After our first try at a real escape room, we were curious if a card game could give us this same feeling/experience as being locked up in a physical room frantically trying to solve all the puzzles. It turned out that UNLOCK! does a pretty good job at that! We’ve enjoyed ourselves immensely while solving the three adventures. There were some tedious bits, and we only managed to solve Squeeck & Sausage in time. The first adventure, The Formula, took us 60 minutes AND 1 SECOND! 😀 This was partially because we didn’t read the manual and only played the tutorial scenario the day before. While playing The Formula we didn’t understand that you always have to enter the codes in the app. We got stuck at some point because of something silly we could have prevented by just reading the manual. That’s another tip for all you future players!

The last adventure in the box, The Island of Doctor Goorse, was definitely the hardest one and took us 106 minutes to solve.

Since this is not a destructive game, we’re planning to put a paper in the lid with a score list and pass it on to our friends. We’re curious to know if we are just terrible players and how well they will do. If you’re planning to do this, print this comic and put it in the box as well! 😉


A post shared by Semi Co-op (@semicoop) on

No, the suitcase and other decorative things are not included in the game. 😉

We were having a discussion whether you could compare this type of game to Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, but we came to the conclusion that you can’t. The big difference is that these escape room games are linear games. There is only one route to take in a particular order and you have to find out what that is. It’s very nice to discover the elegance of certain puzzles, but since you’re under a time pressure you won’t always be able to solve these puzzles yourself and you’re going to need a hint. In a game like Consulting Detective, you have to figure it out by yourself and there’s no time limit and that gives it a little more of a satisfying feeling in our opinion. Nonetheless, we found UNLOCK! an exciting and fun game, if you’re interested – buy it with a couple of friends and give it a try.

Have you played any escape room type of games? If yes, any suggestions?

The closest I’ve come is the real-time, high-pressure, co-op, dice-rolling game, Escape: The Curse of the Temple.

It definitely captures the panic of having the tick-tock of time breathing down your neck that is similar to my experience with actual escape rooms … it’s just that you’re trying to achieve dice results and not solve any actual puzzles.

I look forward to giving these a try, too… apparently there are others, as well: Exit and Deckscape?

Thanks for the tips!

There seem to be a bunch! We’ll probably try Exit soon, because our FLGS doesn’t accept our payment for tea and playing demo games, while we sit there for hours and spent nothing. So it’s an excellent small purchase to reward them for being friendly and awesome.

But I’m really curious how different systems tackle escape room type puzzles in different ways :).

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