Even though I’m traditionalist and believe that nothing is as powerful, or as much fun, in the gaming universe as dice, board, cards and a little imagination, I’m also a pragmatist and understand, and appreciate, that the digital revolution isn’t going to go away anytime soon and is increasingly playing a larger role in gaming and how game are played and perceived. Space Cowboys understand that too and while their hearts beat in time to the echo of dice being frantically pounded across tables everywhere, they’re also aware that the future is unavoidable and with that in mind, they created Unlock!
A card based, co-operative game for between and six players loosely based on a similar premise to the hugely popular Escape Rooms, Unlock! requires that it’s participants use its free app to play and successfully negotiate the game. If you don’t download the app, you can’t play. It’s that simple. Wait, what’s that, cards and technology being used in full and synchronous co-operation in the same system? That’s right folks, those cunning wizards at Space Cowboys have found a way to perfectly balance the past and the future in order to create a relatively easy to learn and simple to play, fast, ingeniously inventive and fun game for the present.
The app and cards work seamlessly together as the players utilise both to escape the sticky situations and solve the haunting and complex mysteries that Unlock! plunges them headlong into. Even though the rules, and the system that Unlock utilises, are smooth, straightforward and simple, the actual puzzles that the players need to solve aren’t and require, and necessitate, that they work together at all times to complete the game within the specified time-limit, which is measured by the constantly ticking clock on the app. Wrong choices and ill thought out decisions result in penalties, and clear thinking and reasoned logic are the only way to seize victory. Devilishly simple, but hideously difficult at the same, time Unlock! really gets under your skin and keeps you focused solely on the objective at hand.
Each of the Unlock! boxes comes complete with three fully interactive scenarios, including escaping a haunted house and preventing a cursed book unleashing it’s evil on the world, a steampunk inspired submarine adventure, helping capture a mad scientist who has unleashed a strange fog on the world, an incredibly detailed quest in L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz and more besides. Ranging in complexity from ‘easy’ (which they’re most certainly not) to ‘difficult’ (which they most certainly are), each of the encounters will ensure that you spend hours frantically chewing through your brain matter in an attempt to solve the many clues and mysteries while the digital component adds everything else that you’ll ever need, including wonderfully effective soundtracks, to thoroughly enjoy each and every single moment of Unlock!. Step inside if you dare… Tim Cundle