a fun adventure – what a pity.
Once in a lifetime into space and see the Earth from above, you can do that in the Escape Room The Game adventure Space Station. Or can’t you? Just arrived, you have to get to safety before the station will explode. That’s exactly what we tried and we finished relatively quickly. About three quarters of an hour later we were already in the escape capsule. No hint map was needed and we would have done it even faster if we hadn’t had a crack in the optics at the beginning. We had simply chosen the wrong key. The puzzles as such were solved quickly and easily and thematically almost always fit the adventure..
Russian for the Win
I really didn’t think that my Russian teacher would be right for once. For those who, like me, can read Cyrillic script, the adventure is almost a bit too easy. But the puzzles don’t always have to be difficult, it’s all about having fun at the table. But Space Station only offers half of that. The puzzles are solid handwork, but the story is not. Here Identity Games disappoints just like in Funland. After all the Space Station is sabotaged, but will we learn more about the background of the sabotage in the course of the adventure? Not a single nugget of the why and how do we get to know. This is badly solved. Only when you have downloaded the walkthrough can you find out who is behind it all. But the story’s resolution is still not satisfying.
Space Station is unfortunately no exception in the series of worse expansions for Escape Room The Game. I have the feeling that since really good Murder Mystery the quality, especially concerning story and theme, continues to decrease.
It’s an inside job. You take your squad, go from town to town robbing casinos. But at Lockholm, you’re up against a tough opponent. Because this time you and the visitors are being cheated with marked cards. But that’s no problem, thanks to the good preparation it should be easy to break the bank.
Casino is not only the title of the expansion, the name is also the program. The theme is not only put over it, but it is present everywhere. Even the first puzzles wonderfully capture the gambling flair. Temporally we were wonderfully on the way. With the clue cards we needed one card in each part, but that was not bad. It always made us look at the situation from a different angle. We almost even looked at the walkthrough in part 2 of the adventure, because we could not convert our found solution into keys. At the last moment the flash of inspiration came and with 10 minutes left on the clock we entered the third part.
Game fun…rien ne vas plus
It was exactly this third part that made the otherwise very good adventure into a frustrating experience. Unfortunately the last puzzle is so unintuitive that I still wonder how something like that could get through the editorial meetings and auditions. We even had to turn on the laptop in frustration to look at the walkthrough. Here, not only the puzzle disappointed, but also the help system. So it took us almost 75 minutes until we found (read) the last code.
Casino probably would have been among the top three places in the Escape Room The Game adventures, right on with Nuclear Countdown and Murder Mystery. Story and theme were well captured, the puzzles from part one and part two were challenging and solvable. But with the last puzzle Identity Games just blew it. The adventure also spoiled our desire for further Escape Room The Game evenings for the time being.
Update: Meanwhile the publisher has revised the last puzzle because of the negative feedback.
You can do better than that
In addition to the four proven adventures from the basic game, four new ones were added with the next waves. These could not be more different. Apart from Murder Mystery, which we really liked a lot, there was no one among the other titles that really stood out. Most of the time this had to do with the story and its thematic connection. Here, Identity Games has to make some improvements. Because that’s what makes the difference to the other systems, in my opinion. It’s always nice to stumble upon references to other adventures in the individual adventures, but these are usually only the adventures from the basic game.
Also very mysterious is the indicated level of difficulty of the individual adventures. The same adventure has, depending on where you look, a different classification. Murder Mystery has only one difficulty of three in the app, on the package and the homepage it is a five. If a difficulty system is used, it should be at least consistent.
Since my wife is into all kinds of escape games, we will also buy future expansions. But we hope that they will reach the good level they had before. Two more are already announced by Identity Games. In the adventure Secret Agent we will dive into the world of spies. In The Dentist we will probably escape from a crazy dentist – who likes to go to the dentist?