This is the first Escape Room the Game that we’ve played having been given the base box for Christmas. The Base Box contains 3 games, and the Chrono Decoder device and code keys. Once you have the Chrono Decoder and keys you can then purchase expansion games which require you to have this device to play. The code keys are quite nifty in that they have lots of different symbols on them to be as versatile as possible – shapes, arrows, letters, numbers, roman numerals etc.
The base set suggests you start off with Prison Break as the first game to play, which is a suggestion we took them up on. Before you start the game it is worth properly reading the instructions book, one – to make sure you understand how the keys and decoder work, two – so that you realise that if you input an incorrect code you loose a minute of time to escape in (I didn’t realise this even having read the sentence in the booklet)
The past few months you’ve been in prison and your sentence will keep you there for the next decade. You spend most of your day together with a small group of inmates. They protected you on your first day and you feel you can trust them. They’ve got your back and you tell them you’ve got theirs (for what that’s worth). One afternoon you strike up a conversation with a fellow inmate and he tells you that a great mathematician, Walter Castle, used to live in your cell. He was transferred to another prison a while ago. Walter Castle was somewhat of a legend amongst the inmates. The prison director and guards were afraid of him. Not because he was big or strong, but because they were afraid that he would escape and transferred him to a maximum security prison.
You’re not surprised to hear a mathematician used to live in your cell, as it explains all the numbers and weird puzzles on your wall.
The thought of freedom makes you very intrigued about all this strangeness in your cell. You wonder if it all belongs to some greater plan to escape from this hell you call home. The few months you’ve spent in prison already seem like years and given the choice, you’d choose a life on the run over a life in prison any day. You convince yourself that escaping would be justice. You have been sentenced to ten years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit. Ten years of your life with no hope of a future, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it hardly seems fair.
That evening, during lockdown, you tell your friends about what you’ve heard. You and your buddies turn the cell upside down and find closed envelopes hidden in the toilet. This information might just be the start of your prison break. The guards will reach your cell during rounds in one hour, could this be the opportunity of a lifetime?
The game is in three parts, you need to solve the puzzles in the part to get the code to input into the decoder (one for each part) before you can move on to the next section. The decoder makes a good ping if the code is correct and a bad beep if the code is incorrect (and you loose the minute on your time left to escape). One you’ve correctly put in the final code correctly it plays some victory jingle and automatically stops the clock. The games are all based around 60 minutes to escape which counts down on the decoder. Prison Break is a self rated 2 star difficulty. The game is more maths based – though it is simple maths, nothing too mind stretching – than other at home escape games, as alluded to in the introduction.
The games come with hint cards with times written on the corner to say when you are allowed to look at them, the decoder will also make a different beeping sounds to indicate that it’s a hint point, the cards also detail which of the three parts they relate to. We didn’t keep track of what hint cards we looked at during this game (or how many incorrect codes we inputted trying to use trial and error at one point). One thing I quite like is that any materials which need to be ‘used up’ in a game are available to be downloaded and re-printed from the website. I like this as it will allow us to let our friends play the games as well without very arduous effort before we play on our part.
The puzzles in the game are generally pretty good, I would say there was one puzzle which was a little unclear at one point, and one puzzle which we felt needed a small leap to get there. I would recommend when playing this game having pen and paper to hand to keep track of info and do the maths. This is a good introductory game to the series and a game we enjoyed. I wish I had a set a stop watch on my phone going so that I knew how long it actually took us (discounting the time penalties I hadn’t realised was a thing). I think that if this is a starting 2 star difficulty game that there is a lot of potential for this series of games. We look forward to playing more of the Escape Room the Game series.
We escaped with 09:24 left on the clock.