Cypher House Escape – Escape the Arcade [Review]

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Location: at home

Date played: October 27, 2017

Team size: 2-4; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60-120 minutes

Price: $29.99 per box, plus $6.74 shipping for standard USPS First Class within the United States. (International shipping is also available at a higher cost, which varies by international destination.)

Story & setup

We woke up mysteriously locked in an arcade. After unlocking our wallet, we puzzled through the different games to earn our escape.

Escape the Arcade arrived in a cardboard box. It consisted of various sealed envelopes and 5 little boxes, representing arcade cabinets. We needed to open each little box on our path to escape.

In-game: An assortment of puzzles, a collection of little cardboard boxes representing arcade games behind them.

Escape the Arcade required an internet connection to listen to audio clips and enter answers for verification.

Puzzles

The puzzling was word-centric. We also used logic, observation, and dexterity.

The puzzles were primarily paper-based with a few more creative interactions and constructions.

Standouts

Escape the Arcade was adorable. Cypher House Escape recreated an arcade out of paper and cardboard. Each puzzle was a nod to a different classic video game. Cypher House Escape even poked fun at that all too common “out of order” game. It made us smile.

We loved one unexpected interaction that we never would have thought we’d encounter in a cardboard box.

We appreciated the hint system. While the hints were prefabricated, as they have to be with at-home games, we could take hints at our own pace, and even choose to see the solution, if we felt so inclined.

Shortcomings

One puzzle just wasn’t clear enough. We knew what we needed to do, but near as we could tell, it did not work. We eventually hacked a solution.

Sometimes we spent more time working through the instructions for how to solve something than actually solving the puzzle. We felt like the challenge wasn’t always in the right place.

Answers were easily hackable. We didn’t mind back solving to our guesses, but to avoid players jumping ahead, we recommend Cypher House Escape make the solutions less guessable.

Should I play Cypher House Escape’s Escape the Arcade?

Escape the Arcade was a fun escape room-style play-at-home game.

It was not too hard, but the puzzles were fun and satisfying.

Cypher House Escape used paper creatively in a manner that recalled the arcade games of our youth. We really got a kick out of these.

Escape the Arcade was not as polished as some of the games we’ve seen from larger producers with bigger budgets and the execution had some flaws. It had a homemade feel… because it was so very homemade. Still, it was well made.

If you’re new to at-home escape room play, this would be a gentle entry: It was affordable. It was not a long time commitment. The hinting worked well.

If you’ve played a few of these types of at-home escape rooms and you’re looking for another, Cypher House Escape offers a lot of value with Escape the Arcade.

Buy your box of Cypher House Escape’s Escape the Arcade and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Note that we reviewed the Etsy version of Escape the Arcade. It is now also available directly from the Cypher House website. It sounds like the website version has made the hint system less clunky on mobile devices and decreased buffer time.

Full disclosure: Cypher House Escape provided a complimentary reviewer’s copy of this game.

 

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