Unlock! Escape Adventures: The Nautilus’ Traps

8 Overall
Component Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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Unlock! Escape Adventures: The Nautilus' Traps

  • Played December 2017

  • 60 minutes
  • 1-6 players
  • $14.99

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The Nautilus’ Traps is another in the series of Unlock! games published by Asmodee. For those unfamiliar with the series, it aims to replicate a typical escape room experience in the comfort of your own home, using only a set of (lavishly illustrated) cards and a smartphone app. Obviously it isn’t quite as immersive as a real escape room, but at the same time the format allows for scenarios which might be infeasible in a physical escape room. This particular entry tells the story of your discovery and exploration of the sunken submarine The Nautilus, from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

So far we’ve quite enjoyed the games in the series, some a little more than others of course, and this game continues the winning streak. The cards are solid and the illustrations are lavish and a delight to look at. They’re filled with small details, some of which provide important clues to help you progress. The smartphone app (available for both iOS and Android) provides atmospheric music which is a nice touch and in a small but very nice detail the box is designed for easy removal of the cards.

The immersion in this game is quite good. As mentioned before, the music and detailed illustrations definitely help, but so to does the fact that you don’t start with your full allotment of time and you will need to solve puzzles along the way to add to your time. This helps keep the tension high and keeps a sense of urgency throughout as you’re always racing against the clock.

The puzzles likewise are quite strong. There is some searching required but it’s not too bad. This series of unlock games introduces a new mechanic called machines which are puzzles that you interact with right within the smartphone app so it’s nice to see that used here. There’s a good variety of puzzles, and they relate well to the story and theme. However, the difficulty level does tend to be on the hard side so you’ll want at least one experienced puzzler on your team. On the plus side, the puzzle paths do open up during the game so you can have people working on multiple puzzles at once. We’d recommend four or so players for this game.

Overall this is another very solid entry in the Unlock! series. The puzzles are definitely challenging, so be prepared. Also be prepared to practice your team-building skills. Since it’s a card game, people can grab and hoard the cards; we find the best plan is to leave the cards on the table and try to solve it as a group. The immersion is good however (for this style of game), the artwork is exquisite, and overall we would highly recommend this game to anyone looking for an escape room type experience at home. The only downside of course being that you can only play it once, but that’s to be expected. Happy puzzling!

Final Verdict:

8/10

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