Having tried many new board games over the year, and expending our interests, we have been wanting to try an escape game for quite a while now. So when Board & Dice reached out to us and asked if we wanted to review their newest escape game, we were more than happy to! We had no idea what to expect, the only experience we’ve had was with horror movies from escape rooms, and those never end well. So we hoped this story would turn out better…
How to Play.
There are not many rules in this Escape Tale game, the game itself will guide you where necessary so you will reach your new destination. If you start your first game, take the story book one and place the action tokens, game cards and rest, focus cards in reach. And lastly, make sure your phone is charged and nearby to use the Escape Tales app. Small piece of advice, a notebook or pen and paper may also come in handy.
The goal of the game is to reach the end of the story. There are many endings in this game and your ending may look different depending on how well you made your choices. The game will guide you to different locations that you can explore, you can do this by using action tokens. When the storybook announces you may take a new location card, it will usually say how many action tokens you may take to explore it. Don’t try to explore every part of the location as you will almost never have enough action tokens. Instead, try to focus on what you need and where the next clue might be hidden. A lot of details on the location cards itself, can give you clues already to where something might be found.
For every location you explore, you place an action token on your given mini map. You can then read the paragraph with the matching number in the story book. The book might order you to take a card, or new location cards. If you are in tough luck, you might even find nothing. If you run out of action tokens, you can choose to let your character rest of focus. Be warned as this can impact your character negatively, only use rest and focus card if you don’t see any other way. If you have no other choice, you will get a modifier card. A modifier card is a card that impacts the statistics of your character. Simply slide the card under your character so you can see what your new statistics are.
If you gain a puzzle card, it will have an icon at the bottom of the card. You can check in the app by clicking the matching symbol, how many card you need to solve this puzzle, and of how many letters or numbers the answer consists. If you are ever really stuck, you can always ask for hints with each puzzle. If the hints still don’t help you enough, you can even ask to reveal the answer. Only do this as a last resort as it will take away the rewarding feeling of solving the puzzles on your own. If you use hints or even reveal the answer, this won’t impact you negatively in the game.
You can also combine cards. If you wonder what your character might be thinking of a certain item, or maybe a puzzle, you can combine the numbers of both cards in the app. You can combine any two cards you want, like two items that you might think fit together, or your character might have an extra hint to get you started on a certain puzzle. Use it wisely.
If you are ready to start your adventure, open the story book and read the prologue of story book one.
Playthrough of the game.
Like I said before, we had no idea what to expect, but we were excited to begin. Boy did we fall hard. The rulebook says to not search every corner of each room as you won’t have enough action tokens. Sure enough, we made all the wrong decisions possible and found ourselves having to explore every single spot of the room. Needles to say, our character was not happy and we used all the rest and focus cards for that chapter…
We were beginning to think escape games may not be our thing. But we suffered trough, got some pen and paper and solved the puzzles we needed to solve (yes with hints, don’t judge). When the story book instructed us to take the new location cards so we could move on, the feeling of achievement was real. After the first location, we started to get to know the game better. We didn’t trust anything anymore and the story got more intriguing with every chapter. The story will take you to the most unexpected places and no puzzle will be the same.
The story of this game is like the prologue says, a hard and unforgiven journey. Every discovery you make, or new location you can explore, is made with great art, and many times with hidden details. The children of Wyrmwoods also has a lot of different endings, and because of that, you can replay this game many times. The statistics of your character will also influence your ending for the better or worse. We have replayed the full game, and some chapters, a couple of times to get different endings so we could understand more parts of the story. The designers really made good art to display the story and puzzles to and the cards and components are nice quality. What we also like about this game is that you don’t necessarily have to be good at solving puzzles to enjoy this game. Sure if you want a challenge, this escape game will definitely give it to you. But if you would just like to explore and enjoy the story, that is also possible if you take the hints since they don’t affect you negatively in the game.
Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods is a challenging story driven puzzle game with nice art. This game has a lot of replayability since it has many endings and a lot of ground to explore. You will find that no puzzle is the same, yet the design of each puzzle is weird, but in some way really fitting to the story. Experience with puzzle escape games is not needed as the game will give you hints and guide you if needed. Hard decisions need to be made as you rarely have enough actions to explore every corner of the room, and cooperation together with logic is necessary to solve each challenge you face. Children of Wyrmwoods can easily be played together, however we found that the more people you play with (max 4), the more chaotic it becomes as everyone has it’s own opinion. In our opinion, this game is best played solo or with two people.