Exit vs. Unlock – A Competitive Review

An Escape Room is a fun way to spend an evening where you and a couple of friends are locked in a room. Wait, it sounds weird when I say it like that. The point is to escape from that room, usually in an hour or less, by discovering useful items and solving puzzles, both leading to more items and more puzzles, until you finally unlock the Exit and escape. (Unlock the Exit. See what I did there?) Anyway, it’s a great way to spend an evening with friends, and you do it indoors without getting too sweaty.

Doing things indoor and without getting sweaty brings us to the next step in Escape Room evolution: Why would you even leave your living room? You could have a box full of puzzles to solve at home and avoid all that messy outside business. And that’s were Escape Rooms Inna Box come in, a new kind of cooperative game that lets you have the excitement of an Escape Room around your living room table. You could argue if they are boardgames or not, but we’re not going to nitpick that point right now: They’re produced by the same publishers, made by the same designers and enjoyed by many of the same people as more traditional boardgames. People like us, so we’ll review them when we feel like it.

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Great Western Trail

Great Western Trail

Alexander Pfister’s Great Western Trail is a game about making old cowboys sad. When it starts the prairie is still wide open with only a few neutral buildings around. You drive small herds of mangy cattle to Kansas City. And if that cattle goes all the way to Santa Fe on the train then you can say it’s seen the wide world. The more the game progresses, the more buildings will clutter the prairie, the bigger and more expensive the herds get, and the further the cattle will be shipped. What makes the old cowboy sad will be the same thing that makes players happy, because every one of those developments is under the players’ control in their pursuit of victory points.

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