Deckscape The Fate of London is a Deckscape Game – a portable Escape Room game in pocket format and consists of cards. We are agents of Scotland Yard. Our mission: find bombs, solve puzzles, crack codes and save London! And all that in 60 minutes.
In this Escape Game for the home, London’s fate is in our hands. We are the best agents of Scotland Yard and the British royal family is counting on us to save London from a major threat. At the beginning, all we know is that there are 4 bombs hidden somewhere in London that need to be defused. We get a package and that’s where the puzzling starts – because there is only one way to open it. Inside, the objects that we are allowed to take with us on the mission cause question marks. No matter, pack up and go. Because we only have 60 minutes to solve Deckscape – The Fate of London!
The Deckscape games are portable escape games from the game manufacturer Abacusspiele, which consist of large-format cards. You play through them chronologically – which means solving many different puzzles, defusing the bombs and experiencing many a surprise!
Deckscape – The Fate of London is the second of its kind we’ve played, and it has to stand comparison with the very different escape game versions of the competition: for example, the Exit games from Kosmos, the Exit Puzzles from Ravensburger and the Live Escape Room Games of which I have already played over 20. On Abenteuer Freundschaft you can also find the experience reports about the best Berlin Escape Games.
How varied, challenging and easy to solve are the puzzles in Deckscape – The Fate of London?
Who is it worth buying this Deckscape game for?
Note: Abacusspiele kindly provided us with a review copy of Deckscape – The Fate of London. However, this review is unpaid and gives our honest opinion.
The Mission: We are top agents of Scotland Yard and have been chosen for the top secret mission to save London! Because long ago, four bombs were placed in the city as the ultimate defensive weapon. And these bombs have now been activated. Our task is to solve puzzles to find the bombs in time and defuse them!
In the game box there is a stack of cards with 60 numbered cards. It is recommended to have notepaper and a pen ready, as well as a clock.
The illustrations fit the story and support the mood of the story. The style consists of clean lines – which is important for solving some of the puzzles.
Starting with card 1, we play through the cards in order up to 60 and just have to make sure that the order of the cards has not been changed. The first cards are also the game instructions and game masters. They explain how Deckscape – The Fate of London works and guide you through the story of the Escape Game. You play through the cards in ascending order from 1-60.
As soon as the mission really starts (this is what a card tells us), we note down our time – this is how we check at the end how long it took us to solve Deckscape – The Fate of London.
At the end, there are alternative story endings depending on whether and how you have completed the mission.
There are two types of cards: items and riddles. The riddle cards show a picture and there is a task that the agent team has to solve. The solution is written on the back of the card. For each puzzle that is not solved or is solved incorrectly, an x is written down – penalty time is then added at the end. The goal is to complete the mission in 60 minutes. Cards with objects painted on them are collected and placed on the table – they are needed to solve the puzzles during the mission!
For each puzzle, the team agrees on a solution, because you only have one try. If you turn the card over, it’s top or flop. Since it often happens that you get stuck just looking at the puzzle, the two clue cards are a great help. On each card you will find a very simplified help for solving the puzzle in mirror writing.
The Deckscape – The Fate of London includes many types of puzzles that are typical for Escape Games. There are search puzzles, puzzles to decipher, logic puzzles, optical illusions, combination puzzles, codes to crack and many picture puzzles. The latter are particularly suitable for a card game. This keeps the puzzles exciting and you always have to think outside the box.
In the Exit games from Kosmos Verlag, you use the material to solve the puzzles – this is also the case with Fate of London, albeit in a toned-down way. This means that there are also a few beautiful, unusual puzzles that will make the eyes of Escape Game newcomers shine. In return, the game material remains whole and is not cut up or used up like in the exit games.
At the start of the game, we play four different storylines in parallel, which lead to a finale. While the opening puzzles are still quite solvable, the puzzles of the finale get really crunchy in parts and it is not easy to complete the mission in 60 minutes!
Riddling, puzzling, looking closely, combining – those who love puzzles and like to put their grey cells to work together get a box of versatile puzzle fun. In contrast to Live Escape Games where searching and finding in the room plays an important role alongside solving the puzzles, this portable Escape Game consists almost exclusively of puzzles. Time is at a premium – you only have 60 minutes (minus the wrong answers that give you minus time) to solve all the puzzles. This creates suspense and raises the level of difficulty.
Deckscape is perfect for an entertaining games evening or an afternoon of games with friends or family with children over 12. It is advisable to be concentrated on the task at hand, as there is only one attempt at a solution with right or wrong.
The mission is nicely constructed with simpler parallel storylines and puzzles and a challenging finale. For an Escape Game using only cards, I expected the puzzles to be of the same type and was delighted by the versatility of the puzzle types. I particularly liked the fact that sometimes it was just a matter of changing the point of view and using the cards differently. So far, I had only known this from the Exit games from the Kosmos publishing house, where this is used more, but the game material is also destroyed, while the cards in the Deckscape The Fate of London remain whole.
Some of the puzzles were challenging, but this depends very much on how experienced one is and how well versed in the different types of puzzles. It is a pity that there is only top or flop in solving the puzzles and no step-by-step approach: if you are on the right path but have not led a thought to the required end, for example, this can lead to frustration because you were actually right. If you want to do as well as possible in this deckscape, the team should be focused on the task at hand.
We had moments of frustration (precisely because of a lack of concentration and missing the solution by a hair’s breadth) as well as euphoric moments when we solved a particularly tricky puzzle correctly or thought around the corner just right. Compared to a live escape game, where you are often on adrenaline non-stop and the thrill sometimes whips up the emotions, the emotions didn’t boil as high – but we haven’t experienced that with any other home escape game yet.
Overall, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously and the humour comes out especially towards the end. For our game evening, the atmosphere was positive and just right.
Varied puzzles that, together with the story, increase in ambition towards the finale make for a mission that keeps the brains of a team of agents working at full speed for an hour. Successful puzzle game for a game evening with friends or the family with children from 12 years!
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