I’ve just spent the better part of two hours trying to find the antidote to a deadly poison first, then escaping from a jail cell. It’s been a nerve-wrecking two hours, I can tell you. And all because of a board game. That’s right, a board game.
Those of you thinking I’d let myself be locked into an escape room, which are all the rage these days, are only half wrong. What I (and mrs. NxG alongside me) did, was play two of the four scenarios included in the board game version of Escape Room: The Game. And it plays like an actual escape room. At the start of every scenario, players are handed an envelope. On it, is the plot for said scenario, and upon opening it, an hour-long timer is started. Inside the envelope are a number of things. This ranges from riddles, clues or evidence to floor plans, photos, etc. All these things should help players to find a specific set of four keys, that can be inserted into the special chrono decoder. When correct, the second envelope containing new hints, can be opened and the whole key-searching experience can start over again.
Each scenario is divided into three parts, each with its own set of envelopes. The hints are divided into visual things and things you actually have to do something with, like fold or write on. Luckily, these can be downloaded and printed from the games website, so that they’re brand new when one has forgotten all about this game and wants to go again. Players that want to add to the atmosphere, can download the free app of the game. All it does, is add scenario-specific music and ambience, but man, it does the trick! The amount of tension it add… Wow!
At the start of a scenario, before the envelope is handed out, we already get the chrono decoder. This black, battery-operated box serves as the countdown clock. It signals after certain amounts of time, which is when we’re allowed to pick one of eight hint cards. It also acts as decryption device. The four keys we need, have to be inserted into the machine. When correct, a fanfare sounds. When false, the clock drops a whole minute. Upon closer inspection, there are also keys to certain riddles on the device, like the morse code, an alphabet wheel and so on. These can be used in certain adventures, in combination with certain enveloped clues.
Defeated, we finished our bowl of snacks, and decided to keep the remaining two adventures for another time. There’ll be no Nuclear Countdown or Temple of the Aztec before we’ve recovered from the heavy emotional blow of having to spend a lifetime in jail.
Which is like… 24 hours? More or less?
Escape Room: The Game is a highly addictive and fun, yet nerve-wrecking way of passing time. Each adventure has the hour-long time limit, so it’s perfect for some time-killing with your brainy, nerdy, geeky friends. Or by yourself, when you’re the geeky, brainy, nerdy one without friends.