GTM #204 - Unlock! Escape Adventures
by Asmodee Editions

~ Sixty-Minutes To Win ~

Escape rooms are unique in their ability to delight both thrill-seekers and the logically minded. The rush of the countdown and the intrigue of a good puzzle come together to create fast-paced and immersive adventures which require you to think hard and act fast. With the latest release from Space Cowboys, Unlock!, you can bring this exhilarating experience home!

Unlock! is a series of cooperative escape adventures for up to six players. Each adventure is made up of a sixty-card deck depicting objects, maps, and puzzles. While the free companion app tracks the allotted sixty minutes, players work their way through the card deck, combining cards and solving riddles in order to progress toward the exit. Every set of cards combined and each code entered in the app will progress the game. Whether that’s for better or for worse depends on how careful players are when making those decisions.

~ The Pressure is On ~

A starting card kicks off each game with a bit of exposition and a map of the room in which the players begin. Scattered across the card are other numbers, indicating the various objects around the room that you can see. The tutorial adventure, for example, begins in an office containing a chest, a blank television, a key, and a grid-style puzzle. By interacting with these various objects, players will gain access to other cards and clues that will lead them to their ultimate escape.

Not every card can be used or combined in the same way. Different colored stripes indicate different types of cards that interact in unique ways. The majority of the cards are red and blue, representing objects that can be combined with one another. Adding together the numerical values of a red and a blue card (for example, a key and a chest) will result in a sum that will likely match the number of another card in the deck. This will effectively unlock that card, allowing players to look at the other side - though it may not always be wise to do so. While a correct combination may progress the game, an incorrect combination can lead to penalties, removing time from the countdown clock.

Less often, players will encounter green Machine and yellow Code cards. Machines represent various kinds of puzzles, such as control panels or grids. When solved, these can also combine with blue objects, though miscalculating machines is particularly dangerous. Codes are equally volatile, requiring players to figure out a four-digit code using various clues throughout the game. One wrong number will result in a clock-consuming penalty, leaving even less time to solve the puzzle.

The final escape of each adventure is determined by one of these four-digit codes. Once players believe they’ve figured out the code, they will enter it into the app and discover whether they’re wrong - losing time to find the real sequence - or whether they’ve correctly identified the solution and won the game!

~ The Formula ~

In The Formula, players must venture into the tunnels of New York’s subway system in search of an illusive and clever chemist’s laboratory. A number of traps and puzzles will lead them to the valuable serum the doctor was developing, but not before a trapdoor closes behind them and a recording announces that they have sixty minutes before the room self-destructs.

~ Squeek & Sausage ~

Squeek & Sausage is a cartoon adventure that pits the team of escape artists against Professor Noside as they attempt to stop the evil genius from activating his doomsday device. The professor is no stranger to foiled plots, so his traps are plenty and his puzzles irritatingly difficult. With one hour until the planet is destroyed, you’d really best get moving.

~ The Island of Doctor Goorse ~

The most challenging of these first three adventures is The Island of Doctor Goorse. A crash-landing leaves all players stranded on an eccentric collector’s island and split into two distant groups. With communications down and only ancient relics to work with, every choice will be twice as valuable - or  twice as damaging - in your attempt to escape before you become just another artifact on the island.