At least you can turn them into a drinking game.
Location: at home
Date played: June 2017
Team size: 3-5; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: ~$16 per expansion, base game is required
I described how this at-home escape room game works in detail in last year’s review of the Spin Masters’ Escape Room The Game. The Funland & Murder Mystery expansions do not change the formula at all. They play in exactly same ways but provide 2 more hour-long scenarios.
Funland‘s puzzling was built around traditional logic puzzles and played nearly identically to the original scenarios in the base Escape Room The Game.
Murder Mystery was the first Escape Room The Game scenario to deviate from the norm. This game attempted to cast us as detectives searching through a crime scene and using what we found to conclude whodunit. It had some puzzles, but this game focused on detailed (nitpicky) observation.
Funland had a few puzzles that were satisfying solves.
My favorite part in Murder Mystery was solving the sort of puzzle to bring up the walkthrough on the game’s website.
The price. The base version of Escape Room The Game will cost you $30 and provide 4 scenarios. These expansions cost $16 each for a single hour of play. These expansions were not of higher quality, nor did they introduce new props and tangible pieces.
Escape Room The Game’s hint system was punishing and tedious. It time-released hints and more often than not, they didn’t help us. Either we had figured out the thing that was being hinted or they gave us something that added to our confusion.
Funland included an exact recreation of an old puzzle that has been circulating around the internet for years.
We misinterpreted Funland’s first puzzle and our bad answer used the same keys in the same order as a previous scenario’s first answer. The Electronic Chrono Decoder accepted it and then wouldn’t accept any of our subsequent answers. (The first correct answer you input tells the device what scenario you are playing.) I ultimately realized what had happened and restarted the game, but Electronic Chrono Decoder was a dumb machine without any sensible feedback or contextual awareness. It’s also so buggy that we legitimately couldn’t tell if the problem was it or us. Spin Masters would have been better served creating an iOS and Android app… At least they could patch bugs on a mobile app.
Murder Mystery had the most groan-inducing observation puzzle in the Escape Room The Game series. It was lame as a puzzle and it was silly in the narrative.
One puzzle in Murder Mystery had such tiny and fine details that I took a photo of the component so that I could zoom in. It’s worth noting that while my distance vision is insufficient, my reading vision is impeccable.
Should I play Spin Masters’s Escape Room The Game: Funland & Murder Mystery?
I was lukewarm on Escape Room The Game’s base set because I thought that it had one game’s worth of good puzzles spread out over 4 scenarios. However, I did recognize that it offered a lot more value than any other at-home escape room games. It’s hard to say the same thing about Funland & Murder Mystery.
Together they cost the same amount of money as the base game for a lot less material. You’re talking about spending $16 on a box with a few paper puzzles and there’s a lot of air in the box.
If you’re among the folks who truly enjoyed the original scenarios in Escape Room The Game, then you’ll probably get a kick out of Funland; it felt a lot like the original scenarios. I don’t think it’s a great value, but at $16 it won’t break the bank.
As far as Murder Mystery is concerned. I think that it’s a complete waste of money.
Thank you Amanda & Drew for sending us your copies of these two expansions.
(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale.)