What: Three ‘escape the room’ games in one box with no need to leave the house
Players: 2 – 6 (You can play it on your own as well if you like)
Time: 40-60 minutes
People: Small groups looking for something simple that gets their mind working
Available: Support Best Play and get Unlock! here from Amazon

The Gist

Why we recommend it

You find yourself stuck. The room you find yourself in is locked and you and your friends most solve an escalating serious of elaborate puzzles and riddles to escape. Yeah ok. It’s an escape the room – you’ve probably done one before, right?

Well, if you haven’t, there’s a few in London we highly recommend (let us know if you recommend any in other areas in the comments).

The thing is, they cost a pretty penny and require a bunch of organisation and finding the slot to book. What if you could do one in your own home?

Woh woh woh, stop. There’s no need to lock that door or hide weird trinkets around the place. You just need one of these deck of cards and a sprinkle of imagination.

This is Unlock, an escape the room in a box. It contains three rooms (and a 10 minute tutorial) each of which are going to take you 40-60 minutes (if you fail to get out). You don’t even need to read the rule book as the 10 minute tutorial teaches you it all just fine.

OK I get it, you’re not sure how a deck of cards could possibly be like an escape the room. Well, you’d be surprised.

The deck of cards is all numbered and those numbers don’t mean anything – until they do. You see, when you first look at the room you go and find all the matching numbers/letters from the deck and reveal them.

You’ll get all kinds of items. Red and blue cards can be combined, some of which obviously go together like this key and cabinet (don’t worry I’m only spoiling the very very easy tutorial).

When combined you add up the numbers and see if there is a matching card in your deck. If there is, you’re one step further to escaping. So, you’re now wondering what stops you just going through the deck and just working backwards.

Ffor one, there are penalty cards that taunt you with your stupid attempt at combining things that were never meant to be combined. More to the point, there really is an awful lot of them, making it very difficult to brute force it. You’re just going to have to solve it for real.

A handy app keeps time for you and even throws out the odd hint to help push you along.

Despite this entire box only being 2-3 hours of play time, there are few boxes like it. When you’re done you get to be that nice person who hands it on to a good friend (or sell it on, I guess).

In fact, it’s the perfect gift for someone who is board game curious. So what are you waiting for? Support Best Play and enjoy 3 great hours by getting your own copy here on Amazon.

Also published on Medium.