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Old 25-02-2017, 14:24   #1
Steve Jackson
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Escape Room Games

I only recently discovered that real escape room experiences are being converted to tabletop format. I recently picked up two of these, Escape The Room: Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor, and Secret of Dr. Graveley's Retreat.

We broke open Secret last night and we were pleasantly surprised at how well it really does try to replicate a real escape room. Basically, there are a series of sealed envelopes representing different things, like doors, desks, safes, etc, which you solve puzzles to unlock which in turn gives you more clues and parts to open other envelopes until the game has been completed.

There were four of us, and we found it a little easy, winning or rather escaping, with about thirty minutes to spare. It only has a single, one-shot scenario to play through and it was about Ł14 from Amazon. We had a great time and I don't think it the cost is too bad for an evening's entertainment, and thanks to the handy repackaging instructions on the website, we've got all the parts back in their original envelopes and sealed back up to pass on to my daughter for her to play through it we her friends.

Anyone else played any tabletop escape games?
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Old 25-02-2017, 14:41   #2
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Definitely intrigued by them, but never played one yet. Are they better than the old murder mystery parties?!!
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Old 25-02-2017, 14:45   #3
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I have no idea, never got to play one of them as they always seem to require a larger number of players. You don't have cheesy characters to role-play or anything.
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Old 25-02-2017, 16:43   #4
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I've played both of those games and thought they were easy but still fun. They're resettable which means you can pass them along.

I'm actually in the middle of designing my third escape room for real, as it happens!

This one is for charity. Can't wait to finish it and get people playing.

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Old 26-02-2017, 10:26   #5
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We played the other one last night. Slightly easy again but we had a great time still. My wife especially enjoyed it and wants more of these types of games. I've just ordered Unlock! from Gameslore which has three scenarios and uses a smartphone app to keep track of time, issue clues etc. It is reviewing well and it will be nice to play a similar one-shot game but with different mechanics this time.

You design escape rooms? Can you give us more information, where they are, etc? We've only ever played one, Pandemic at America's Escape Game in Orlando, their easiest game, and still lost! It was an amazing experience though and we have been meaning to try and visit some more over here. There are at least two near me in Birmingham, ClueHQ, and Escape Live that we'll have to check out at some point.
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Old 26-02-2017, 17:00   #6
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The GR8 Escape in York is superb. We came 11th out of over 650 teams attempting their first room. A good mixed team of grandparents, me and my wife and my 12yo son.
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Old 26-02-2017, 18:07   #7
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I've played a couple of Escape Rooms, ClueHQ was better than Lockdown in Warrington, just thought it was better put together and had better clues.

Have you got a link to the board game version?
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Old 26-02-2017, 18:25   #8
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This one

Think Fun 6486 "Dr Gravely's Retreat" Escape the Room Puzzle
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Old 26-02-2017, 18:42   #9
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Yup, that's the one, and Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor is the only other one in the series so far.
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Old 26-02-2017, 19:01   #10
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Cheers, my Brother in Law likes the proper escape games and also murder mysteries (i always think too much reading) so this might be ideal!
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Old 27-02-2017, 08:49   #11
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Think I may get one of these games for my sisters birthday, she enjoys escape rooms and hopefully will pass it onto me when done!
I can never round friends up for an escape room and not sure they work with 2 of us.
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Old 27-02-2017, 12:09   #12
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They do work with 2 people, it does help having more as you can split the tasks, but normally they have ones that work well with smaller groups
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Old 02-03-2017, 13:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
We played the other one last night. Slightly easy again but we had a great time still. My wife especially enjoyed it and wants more of these types of games. I've just ordered Unlock! from Gameslore which has three scenarios and uses a smartphone app to keep track of time, issue clues etc. It is reviewing well and it will be nice to play a similar one-shot game but with different mechanics this time.

You design escape rooms? Can you give us more information, where they are, etc? We've only ever played one, Pandemic at America's Escape Game in Orlando, their easiest game, and still lost! It was an amazing experience though and we have been meaning to try and visit some more over here. There are at least two near me in Birmingham, ClueHQ, and Escape Live that we'll have to check out at some point.
Sorry, should have added notifications to this thread!

I've most closely been working with www.cryptx.co.uk in Cambridgeshire (excuse the naff website, nothing to do with me.. The rooms are ace tho!)

I've also been working with some other new venues yet to be announced, and as mentioned I'm working on a Charity one, themed around an AI bot gone wrong...

The booking for that is now open (Cambridge) www.ominousoffice.co.uk
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Old 02-03-2017, 13:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjanderson View Post
Think I may get one of these games for my sisters birthday, she enjoys escape rooms and hopefully will pass it onto me when done!
I can never round friends up for an escape room and not sure they work with 2 of us.
I'm definitely up for coming and joining a team for London based rooms if you're interested... I have..... SKILLS. Plus I haven't seen you in about 10 years

My new "thing" is solving them alone, mind you. LOL

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Old 07-03-2017, 23:32   #15
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Keen to hear how good Unlock! is. There's a print-and-play tutorial demo of the game available for free - http://www.spacecowboys.fr/unlock-demo - it doesn't contain anything in the full game so it's spoiler free.

They sound like they could play out a little similarly to TIME Stories.
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Old 07-03-2017, 23:45   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalGearAl View Post
Keen to hear how good Unlock! is. There's a print-and-play tutorial demo of the game available for free - http://www.spacecowboys.fr/unlock-demo - it doesn't contain anything in the full game so it's spoiler free.

They sound like they could play out a little similarly to TIME Stories.
First scenario we good, tho bloody hard. Think now I have an idea how the designers think the next might be more easy, but we'll see!
Not played time stories so not sure on that!
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:38   #17
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My unlock copy came yesterday. I'll let you know!
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Old 08-03-2017, 22:01   #18
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We played the tutorial (essentially explains the rules) and the demo scenario of Unlock today! The tutorial was a breeze but we actually stumbled a lot in the demo and way blew through the time. I think part of it may have been due to my PnP cards not being as big as the real ones (not sure how large they are), but a lot of it came down to just understanding the language of the game and how it is meant to work. I did enjoy it but thought there were a couple of points that really weren't clear. The main thing that we got wrong was that a yellow card always means a 4 digit code will be required.
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Old 08-03-2017, 22:04   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalGearAl View Post
We played the tutorial (essentially explains the rules) and the demo scenario of Unlock today! The tutorial was a breeze but we actually stumbled a lot in the demo and way blew through the time. I think part of it may have been due to my PnP cards not being as big as the real ones (not sure how large they are), but a lot of it came down to just understanding the language of the game and how it is meant to work. I did enjoy it but thought there were a couple of points that really weren't clear. The main thing that we got wrong was that a yellow card always means a 4 digit code will be required.
How did the demo work without the app?
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Old 08-03-2017, 22:18   #20
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Mine came. Cards are playing card size.
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