In which we escape

Okay, well, if you’re gonna be picky about it, technically we didn’t escape. By, like, under a minute, I think, and I’m pretty sure I spent at least a minute saying “Wait, we didn’t win? Explain why we haven’t won,” before the final clue and the final win condition was made understandable.

Lemme back up.

My wife and I have done two escape rooms– one with a bunch of her college friends where we were not successful, and one just with the two of us where we were. She’s done a couple of others for work things as well. She got me the game pictured to the right for Christmas, and we finally pulled it out and played it tonight on her birthday. Not like we can go out to dinner or anything, right?

(I know the exact date of the last time I was in a restaurant, by the way, and we are closing in on the one-year anniversary of that date.)

Anyway, Escape Room in a Box: Flashback is exactly what it says it is, an escape room in a box. It’s a one-shot play, basically, but at basically a buck for every three minutes of play I figure the time is worth it. I would say you’re looking for between one to four players (there’s no reason you can’t play by yourself, frankly,) mostly because more than four are going to get in each other’s way. There are three of what they call “paths” but are basically separate puzzles, and then clues from all three are necessary to solve the final puzzle at the end. The final puzzle at the end is more or less what cost us the game; I thought you had to just put three physical things together, and I did, and then precious time was wasted convincing me that no, there was one more thing needed. Anyway, small teams could work on the three “paths” individually, but at some point you’re making it too easy– if three teams are working on the three paths simultaneously you’re more or less guaranteed that you’ll finish in a fraction of the time you’re allotted.

There’s a werewolf theme, but it’s not that important. It’s also technically a sequel to another game (prequel? Is that why the word “flashback” is in the title? Maybe.) but no knowledge of the other game was necessary at all. I do think we’ll end up picking it up, though, because if it’s of equivalent quality to this one it’ll be a good time. The puzzles themselves are also pretty refreshingly clear of anything that can be looked up or Googled; you’re not going to miss a clue because you’ve never seen a movie or didn’t know the date something happened or something like that and knowledge of trivia will not save you. There are maybe a couple of clues that could have been worded a little more clearly but that’s about it.

Oh, and you’ll need a freezer.

5/5 would play again, but I’d win immediately, so I’m actually never playing it again but you get what I mean.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.