With the popularity of escape rooms climbing in the UK (we have 5 to choose from in Bournemouth alone), we have yet to find one locally that is child friendly, so when Smyths Toy Store offered the chance to review Operation: Escape Room, we jumped at the chance.
The kids love challenge games, whether it is completing a quest or mission, or just finding the answer to a question, it can make a day out seem much more fun. Operation: Escape Room gives the opportunity to make your home into your very own escape room.
The game requires some assembly when you get it out of the box, which takes around 5 minutes. Simply build the key cage and the lucky spinner and pop 2 x AAA batteries into the timer strap and you are good to go.
The game requires a minimum of 2 players, although is more fun with more and is aimed at children aged 6 and over.
The first mission is to choose a teammate to wear the escape belt and work together to free them. Isaac and Eliza decided to try to save Sebby, as at 5 he is a little bit young to complete the challenges, but he did help them.
To start the mission, lock the belt on a player and set the timer on the belt.
You then have to try to hook the first key out of the challenge box, which is not as easy as it looks.
Next are 45 colour coded cards with challenges to complete. Green = easy, Amber = Intermediate , Red = Hard.
The strategy challenge has players completing mathematical puzzles, finding patterns and solving problems to crack the code. The skill challenge tests your ability to navigate a maze, while the luck challenge leaves it all up to chance.
You have to put the code number from the card onto the dial and then spin the letter wheel to the correct answer. Answer 3 questions correctly and it will release the next key.
Completing each challenge earns you one of the three keys you need to release your teammate.
If you can not complete all tasks in time, the player wearing the belt stays captured and everyone loses, don’t panic though, there is a safety release button, just in case.
The instructions were not quite as clear as they could have been and the game was a bit of trial and error at first, but we soon go the hang of it and started making the game more difficult by hiding the tasks around the house.
It is very satisfying completing the final challenge and seeing the belt pop off when the release button is pushed, especially if you are racing to beat the timer.
Both Isaac and Eliza thoroughly enjoyed this game and I think it will be very popular when friends come round to play, or at Christmas time with all the family.
Operation: Escape Room is available at Smyths Toys Superstore for an RRP of £19.99.