UNLOCK - Mystery Adventure pack
3 lock difficulty = Completed in 60:47 with 5 players. (1 hint needed)
If you like escape rooms and puzzles this is a great way to bring them together in your own home. There has been a recent increase in ‘escape’ related board games. ‘UNLOCK’ has taken this concept and turned it into a card game that has a system and mechanics that are quick to learn.
Upon first opening the box, you are presented with a set of numbered and lettered cards. You will need to load the app onto a device to help you during the game (Yes you do need the app), don’t worry if you are not tech savvy as it is very simple to follow. Read the start card, immerse yourself into the story, flip the card and start the clock. You might wonder how a set of cards can be made into a story with puzzles but UNLOCK did it. With the use of the app to help with more interactive puzzles the game becomes more intriguing to solve the further you go on.
Without giving too much away about game play, you flip over certain cards you need for the story. Some of these are objects you might need now (or later) which you have to combine with other cards. Eg. One card is a key, one card is a lock, add these and this will then lead you to the next card to flip over. Now I know what you are thinking, why not flip over all the cards and solve the whole thing. UNLOCK has thought of this and placed in penalty cards for going in the wrong direction. Also if you were to look at every card you would become very confused as there is so much going on. The only way to reach the solution is to let the cards tell the story.
UNLOCK has an array of different game scenarios from the ‘mystery adventure’ pack, since there were 5 of us and all have experienced escape rooms, we decided to take on the most difficult one first, ‘The Toripal’s treasure.’
The Toripal’s treasure was a pirate themed game which has a lot to offer in the way of puzzles and storytelling, it was an adventure, with characters, conversations and action. It felt like an old computer puzzle game where you had to look through desks, find objects and then use them. You had to have a conversation with a character, collect information and use logic to find out where to use it. It was a lovely flow of storytelling techniques. Some puzzles gave you quick wins when others use knowledge from older puzzles that you combine to make a final solution. Sometimes this lead to an overload of puzzles, having lots of players helped. It told a story overall, you flowed from one location to another which ultimately guides you to the big finale piece that was indeed, quite genius.
The variety of puzzles was excellent, involving simple math, problem solving, spatial awareness, logical and lateral thinking. It was good to have a number of players for this game as the extra set of eyes helped solve many problems. Also it is always good to read things out loud and double check your reading as sometimes the writing can be small on the cards. The puzzles are varied so (by having more players) some people can see things others don’t and some have strengths in puzzle areas that you may not. Teamwork and communication is always key in escape rooms and even more so with this game.
The UNLOCK app really adds an extra layer to the immersive storytelling with elements of sound for puzzle solving. The app also enables you to complete things in an interactive way which the cards cannot do. The app can provide a background soundtrack for the game play, however this was found to be very detracting. There is an option to turn off the music by use of a simple button but this needed to be turned on again for the sound puzzles. The app is also available for hints and clues if you need them and we did need one.
Overall, we would recommend this game for an evening in with friends and family, we are waiting to play the other games from this series. We would suggest downloading the app and maybe getting some reading glasses if you struggle to read small writing, get a team of diverse puzzle solvers to deal out your next adventure with UNLOCK.
Find the game online or at your local board game shop.