I’ve gone to a few escape rooms, they’ve been expensive yet memorable experiences. That said, I don’t often have time during the day to book up an escape room and organise my friends. Escape Room: The Board Game takes the idea of an escape room and brings it into a room into your house, featuring a decoder unit, a companion app with sound effects and various envelopes containing bits of story.
All you need is some pens and paper, then you’re good to go. Escape Room: The Board Game has three games within its box, each with its own envelopes, clues, maps and stories to go with it. The first and easiest escape sees you trying to get out of a prison. As it turns out the previous cell inmate was a famous mathematician who left clues on how to escape.
Before the timer starts you can open the first envelope and read through its various bits of paper, collectively containing clues to the first lock. These locks are pretty interesting, as you have a bunch of different keys (some with different letters, numbers, etc on each side) that need to be placed into the big decoder. Once you have pushed in the four, it’s checked to see if the code is correct. When it’s correct, you can move onto the next part, taking on the next envelope of clues and items. If the code is not correct then you are punished by losing a minute on your timer.
This main decoder box not only has the slots for the keys and the timer, but also has cyphers on each side which can be called on during specific puzzles. These different decoders drawn onto the big box are very clever and a clever use of space — especially as they are used with each of the different puzzles within the box.. At various intervals you will have the option to use clues. These clues can be decoded using the red envelope that’s included, but if you are past that point then you are on track and they won’t be of any help to you.
As the timer ticks down, you will end up opening up various maps and rooms, as well as flipping over cards and finding keys to note down various numbers, which then end up being the keys you need for the box. Everyone in our group was bent over these maps, looking at all of the little bits of details in it, all well placed. These maps, as well as all of the clues needed to solve the room, are so well thought out and planned — it really does feel very much like an escape room in your home!
The Virus room in Escape Room: The Board Game is equally clever in the way that it was made. From drawing on your hands to filling up bottle cards with liquid cards — each very clever and well done.
It’s very hard to live up to an actual escape room, but the board game version of this does a really good job of condensing everything you’d want in an escape room into this tabletop experience. If you have the right group of interesting people, it becomes an even more fun experience.
I personally think that, although the companion app doesn’t add much, it’s quite nice to have the sound effects alongside the game. I also really like the photo that you can take if you finish the escape room, which is specific to the room you played. This reminded me so much of being at a physical escape room, when you take your little picture with your friends afterwards. It’s a great little detail.
You can purchase Escape Room: The Board Game on Amazon.