Unlock! Escape Adventures - The House on the Hill - Review

Location: At Home
Date Played: May, 2019
Team Size: 1- 6 players
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $15 per ticket  

How It Works

The Unlock! Escape Adventures consist of a deck of cards and an application on a smartphone or tablet. Decks consist of cards numbered as 1 through 100.

There are five card types. Blue and Red Cards are object cards that are meant to be combined with each other. If a blue card has the number 5 and is combined with the red card as number 22, teams would then search for the card numbered the sum of them, 27 to advance in the game.

Green cards are machine cards and yellow cards are locks. Both of these card types require puzzle solving through the app. Beware, incorrect answers entered into the application will result in a time penalty. The remaining black cards symbolize rooms and set pieces that are to be searched.

Each game includes a quick 10 minute tutorial to get teams unfamiliar with their systems caught up to speed.

Narrative

There have been reports of strange and spooky happenings taking place at the abandoned house on the hill. With rumors of a “Book of the Dead”, your team must enter this haunted house and break the curse in sixty minutes.

Puzzles

As a level one difficulty game, House on the Hill provides a straightforward take on the at-home escape room game. This spooky card game made use of both our keen sense of observation and deductive reasoning skills. Each puzzle felt straight out of a real life escape room, so experienced escapers will better know what objects to combine and how to complete this game’s combination locks.

Highlights

Several interactions during our hour gave us the same “ah-ha” feeling as a standard escape room. After playing some previous escape games, we were amazed at how helpful the app was throughout our spooky adventure. It tallies hints, it allows for specific hints per each card in question, and keeps a running timer of the sixty minute limit.

The application and smooth flow of the cards make the Unlock! series enjoyable and fun experiences for seasoned escapers or newcomers alike.

Shortcomings

The penalty for an incorrect answer was three minutes, which our team felt was harsh for a sixty minute game. Whether we combined the wrong two objects or mistyped a lock combination, the loss of precious time felt slightly overwhelming for a game of this magnitude.

This Boardgame is a Good Match for

The House on the Hill is a great starting point for escape room players looking for an at-home fix. This game is on the easier side, so it’s an ideal match to learn the nuances of how Unlock tells their escape room narratives through their playing cards.

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