A few months ago we reviewed Unlock! – a card-based escape room game which contained three very cool one-time-only games of puzzle solving and deduction. The idea behind it was brilliant, using a cleverly numbered series of cards which allowed you to combine items in order to see their effect or outcome. Watching over proceedings was the app, timing your escape as well as giving occasional clues if you needed them, and allowing you to enter codes at certain points to see if you’d worked them out right.
So a new set of challenges is just a new set of cards, right? Well, not quite. While you do get three new scenarios in Mystery Adventures, they’re quite different to what we’ve seen before, so while dropping no spoilers at all, we’ll take a quick look at what’s new.
The most immediate change is in the app itself, which still contains the unnerving background music and occasional sound effect or speech recording, but does a far better job of dealing with the machine-based puzzles within the game. Instead of the machines being card based, this time you interact with the app at these crucial moments, giving it a far more hands on feel while still relying on the cards themselves to provide the clues. It doesn’t detract from the main game area much at all, and being able to interact with the screen makes for a very different feel at those potentially time-saving moments when you reckon you’ve figured out a devious problem first time.
But the other, less obvious change is in the scope of the scenarios. They’re pretty big, letting you explore a little more, and while the exploration element is still rather scripted as a result of the game’s mechanics, you’ll see more locations and a bigger diversity of things to see and do. They’re good scenarios too; we didn’t manage to complete any of them within the time provided, and whether playing with more than 2 of us would have helped is up for debate, but despite the tricky nature of them they’re still great fun to play, especially as you can just chuck the cards in your pocket and take them somewhere else easily.
In terms of where you’ll be going there’s The House On the Hill which, as you’d expect from that title, lands you in an abandoned haunted house where you’ll be trying to find a special book to try and cleanse the house from the weird paranormal stuff going on. It’s quite tense at times, which we liked. The Nautilus’ Traps drops you in a sunken submarine with only an hour’s worth of oxygen to go round (conveniently matching the 60 minute time limit on these games) and needing to figure out how to get to the surface. Finally there’s The Tonipal’s Treasure, a treasure hunting mission whereby you need to escape from prison first then beat another treasure hunter to the goodies before the time runs out. We found that one really tough and got nowhere near the time, but it was still a very impressive adventure with a lot of different cards on offer throughout the game. It’s a really good second set of games, and sets the series up really nicely for some more future releases which will almost certainly on their way before too long.
So I’m not going much further with this review; without wanting to tell you anything about the things that unfold there isn’t much more to say, other than if you enjoyed the first set of Unlock! scenarios you’ll probably love these too, and if you haven’t tried them yet then you really should – they’re really quite awesome.