Unlock 7! Epic Adventures

RRP: £29.99
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RRP £29.99
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Unlock! is a cooperative card game inspired by escape rooms that uses a simple system which allows you to search scenes, combine objects, and solve riddles. Play Unlock! to embark on great adventures, while seated at a table using only cards and a companion app that can provide clues, check codes, monitor time remaining, etc. Unlock! EpicAdventures includes three separate scenarios …
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Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-ASMSCUNLOCK07EN Availability 3+ in stock
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  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
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Description

Unlock! is a cooperative card game inspired by escape rooms that uses a simple system which allows you to search scenes, combine objects, and solve riddles. Play Unlock! to embark on great adventures, while seated at a table using only cards and a companion app that can provide clues, check codes, monitor time remaining, etc.

Unlock! EpicAdventures includes three separate scenarios for you to explore.

 

Unlock! is a cooperative escape room-style card where players are tasked with solving a series of puzzles and a themed mystery. Games are played on a touchscreen device – i.e. phone or tablet – alongside the cards inside the box through a variety of numerical problems, so the puzzles can be fully interactive and be solved in some interesting ways. There have been many entries in the series (some in sets of three and others as singles) so there is plenty of variety. As my first dive into the Unlock! series of games, I was excited to drag my friends into trying the Epic Adventures, Unlock 7 game with me. This game features a tutorial short game and three unconnected longer games with unique themes.

The following reviews of each of the games are free of spoilers.

The Seventh Screening

Scenario: Matthieu Casnin

Artwork: Neriac

Summary: “The Werewolf’s Final Night”: with such a title, the movie can only be a masterpiece! The plot summary is promising: a mysterious ghost terrorises the inhabitants of a manor. So, you head for your small neighbourhood movie theatre.

A trip to the movies becomes something more as your group watches a spooky mystery unfold. With story beats taken right out of a B-tier horror flick including an old house on a hill, enough candles to justify a call to fire and rescue and a monochromatic colour scheme.

All of the art in this game reminds me of an old movie poster. Thick black border lines and noticeable, somewhat stylised paint sweeps make each card into a small art piece worth a few minutes of observation (and trust me, you’ll want to give each a thorough look during play). Bordered cards are lined film tape decals that are slightly tattered that just the icing on the cake to these already wonderful pieces.

Touching lightly on the puzzles, there are a variety of them in this game so no moment feels like another. For fans of Unlock! who want a mix-up to the usual object combination puzzles then look no further than this game, because things get harder when everything’s in black and white. Something to make note of is that this is the only game of the three that recommends 2 to 6 players (others are 1 to 6 players) due to a section of the story that needs more than one person. With it being our first full game my group was stumped at times, but the hint system gives just enough information to push you in the right direction.

The Dragon’s Seven Tests

Scenario: Luna Marie

Artwork: Mahulda Jelly

Summary: Every seven years, Master Li opens the gates of the temple of the Gold Dragons for one day to accept new disciples. His teachings are famous and the Master forges the most brilliant souls of the Empire. But rare are those who are accepted for they first must pass the tests of the disciples. Today is the big day! You climb the mountain, your hearts pounding, and you reach the gates of the legendary temple of the Gold Dragons.

Players are tasked with proving themselves to Master Li in hopes of entering the temple of the Gold Dragons. It’s a pretty fun story if you’re a fan of historical fiction and don’t mind sinking your teeth into some thematic visual puzzles.

The art of this story is done in a clean, borderless style that couples well with the narrative. Make no mistake, the large amount of organisation in each card doesn’t mean they aren’t saturated by minute details that might be hard to miss while trying to look at the bigger picture. I love the colour palette of this game. None of the cards are dull, because every single colour is vibrant in a naturally warm way that is kind of hard to put into words.

The Dragon’s Seven Tests adds a new rule to the game that keeps players on their toes: the Yi King. Thematically, you’re looking for oracles to guide your quest, but essentially it’s a game-long visual puzzle that is easy to miss if you haven’t got a player designated to spotting it at times.

In this blogger’s opinion, the most fun part of this game was a segment in the kitchen. I still won’t spoil anything. However, it felt like we were playing a game within the game – a matryoshka card game if you will.

Mission #07

Scenario: Guilaine Didier, Gabriel Durnerin and Théo Rivière

Artwork: Cyrille Bertin

Summary: Agents BOBCAT, COBRA, OX and MORSE, we believe there is a double agent within our EAGLE Agency. Your mission, should you accept it, is to identify and arrest the double agent. They are probably working for the dreadful RACCOOn organisation and have infiltrated us to use our resources. Their identity remains a mystery but we managed to spot their hideout.

Mission #07 has a style pretty similar to the style of ‘The Seventh Screening’, but leans closer to the aesthetic of comic books due to the block colouring and its closer keeping to realism. My favourite part of the aesthetic is the text boxes being ripped slips of paper that are meant to look as if they are stapled to the rest of the card. However, I’d prefer the cards to have the same shape as the rest of the sets in the box – rounded corners as opposed to the generic rectangular shape. Pointed corners tend to wear quicker than their smoothed-off counterparts.

This is the only game of the three to include player stand-in characters. They’re used as ‘objects’ to solve puzzles. Yet, they lend themselves to helping make the story feel connected to the larger narrative and universe.

The deck and story are split into two parts to prevent players from accidentally spoiling the mystery, which is a great detail. It also comes with a tonal change that ramps up the tension for the latter half of the game – taking it from mystery to action pretty seamlessly.

Strangely, Mission #07 had both the puzzle I hated the most and the one I’ve been letting live rent-free in my head since I played. So, there’s a range of challenges to this game.

Final Thoughts

I went into Epic Adventures with a set of questions for myself that now have answers. Would I have fun? I did. Would it challenge my friends and I enough to keep our attention for the hour? It did. Would I finish it thinking about picking up another every in the series? Another yes and it’s already been ordered after a copious amount of discussion with my official Unlock! Buddies.

 

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

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