It’s been a while since we’ve had a competitive games night, as Daniel has buggered off to live in Salzburg for a bit. Which is terribly inconvenient when it comes to playing board games.
He was, however, here last night for a dabble in the wonderful world of Takenoko, and to play an Escape Room in a box. Which was excellent fun, really well put together and as challenging as the real thing.
We’ve recently got the expansion for Takenoko, which introduces a lady panda and – stepping outside the bounds of realism – easily produced panda babies. We’ve had it for a couple of months but haven’t yet played it. Brilliantly, though, we got Daniel to read the instructions and teach us how to play, rather than us having to put in the hard work. A genius masterstroke.
Carole won. So Daniel is also a little bit out of practice it seems. But I was awful. My points were less than half those of Carole’s. We’re clearly not playing enough. I’ve lost my mojo. I’m supposed to be defending my position, being the 2017 champion, and I put in a piss poor performance.
The Escape Room game, though, redeemed us all. We were excellent. I say we, it was mainly Daniel doing it. Or, if you listen to Carole, mainly Daniel and me doing it. Taking over. Making her feel like a gooseberry. But hey, whatever.
You wouldn’t think that an escape room in a box would be much cop, really. Especially when all you have is a pile of cards, a little booklet and a few strange items that you discover on your path to freedom. But we were cutting and colouring and overlaying like there was no tomorrow in a quest to escape.
The game is designed to only be played once.
You basically destroy the game as you play it – writing on things, cutting things out, folding and the like. It is possible – at least according to the reviews on Amazon – to play the game in a non-destructive way. But you’re still not going to replay it yourself. At best, you’re going to give it to someone else. We did use a bit of tracing paper at one point yesterday, but that was purely to make the puzzle easier to solve, rather than out of any sense of preciousness. It’s hard to colour in a glossy card with a pencil, it turns out.
We managed to solve the game and “escape” in an hour and two, having used just one clue. I’m fairly sure if we hadn’t used that clue, we’d still be here now trying to work out what the heck we were doing, so I don’t feel bad at doing it. But otherwise we were absolute puzzle-solving machines of the highest order.
Although it would have been nice to be a couple of minutes quicker, with no clues. Then we’d have got a full ten-star score which would definitely have made up for the absolute cataclysm which was my result of Takenoko.
I guess the next competitive games night will be somewhere round Christmas. Maybe. Probably.
Time to get practicing…