A Spooky Dolhouse Awaits
Puzzles have been in existance for more decades than anyone can count — at its core even the Gordian knot was a puzzle to solve (if Alexander hadn’t cheated who knows how long before the knot would have been untied). The only difference between the then and the now is that puzzles have become segmented into “types,” with the locked room puzzle gaining in popularity. The idea of the locked room puzzle is simple: inside a room where the door has been barred, the only way to “escape” is to figure out how to get that door opened. This is done through the application of brain power (and the occasional brute strength) through the solving of puzzles presented in the room. This is good and fine when there’s an actual room for someone to exercise their whole being in, but when the puzzle has been translated into a board game-type results, the exercise becomes a bit more staid. That’s because all one can look at are flat representations of objects and pictures of the environment that the person is supposedly stuck in. So what does ThinkFun Do with their Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse? They take the concept of the locked room and notch up imagination by creating a physical environment that the person(s) can look at. But not something flat like looking at a movie, but a three dimensional representation of what must be inspected, examined and ultimately discovered.
So what’s the spooky story of Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse? Mr. Garrity’s house is boarded up and there’s a shed with who knows what inside. But there’s some talk about children, so being a house breaker by nature (just joking), you break in to find a dollhouse in a nearby shed. So go take a closer look and then what happens?.....
More Than Just A Locked Room Board Game
Now it’s time to open the box and take out what’s inside. Besides the starting instructions, the next step is to assemble the 3 story dollhouse. So just as if a board game was to be played (Monopoly comes to mind), a clean space where people can gather must be found. And this needs to be one where the dollhouse can be left for a period of time, because we’re not talking about the game taking just an hour or two in the case of every player. No, Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse is going to take a lot more time than that, not to mention brain-power, intuition and a dose of luck. So some might go for a one-night session, while others take a longer approach.
3D Means A Different Way To Play
Now for those who’ve never played this kind of game before, the basics are such: you get items (for example, objects or strange devices) that could be puzzles or suggestions as to what to do. There’s a wheel that turns what you’ve discovered/figured out into answers that can inform and promote what must be done. But here there’s a physical 3D dollhouse with five distinct rooms to look at and ponder over. And which are filled with actual (not to life size) furniture and other items. This certainly makes the game more immersive because you can not just see objects but also pick them up, touch them and experience their reality as relates to where they exist and what you see as to their purpose.
Unlike many other games of this genre, the use of the clues and special objects and puzzles that are found in playing can be reused — not by those who have “won” the game, but by others. This means the game is better than just being recyclable, as it can be passed on to others to experience and enjoy the game. To aid in this, ThinkFun has a website where atmospheric music can be played while the game is being enjoyed, but to also provide the means for re-packing the game and printing out again puzzles for use. And yes there’s hints there too.
Gather The Family and Escape Together
The Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse is well positioned for family fun, being for 13+ and up to 4 players and not containing anything remotely offensive or off-putting. It is of a nature that it can be “won” in a couple of hours or over the course of a few days, depending on what is desired. So it’s obvious that this is a great game that’s good for the family to play together with their children. Besides a bonding experience, the kids can help their parents in the game-play — sarcasm aside, the level of intensity of the game is such that even grownups can benefit from playing the game themselves (especially those new to the genre). And as to when the kids and/or parents are first experiencing the locked room dilemma which must be considered with logic and thought. But again it’s about having “spooky” fun, so creating an atmosphere to play it in will add to that — maybe dust off those old Halloween costumes or dim the lights and use candles or flashlights for illumination? These choices are up to you, at least until you’re being confronted by the dollhouse. You know that you can’t ever leave until you’ve solved its mystery, don’t you. You better, because this review is spoiler-free. For more details go to https://www.thinkfun.com/products/dollhouse/