Forbidden Castle (Exit the Game)
On a pleasant sightseeing tour, you stop in at an impressive castle. Little did you know that this castle has a master who intends to keep you forever. Difficulty level: 4 / 5; 1-4 players.
Finally, a vacation! This year, you're going to an idyllic village in the mountains. Instead of driving, you decide to take the train this time. After a three hour delay, you arrive in your vacation rental, where you find various brochures for local events and attractions including an impressive castle. The flyer looks quite amateur and self-printed, but you're a sucker for medieval castles!
The next day, you get up and go to the castle. There's no ticket booth. No one else appears to be around. Well, at least you can explore the place in peace! You enter the castle and find yourself in a magnificent throne room. Suddenly the big, wooden door locks behind you and you realize that maybe (again) this was not such a good idea ...
The castle is full of mysteries. Only if you can solve all of the puzzles together in time will you escape. If not, your creepy host will probably never let you leave again ...
Escape rooms are a real treat. Being trapped in a mysterious room with your friends and family...knowing that anything around you could be a clue to a convoluted riddle...the pressure of the clock counting down...and driving back home with hours of discussion of what you could have done differently. Unfortunately, most of us don't get to do escape rooms very often. But if you enjoy the type of logic involved in escape rooms, you'll probably like these games which are also a fraction of the cost! Having done a real escape room, I can tell you that the puzzles in these games are just as complicated as the real thing, and as a bonus, don't require an app or batteries. All you need are a few pencils, paper pads, a timer, and a pair of scissors. In the game box, you'll find riddle cards, answer cards, help cards, a booklet, a decoder disk, and some "strange objects" which you'll use in puzzles later in the game. Like a typical escape room, your first move is to take a look around the "room" to find clues & riddle cards. The puzzles involved are an interesting mix of logic, leaps of logic, and activities. Word scrambles, dot-to-dots, magic eye pictures, word riddles, scraps of letters and numbers, chemical tables, etc. are just some of the various "pieces" of the head-scratching brain teasers you may encounter. When you think you have figured a riddle out, you can check your answer by entering it into the decoder disk; it will tell you if you were right, wrong, or maybe correct and move you along in the game. If you get stuck, you can always consult the help cards for clues. When you and your friends have solved the last puzzle, you're done! Check your score by seeing how long it took you and how many help cards you had to use. It's worth noting that each title is for one play only, since you will mark up, tear, fold, and cut the materials. Each scenario has a difficulty score from 1-5, easiest to hardest. Game times average 1-2 hours.
Our family has long enjoyed playing co-operative games from Family Pastimes. We play competitive ones, too, but enjoy fostering team spirit as we all work toward achieving a goal. If you haven't tried this alternative to playing together, here's an assortment of some of our favorites from this company.