Tested: Escape GamePosted on 2017-08-07
Recently we were tipped by Melanie Vives (one of the authors of the original, French edition) about the release of a Dutch translation of their book Escape Game. In France the book already came out in October 2016, but last the month the Dutch edition got released by publisher Luitingh-Sijthoff (LS) Amsterdam. The book's goal is to bring the popular escape rooms we all love to your home. We all know how it works, you get 60 minutes to escape. In this case you'll get 3 adventures that each last 60 minutes. And if you're stuck there are hints and solutions in the back of the book.
Because the adventures originally were made by the French it's not a surprise one of the stories takes place during the French Revolution. On a next mission you'll prevent an assasinatio on a well-known hackers collective. In the original this also takes place in Paris, but for the Dutch edition we're in Rotterdam. They also adapted the last story: in the Keizer Karelgarage in Nijmegen you'll solve the murder of a colleague police officer.
The first impression when holding the book in your hands is very good. The book's big, has 128 pages full of colorfull illustrations and photos and has a firm hardcover. They definitely didn't save on quality and it got us curious. Like we said, there are three stories in the book. You can play em in whatever order you want. The stories don't go page to page, but are spread all across the book. So you can't take a quick peek ahead, the next page probably belongs to a different story.
During our play of the first story (French Revolution) we had some trouble seeing the logic and flow of the book. We didn't really get into the flow. It also didn't help that because of an error in translation you can't even solve the first story. This, and a couple of other (less annoying) mistakes in the solutions for example, will be fixed in a new edition. But for now the publisher will add an extra leaflet with explaination to the book. Our copy didn't include this though.
Aside from that they didn't simply translate the text, but like we said they also replaced locations and names. That way the publisher brings the games a bit closer to the Dutch players. The photos remained the same though. So the photos of the murder in the parking garage were taken in France, not in Nijmegen. These are minor details though, if we didn't park there when we go to Nijmegen, we wouldn't even had noticed.
So a good first impression, but quite the false start. We did have two more stories to go though. And luckily those did meet our expectations. We better understood the logic and didn't encounter any annoying mistakes. Aside from that these stories had original, challenging puzzles and made us do stuff outside of the book. Especially the story about the Medusa-code will make you use your telephone or computer quite a bit. We were on a roll and finished both adventures in time.
On the backcover it says it's made for 1 to 4 persons. We played it with two and feel that's perfect. Three or four all standing or sitting around the same book doesn't seem ideal to us, but maybe that works too.
Aside the frustrations during the first story we enjoyed ourselves for about three hours. With an advisory price of 17 euro that's not even six euro per adventure. Sounds fair to us. They really need to fix the mistakes in the next edition though.
The French authors also released an escape room book about Lucky Luke and are already working on a third book. For now there are no plans to release these in the Netherlands though. If and when that changes, we'll let you all know for sure! We would love to see a sequel ourselves!
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