Spy Code – Safe Breaker [Review]

Ocean’s 6 & up.

Location: at home game for ages 6 and up

Price: $24.99 + 3 AA batteries

How it works

Safe Breaker was one of three Spy Code games on the market targeted at ages 6 and up. Inspired by a combination of escape room games and safecracking, this game allowed up to 4 players to compete in a number deduction game.

The safe with the stethoscope attached. Coin, jewel, and alarm tokens are laid in front of it beside numbers cards.

In Safe Breaker, we loaded an electronic safe with gold, diamond, and penalty tokens. We each took turns guessing a number between 1 and 18 while holding a stethoscope tube to our ears and listening for a clue. Hearing a low tone through the stethoscope meant the number was below the current guess; a high tone meant it was above. There were also null penalty tones thrown in that provided no feedback whatsoever.

The safe popped open, a few coins are laying at its base.

When I landed on the correct number, the safe popped open and distributed between 1 and 3 tokens of varying value. The first person to gain enough loot won.

Puzzles

Safe Breaker was a game of light competitive deduction. We took turns guessing and trying to zero in on the right answer before anyone else did. It was a puzzle, but a lot less involved than the other Spy Code games, Break FreeOperation: Escape Room.

Standouts

The sound and feel of the safe popping open was shockingly satisfying. I don’t know what neurotransmitter was released in my brain when it opened, but it felt great.

Safe Breaker would be easy to play for absolutely anyone who is old enough to count to 18, grasp the concept of numeric order, and not choke on the pieces. It was also durable.

There was a little assembly involved. It was easy to set up, but it took me about 2 minutes once I had AA batteries and a Phillips screwdriver in my hand.

Shortcomings

While other players input their guess, I could hear the tones that other players were supposed to hear in private. This defeated the purpose of the stethoscope.

The gameplay felt incredibly shallow. The strategy to Safe Breaker was straightforward and didn’t leave room for creative play. It was entirely built around smart guesswork, light deduction, and luck.

Even as an adult, the luck component to this game didn’t feel all that fair. Sometimes the device chose to give no feedback as a penalty without cause. Once per game, one poor player opened the safe to be rewarded with a penalty token that robbed them of everything without cause. You can always choose to leave this token out and I would. It killed the game for whomever drew it.

Should I buy Spy Code Safe Breaker?

Safe Breaker was a competitive deduction game… which is a fancy way of saying it’s an electronic version of “I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 18.” There was a puzzle here but it was a lot more shallow than what Spy Code demonstrated in Break FreeOperation: Escape Room.

The safe feels great to open, which is a testament to the commitment of Yuzu, the game’s creatior’s, to engineering great physical interactions in the Spy Code games… and that’s Safe Breaker’s one trick… so the good news is that this trick is a good one.

You have to judge what level of gameplay your children are ready for. Safe Breaker was a lot more involved than a game like Candy Land, but not as involved as Spy Code’s other offerings. If your child loves the other two installments, then I would absolutely consider Safe Breaker, but I probably wouldn’t pick this one up unless the other games were already a hit in your household.

Order your copy of Spy Code Safe Breaker today.

Full disclosure: Yuzu sent us a free sample of this game.

(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.)

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