PlayMonster – Break In Area 51 [Review]

Welcome To Earth

Location:  at home

Date Played: March 1, 2021

Team size: 1-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 2 hours

Price: about $20

REA Reaction

Break In Area 51 comfortably sits among the standout mass-produced tabletop escape games. This game was a gem.

Area 51 humorously told the tale of an alien who’d crashed to Earth and needed to retrieve their spacecraft to escape this primitive rock. We enjoyed experiencing that story.

Break In Area 51 box art shows alien hands opening a chainlink fence.

The puzzles we solved along the way were fun, challenging, and fair. My only major issue with them was an imbalanced difficulty curve.

Beyond that, it felt like the series is still figuring out how to onboard new players, and the hint system continued to feel incomplete.

Overall, Area 51 was a strong product that came together a bit better than the original game in the series, Break In Alcatraz. Both games were worth playing, but if you’re buying only one game from this series, make it Area 51.

Series Overview

This review only covers details specific to this individual game from Break In.

For a detailed explanation of the concept and mechanics, and a general analysis of the entire product line, check out our Break In Overview.

Story

We had crash landed on Earth and our ship had been taken by the humans. The on-board AI had transmitted its location to us, a research lab for things that the humans didn’t understand. We had to retrieve our ship, repair it, and get off of this rock.

A strange laser sword with a transparent red filter. A cow with a television screen for a head.

Analysis

The analysis in this section is about the content of Break In Area 51. To see our analysis of the structure, refer to our Break In overview.

➕ The story of breaking into Area 51 as an alien seeking to retrieve their ship was clever.

➕ This was a funny game.

➕ The puzzles generally felt good throughout.

➖ The one notable exception was an early puzzle that felt a little too tough given its early placement in the experience. The difficulty curve was off.

➕ A highlight for this game was a simple yet wonderful tactile moment. It reminded me of a great moment in a real-life escape game.

Closed Area 51 game

Buy your copy of PlayMonster’s Break in Area 51, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: PlayMonster provided a sample for review.

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