Spy Code – Operation: Escape Room

5.6 Overall
Component Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
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Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room

  • Played November 2017

  • 60 minutes
  • 2-4 players
  • $24.99 at Target
  • 6 years and up

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YULU has another “Escape Room” style board game that’s family-friendly with some assembly required. Operation: Escape Room is a game that tests your problem solving skills and how well you can work under pressure. You have to work quickly because there is a time limit to this challenge. You have less than 15 minutes to escape depending on how much time you want to give yourself to complete these tasks. One person in your group puts on the Master Timer Unit (either around your chest/arms if it fits, or around your waist) and this acts as your bomb, counting down the minutes to your escape. This mechanism helps create a higher-pressure environment. This is a fun little game that can suit a wide age range. The game is for 6 years old and up and they are pretty accurate on the age group. This whole game can be modified to make it possible to allow children of various ages to work together.

The set up takes approximately 5 minutes worth of assembly and rule reading. It was very straightforward. Assembly required a Phillips screwdriver and 2 AAA batteries. Each of the pieces seemed very well-made with a nice aesthetic.

To start, place each key inside each challenge. You have to complete a few sets of challenges in order to free the person locked in with a timer. The first challenge is the keycage, which requires players to wiggle a key out from the bottom of a cage using sticks. The next challenge utilizes the Quizmaster Device. For this one, there are three different colored decks of cards, each denoting three levels of difficulty. Enter the card number into the device, solve the problem and then enter the answer into the same device. If the answer is correct, 1/3 of the key will come out. Players must solve three problems in a row in order to retrieve the key. If the answer is incorrect, the key will pop back into the device. In order to solve the final challenge, which is the Luck Spinner, players must insert the correct key into a device and spin it. They have three chances to find the key in the device. If players are unable to find the key, they must reset the spinner and start over. For 4 people you can take turns playing each challenge, or if you get stuck, someone in the group can take over.

Out of all the Spy Code games, this game comes closest to feeling like an escape room in that you find a key after solving each puzzle. It’s also a co-op game so everyone wins or loses together. We liked the different puzzles, as the first one focuses on skill, the second on logic, and the last on luck/logic. One improvement could be making the strap on the Master Timer Unit adjustable. If parents/adults want to put it on, it likely won’t be able to fit around their chest. The other issue we ran into was that although the pieces seemed well-made, the second device kept getting stuck and we were unable to open it. We thought we had assembled it wrong, but it looked accurate, it was maybe just a sticky piece we received. Aside from putting on the “bomb”, this game is a bit lacking for story and immersion. You may be able to play each challenge out of order as well. It would be nice to have some component lead you into the next challenge, or maybe the one key you get from the first challenge opens the next, but each of the keys were identical so you could realistically get the first key out and save the day.

Overall, this game is definitely for children as adults will find it too easy. If your kids are too young for escape rooms, or they keep feeling left out when you go to play, Operation: Escape Room could be just what you need to make them feel a part of an escape room experience!

Final Verdict:

5.6/10

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