Escape rooms have become a very popular game to play, an excellent immersive interactive experience for groups of friends, colleagues and family to enjoy. Purpose-built escape rooms are popping up all over the place and they are excellent, taking the humble board game to a new challenging level with some real and interactive puzzles to solve. Escape rooms see a group of people locked into a room and they need to work together to find and solve a series of clues, usually within 60 minutes, to escape the room. They are excellent fun, perfect for team building and bonding but can be expensive for a family at around £20-£25 per person (depending on how many people are playing), so a group of 4 could be spending £80-£100 for a 1 hour experience.
With everybody trying to save money on their everyday expenditure, escape rooms to play in the comfort of your own home are becoming increasingly popular. It means that you don’t have to leave home, and the cost per person is drastically reduced.
We have tried several escape rooms at home, some family-orientated and some for teenagers and adults and love them all. They come in varying difficulty levels to suit all ages/difficulty levels. They are lots of fun and a great way to spend some quality time together. Now print at home escape rooms packs are becoming popular, especially as you can buy, print and start playing immediately, no need to visit a shop or buy online and wait for delivery. One such game is The Murderous Scallywag from Epic Escapes.
The Murderous Scallywag is a print at home escape room game for one to six players with a playing time of 60 minutes. It is a murder mystery puzzle where you must piece together the clues to find the location and open it so that you can bring a murderer to justice. It has an intermediate difficulty rating.
The year is 1902. The city is awash with villainous gangs, pickpockets and thieves. All very small fry, as there is only one big fish you are after.
You and your team of detectives have finally arrested the notorious murderer David “Scallywag” Wallis. Word has it that he has committed around 20 murders.
With the hot glow of a bulb glaring in his eyes, sat in an interview room, you finally make Wallis spill the beans.
He tells you that all the evidence you need to pin the murders on him, is locked in a safe in a hidden location.
Can you find the location of the hidden safe and the code to open it before the murder escapes justice?
The Murderous Scallywag is a print at home escape room game probably best suited for teenagers and adults because of the theme and the difficulty level. Once you purchase it from the Epic Escapes website you immediately receive and email with a link to download three PDF files (Puzzles, Solutions and Instructions / Hints). You will need access to a printer and the files can be printed in black & white or colour and look great either way (although in colour does look much better). The game puzzles will include newspaper clippings, cipher wheels, maps and more, all of which easily print on to A4 sheets of paper – if you print all three PDF files there are twenty-two pages.
There are two ways that you can play, with or without a gamemaster. If you choose to play without a gamemaster you can print the pages and just start playing. If you choose to play with a gamemaster they print and hide the pages around a room and give you the hints when requested! We played without a gamemaster so there was no setup required and once we had printed the pages, we commenced our investigation. Once we started to play, we set a timer for 60 minutes and started on our quest to try and solve the puzzles to locate and unlock the safe using a four digit code. We played the game with 4 people and with time running down to try and find the evidence to charge our murder suspect, we had to get a move on.
To find the evidence to convict a murder we had to decipher a series of clues littered though the printed pages.
The puzzles we needed to solve are a clever collection of brainteasers designed to get the brain kicking into high gear. The clues are reasonably challenging and work together very well. When we got stuck, there are hints available in the form of decoding them with a simple letter shift system or by scanning a QR code (which is excellent at stopping anyone accidently seeing the solutions and having an unfair advantage). Clues are made up of interviews, maps, newspaper cuttings, code wheel etc.
The game finishes when the clues have been deciphered to reveal the hidden location of the safe and the code to open it. To check to see if you have successfully solved the puzzle, you scan a QR code or visit the website to enter the code and reveal the answer (if the code is incorrect you don’t get the answer).
Overall, we had a fantastic, at times frustrating, time playing The Murderous Scallywag. We all really enjoyed spending an hour together trying to solve this puzzle and we did manage to obtain the correct code! We enjoyed deciphering the clues, finding numbers and using basic maths skills to solve the puzzles and work out things on the map to try and bring a murderer to justice. The children got involved and enjoyed the puzzles (working together with the adults to solve them) and had a great time – teenagers and adults will love it.
When you look at how much a one hour visit to an escape for 4 people would cost (around the £80 mark), paying £14.97 for a print at home game that you can play in the comfort of your own home is a bargain (it works out as a cost of approx. £3.75 per player if 4 play or a bargain price of £2.50 if all six play). Not bad for an evening’s entertainment.
We enjoyed the game and think it is better played with a group of people rather than a single player game. It was lots of fun to play as a family and we loved that we could purchase the game, print and play immediately. The hint system is excellent and works very well; simple yet effective whilst being easy to use with no accidental viewing of solutions.
Whilst it is a one use game, like most escape room games, it can be used again and played by other players so you can get extended use out of the game (you could become the gamemaster with a group of other players).
If you enjoy escape room, logic or puzzle games and want something a bit different for your game nights other than the go to board games, then I can highly recommend The Murderous Scallywag. An excellent way to spend an hour of quality time with friends and family and having lots of brainteasing puzzling fun.
RRP: £14.97 (Print at home so a printer or access to a printer is required)
For more information or to buy, visit www.epic-escapes.games.
DISCLOSURE: I received this item for free for the purposes of writing an honest and impartial review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.