Unlock! Escape Adventures: The Island of Dr. Goorse

8.4 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
Users (0 votes) 0

The Island of Dr. Goorse

  • Played June 2017

  • 60 minutes
  • 2-6 players
  • 14.99

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Like the other Unlock! games, The Island of Dr. Goorse is entirely contained in a deck of cards. The deck contains every puzzle piece, clue, and tool that you will need to escape this mysterious island. The cardstock will last you as many playthroughs as you need (which is probably going to be one, unless you lend it to your friends). But be careful about losing cards if you want to replay the game! Each card is essential to gameplay, so an incomplete deck could lead to an incomplete game.

The Formula had a crisp, clean, 3-D generated look. Squeak & Sausage had a fun, vibrant, cartoony appeal. But the art of The Island of Dr. Goorse astounds with its lush, painted scenery and beautifully detailed artifacts and antiques. One glance at the box’s cover will give you an idea of the artistry lying in the deck. The only drawback to the component quality is that the cards are too small for a comfortable group gaming experience, especially since many of the puzzles are search/observation based. Imagine a group of six players getting stuck on a puzzle that is entirely contained on a single playing card!

Luckily, The Island of Dr. Goorse counters this flaw by building multiple puzzle paths. Not only will every player be kept busy looking for clues and solving puzzles, The Island of Dr. Goorse is the first take-home-escape-game we’ve played that has a mandatory minimum of two players. The game implements this mechanism beautifully. Players are forced to take different puzzle paths and must communicate to finish the game, an effect that made the game a much more immersive and entertaining experience.

The puzzles of The Island of Dr. Goorse are the most creative in the Unlock! series so far. It includes the largest variety of puzzles, uses the deck and app in new ways, and forces teamwork! The puzzles are not too difficult but may require some creativity or patience to solve. Many of the puzzles require the sort of ingenuity you would expect to use in a real escape room! A lack of physical puzzles was disappointing, but not surprising. It will definitely be interesting to see if any of the upcoming Unlock! games will be incorporating those.

The app, like the other games, also changes to suit the theme of the Island, extending the immersion. However, the story, although clear from beginning to end, could be much better developed and explained throughout the game.

Another great touch from the Space Cowboys team was setting the game in a location that is beyond the reach of typical escape rooms. Only in a take-home-escape-game can you crash land on an island surrounded by the priceless art of ancient civilizations. The suspended disbelief is already there – why limit yourself to escaping a “room” when a deck of cards holds an infinite amount of possibilities, right? Escaping an island is definitely the way to go!

Despite being confined to the format of a deck, The Island of Dr. Goorse has done a terrific job with its resources. This game pushed the bounds with its creativity, and the results speak for themselves.

Final Verdict:


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