March 22, 2021

Two New Escape Room Games: My Reviews

I've been fairly quiet here and on social media while the pandemic raged on and my sanity waned. Recently, my kids have returned to in-person school—at least part-time—which has been good for everyone in my family. I finally have the mental energy to do some things I enjoy, so naturally, I had to pick up a couple escape room games. And to share the puzzling love, here are my reviews for Trapped: The Bank Job and Extraordinary Investigations.

Trapped: The Bank Job

By Solid Roots

The Trapped series promises to turn any room into an escape room. The small packet contains components that need to be taped to the walls, placed on surfaces, strewn on the floor, or hidden from the players, turning a room in your home into an escape room.

In The Bank Job, your group is a team of robbers. You need to solve all the puzzles inside the bank in order to open the vault. Once you've retrieved your loot, try to leave the bank without setting off the silent alarms. Although I prefer to be one of the 'good guys' for escape games, the fictional heist in this game was fairly light-hearted.

I thought the physicality of Trapped was kind of corny (can't we just lay all the components on a table and sit to play?) until I actually did it. It really does add to the escape room experience to be poking around a single room (the kitchen in my case) discovering all the objects and realizing how they go together. Even though the puzzles were mostly pretty easy, they did a great job at facilitating teamwork.

Trapped: The Bank Job would be perfect for a family game night. The setup is surprisingly easy for such an immersive experience, and the puzzles are at a good level for all ages. 

Extraordinary Investigations

A Puzzle Novel by Rod Gilles

I almost feel bad about reviewing this book since it's in the same niche as my Puzzling Escapes books. I actually found this book advertised on the Amazon sales page for one of my puzzle books, and I really wanted to love this book.

In Extraordinary Investigations, you are the investigator working to solve a cold case. You're tasked with figuring out what happened to Lois Morgan, a researcher who was investigating a secret treasure.

The mechanics of this book are very different than other puzzle books and games I've played. The separate chapters, or evidence files, are simply that: collections of evidence. The game itself is fully online. You have to create an account using an email address before receiving the questions you need to solve. In order to solve puzzles, you'll need to pull up websites mentioned in the book, find your own resources for things like maps, search for answers on Google, and know German. (In reading the description, I somehow missed that the theme of this book was Nazis in WWII. But even though it's not my favorite subject matter, a puzzle book is a puzzle book...right?) When one of the hints instructed me to look up a certain subject on Wikipedia, I gave up. I just wanted to solve cool puzzles, not do a deep delve into the history of notable Nazis.

I'm not sure who this book is meant for. If you want to try your hand at being an investigator, I recommend the Unsolved Case Files series. If you want to learn more about historical persons and events, then I'd stick to Wikipedia.

No comments: