Deckscape: The Mystery Of Eldorado
Deckscape: The Mystery Of ElDorado
- Played June 2019
- 60 minutes
- $12.99 USD
- dV GIOCHI
- What People Say
When dvGiochi (the designers of the Deckscape series) contacted us, we were excited because none of us on the ERA team, had played any of the games from their series. Sure it’s another card based, in-home, escape room, style game but is it the same as the Unlock! series or the Exit series? And if it is the same, are there enough distinguishing features that would make a person pick a game from this series over the others we’ve reviewed? Having just finished The Fate Of London as our first game in the series, we were moving right to the next offering…The Mystery Of Eldorado!
The game components and quality were pretty much as we expected… a simple deck of cards. The artwork is fairly nice, and the size is suitable for allowing several cards to be placed on the table in full view (you’ll need a decent sized table by the way). At the same time, we were hoping for something a bit more than a standard deck of cards (nicely designed as they were). When all was said and done, the components were straight forward and simple. What gives this a slight edge over The Fate Of London however was the addition of a map you’ll use throughout your journey. The map of course is filled with clues which made it a bit more special than the standard deck of cards on its own.
The immersion component is also similar to most other in-home escape room games… you get out of it, what you put into it. There’s no bells, whistles, or frills here and you’ll need to create your own environment (we recommend some jungle themed music and/or sound effects). It may seem silly, but why not consider wearing safari hats while playing just to add to the imagery? Sadly in Mystery Of Eldorado we struggled to find ways to add to our experience (unlike our silly English spy accents when we played Fate Of London)…but again the game itself was pretty straight forward with more emphasis on the puzzles than on the development of the story or the characters within the story. One thing we definitely enjoyed was the different endings you can get in this game. Ultimately it was only the difference of reading one of three different cards at the end of the deck, but hey, it’s a neat little twist and we appreciated it.
The puzzles in Mystery Of Eldorado didn’t quite capture our attention as much as the puzzles in Fate Of London. We found them to be a bit more observation based, with a few more lateral leaps in thinking than we had anticipated. Each time we got stuck we resisted to the temptation to use the clever hint system (essentially the backside of a card that was well written into the game story) but we still frequently ended up checking. A unique scoring system is used in the Deckscape games, but this one was also a bit different than the scoring in The Fate of London which was nice to see. Admittedly we skipped the ‘scoring’ aspect of the game in favour of just going through the story and the puzzles, so it could be that our sense of enjoyment was partly robbed by not keeping proper score. Like most of these types of games however, a group size of 2-3 people is the ‘sweet spot’ so if you have more, you’ll quickly find yourself a bit flustered with the sharing and waiting of others taking the cards away. There were times when more than one puzzle could be worked on at the same time which was nice, but it felt like the puzzle flow wasn’t quite as nicely put together as the puzzles in Fate of London. So were the puzzles bad? No, they were ok. It’s just we felt they weren’t as engaging or clever as the ones from Fate Of London.
So in the end would we say this is a must buy? Not really, it’s a decent game, but it shares enough same features as the other Deckscape games and other card based in-home escape games that you won’t need to play this specific title. Is it a good value for what you pay though? Yes, we’d say it’s a good value considering the price-point and the fact others can replay the game makes it even more attractive. The Mystery Of Eldorado is a bit harder and more ‘thinky’ than The Fate Of London, so you may need a puzzle enthusiast to play with you, but the game is approachable enough for most ages and most experience levels.
We want to hear your thoughts! Be sure to comment in the section below or send us a message via ERA’s email, Facebook, or Twitter… As always, happy escaping!