Escape: The Curse of the Temple (game review)


#1

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#2

Escape is a great family game. It is unique in that it is short and plays in real time. While there are many, many co-op games, Escape is a great alternative to so many other co-ops because it breaks down the “alpha gamer” problem, where one gamer directs the other gamers around the board (an invidious problem that can be hard to overcome in some settings). Additionally, the game’s mechanics are easy to grasp in one or two minutes, so getting it out of the box with a broad number of people is very easy. While the game may seem simplistic and juvenile, it plays well with adults (provided they either enjoy whimsy or can get over themselves). It is a starter game for a night of heavier gaming, or an ice breaker for other social activities. If you are into the co-op facet of the game a good alternative or similar weight is Castle Panic. If you like co-op dice rolling a good alternative is Elder Signs (set in the Lovecraft universe). If you like real time games a good alternative is Time n Space. If you want to hear more about great games for families and couples you can check our podcast Blue Peg, Pink Peg, we review Escape several months ago and you can hear our thoughts by clicking this link, http://bluepegpinkpeg.com/2013/10/14/episode-8-divinareescape-the-curse-of-the-templeboard-game-themes/. Great to see boingboing doing game reviews. Looking forward to seeing more. (Also, while Escape’s MSRP is $48, you can get it at online boardgame stores for a lot less, ie. the low 30s).


#3

Let me guess: this game requires more than two players…

Oh wait. I shouldn’t have to guess, because this information should be in the review!


#4

Actually the game plays 1 to 5. And unlike a lot of games that play only 1, it plays solo fairly well. It is a very fun two player game. My wife and I will often crack it out before playing something deeper. It is also a great therapy game. If you are getting a little bent out of shape, it can serve to ground you as a couple, while giving you reason for a laugh.


#5

I play it a ton with my 8-year old son as a two-player game, and it works quite well. There isn’t the glorious chaos of a 4 or 5-player game, but it’s still fun.


#6

I love this game! We cracked it out at a recent Games night and it got dubbed ‘Roll and Shout’

Unfortunately with a group of cluey adults and enough replays its pretty easy to crack on the base game. Thats where the expansions come in!


#7

The cruelty-free jacket wrinkle-free hipster shirt Indy, team-plundering ancient poison-pill lapidary and ragemason tribes’ artifacts; is the family psychiatry bundle also fun? Is the first add-on a Noucome one?

Doh! No transcript on teh Blue Peg Pink Peg.com; my reels are oe’rwound and undone.


#8

i may be drunk and argentinian, but…
what?


#9

The game cover illo’s campy in a particular way, like the sidekick’s
cashing out Mr. Jones’ Notebook. Nounai (the expected game expansion pack)
would be per:
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=15445 possibly
viewable at:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/my-mental-choices-are-completely-interfering-with-my-school-romantic-comedy(See
ITW’s subtitles too) but is perhaps one WTF anime among many which
would dovetail with the ribbon tied around unconventional objects (c.f.
Bruce Sterling) that is this game.


#10

So… Is it fun? Challenging? Annoying? Good re-playability? This reads more like a description than a review.


#11

The game has good re-playability, though it can get a little samey samey after a while. As to challenge, it is not the most challenging co-op I have played, in fact I would describe it as one of the lighter co-ops. That said, it is a chaotic game and players typically lose a little more than they win.

The primary challenge is balancing how far you go into the ever growing temple (new tiles are placed that make the temple sprawl out over the table) and how far you get from other players. As the review suggests but does not make clear, certain dice combos are required in order to move from room to room and players can not cooperate if they are not in the same room. So if your die get locked or you need help getting a treasure you may have to wait for another player to make it to you. Additionally, the soundtrack (you can use a cd that comes with the game or a mp3 that you can load to your phone) has a gong in it at different times during the game, after it sounds you must return to the center tile within a matter of seconds (30 I think) or you will lose one die for the rest of the game. Also, the game comes with a nice expansion that can be used to ratchet up the difficulty level.

There are also several other expansion out there for the game that add appreciated depth. The publisher Queen Games, recently kickstarted a big box version of the game that will include all of the expansions with a few, mini expansions.

The real joy of the game is the tension that is created as you try to beat the rapidly dwindling clock. Time is very tight, and you don’t know when the exit will resent itself, nor when you will acquire enough gems to make your team exit (if everyone doesn’t get out you all lose). I would characterize this a must have for families, a very worthwhile get for light gamers, and a I’ll play if you buy it for heavy gamers.


#12

Now that’s a review! Thanks!


#13

My pleasure.


#14

here’s more, if you want to:

http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/blog/post/review-escape-curse-temple/

i like it quite a bit, although it can get very easy if you play it very seriously. Luckily, you can ramp up the difficutly by adding more gems to the initial chest, and by having some beers. Beer always fixes low difficulty games.


#15

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