August 28, 2017

UNLOCK! Squeek & Sausage

This is the second of two escape rooms in a box that Rob Stegmann brought to RPP: UNLOCK! Squeek & Sausage. This one had some different mechanics than I had seen before: it is almost entirely card driven with a companion app. The app tracks your time, releases hints at predetermined intervals (and upon request), and confirms answer codes.

The card mechanic works in a few ways: if you have a card that represents a room, it will have numbers hidden on it that represent various things you can find. When you find them, you grab the corresponding card number and have that item.

Also, if you want to combine two items, you take their card numbers and add them together. If the card exists, the combination is valid and the resulting card represents the result. For example, combining a key and a door will result in a new "room" card to explore.

There were also machines, which needed to be manipulated correctly and resulted in some number that needed to be added to a card's base number to get a new card number. Finally, there were four-digit codes that you need to enter into the app, which allows you to reveal additional cards.

While this seemed like an interesting system, the actual puzzles were a bit lacking for a team of puzzle enthusiasts. In most cases, was just the hunting for hidden numbers on the room cards that slowed us down. Generally, it was pretty obvious what needed to be done to combine objects. The machines were a bit more involved, but still not very challenging.

It was also a bit tedious sorting through a randomly ordered deck of cards to find a particular number. They explicitly say you shouldn't sort them, presumably because you could guess what combinations are valid. We split the deck up, but it was still a bit of a pain.

It is nice that none of the components get destroyed in the process, so you could give it to someone else to play. Of course, you couldn't play it again yourself, because you would know the solutions.

Overall, I would say UNLOCK! Squeek & Sausage would be OK for folks with less puzzling experience, but even for those groups I would start with Think Fun's Escape the Room: Stargazer's Manor first (I haven't tried their other one yet). It just has more cool surprises with little packets that you open rather than just cards.

There are two other UNLOCK! games, The Formula and The Island of Doctor Goorse. Strangely, you can buy all three together for several dollars more than buying them separately!

1 comment:

  1. This UNLOCK game is great also for puzzlists. I know only the original version (the french one) and I hope the translation work is good because there is a lot of humour in this adventure.
    I had make play this game more than 10 differents groups. Only one has reach the solution before the time limit !
    A new box of Unlock ! was just released : 3 new adventures !


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