The Deckscape Heist of Venice is a Deckscape game – a portable Escape Room Game for the home with cards. We are a troop of master thieves with special skills. Our mission: break into the casino in Venice, solve puzzles, use our skills and steal the 1 billion euro poker chip and escape..
For the Great Heist of Venice, everyone takes on the role of a thief and has talents we need to pull off the heist without getting caught. We are a team with a maximum of 6 thieves who have long since retired, but one day each receive a mysterious threatening letter that forces us to pull off this heist. And we have to do it together, because the Deckscape Heist in Venice is, like all Escape Games for the home, a cooperative game.
Great challenges await us in the casino: Riddles and codes to crack and some tasks that require all our talents to make it through. Let’s go, time is ticking and we only have a maximum of 60 minutes to find the 1 billion euro chip, steal it and escape without getting caught.
The Deckscape games are a series of different escape room games in pocket format with large-format cards from the game manufacturer Abacusspiele. At the moment there are already 4 different missions to solve from the publisher, which are designed quite differently – “one played, all played” is therefore not true! Each Deckscape Game is a self-contained, story-driven scenario with a mission that you play through chronologically from beginning to end.
Escape room games are a young experience trend that is so successful that some game companies have developed Escape Room Games for the home. In fact, the implementation of Escape Games as a game for the home differs significantly from one another in some cases and we compare the Deckscape Heist of Venice with the competition. The conclusion and the evaluation are based on our experience of more than 15 Escape Rooms in Berlin as well as of playing various Escape Games for at home such as the Exit the Abandoned Cabin by Kosmos-Verlag or the Exit Puzzle Space Observatory by Ravensburger.
How original, varied and challenging are the puzzles in Deckscape Heist of Venice?
Who is it worth buying this Deckscape game for?
Note: Abacusspiele kindly provided us with a review copy of Deckscape Heist of Venice. However, this review is unpaid and reflects our honest opinion.
The mission: We are a team of 6 master thieves who are actually retired. But one day we each receive a letter threatening our arrest if we don’t steal the 1 billion euro poker chip from the casino in Venice. The theft as well as the successful escape are our big mission!
The pocket-sized game box contains 60 numbered cards and an important folded plan with information. In addition, you need notepaper and a pen to solve some of the puzzles. To time the game, you also need a watch or a smartphone.
Besides the story, the illustrations support the mood. In addition, a clear drawing style is important for solving the picture puzzles. both are well done.
Each card is numbered, placed on the table as a face-down deck with 1 on top. It is important to keep to the chronological order, otherwise the Escape Game will not work! There is no need for instructions because the first cards explain how everything works and during the Escape Game there are instructions printed on other cards to guide you through the game. On the last card, there’s the big story finale, where you find out what happens to you.
After the 6 master detectives have each received a letter, they travel to Venice and introduce themselves to each other. To do this, you place the 6 character cards on the table. Each player decides on a depicted character with an alias, job title and a puzzling sentence as a character description. Only this player is allowed to read the back of his character and look at it during the game – because each character has a different ability and information written on it.
If you are less than 6 players, you distribute the remaining cards among yourselves and some play several characters. All the information and talents must be used to complete the deckscape heist in Venice!
The mission really starts with the scoring card, on which you note down the strat time. From now on, the clock is ticking and at the end you can check how long it took us.
During the mission, decisions have to be made that influence the end of the story. So there are also alternative story endings at the end.
In this Deckscape game, there are two different types of cards: puzzles and items. Some of the cards show painted objects, which are laid out face up for the entire game and can be used to solve the puzzles. In addition to a picture, the puzzle cards consist of a task that the 6 master thieves solve together. As soon as they have agreed on a solution, they turn the card over and find the correct solution on the back. If you are right, you move on; if you are wrong, you write an x on the score sheet.
When solving the puzzles, there is only one attempt at a solution and you have to come up with the exact solution. Since it happens time and again that no one gets the idea how to solve the puzzle when looking at the puzzle card, there is help available for the Deckscape Heist in Venice – just like in Live Escape Games. Part of the game is a clue card printed on both sides with a sentence in mirror writing for each puzzle that helps to solve it. Some puzzles are quite tough, hats off to the team that manages to solve all puzzles in under 60 minutes without any clues!
Practically all types of puzzles that can be implemented with cards occur in this Escape Game. There are many picture puzzles where you have to look carefully. There are also puzzles that can only be solved by one team member with his or her special ability and additional information. There are also deciphering puzzles, logic puzzles, you also have to do some calculations and combination puzzles. And then there are puzzles that require memory or the use of objects.
The puzzles vary in difficulty, but that also depends on your subjective feeling and which types of puzzles you like. Overall, it is not easy to solve the mission in 60 minutes.
All Deckscape Games have in common that you do not use up the game material and can play it again. This is not the case, for example, with the Exit games from Kosmos, where you use the game material and consume it.
With the Exit Puzzles by Ravensburger, you puzzle the Escape Room together, the puzzles are in the motif and you are therefore only in one room. These types of Escape Games last much longer than 60 minutes because of the puzzling. In the Deckscape heist in Venice, the story takes you through the casino and you move through various fictional rooms with clearly limited time.
For those who like solving puzzles and using their grey matter, Deckscape Heist in Venice gives you versatile puzzles that require you to work together. Unlike the Deckscape Fate of London, there are also puzzles here that only one player can solve alone, so everyone is in the spotlight at times. But most of the puzzles are solved together.
The Deckscape consists of puzzles that are connected by the story, so it is a puzzle game. Due to the requirement to complete the mission in 60 minutes, the tension increases during the game as the time dwindles. Because the game takes so little time to complete, Deckscape is well suited for a game night. However, you should be concentrated on the task at hand, as a nightcap game it is a little exhausting.
In this Escape Game for the home, you embody (at least) one character with special abilities, which is not the case with any other such game I have come across. This allows the combination of solving puzzles together and solo puzzles with secret knowledge, so each character is indispensable and important for solving the mission.
During the mission, there are always several puzzles to solve in parallel. This is a great way to get to work in parallel. The puzzles are versatile and varied, although picture puzzles take up the largest part. All the puzzles are easy to solve in terms of difficulty, but 60 minutes is a lot of time!
A special puzzle awaits you at the finale, for which you have to put together several cards to form an escape plan. Since you are also running out of time, this increases the fun of the game and I found it very satisfying to finish the mission with a special puzzle.
When playing Escape Games, there are the euphoric moments when you solve a difficult puzzle and the moments of frustration when you just can’t get any further. The latter was not the case with us, but we were sometimes a hair’s breadth away from the exact right solution because there is only right or wrong and no room for manoeuvre. If you are ambitious enough to solve the puzzles without the mostly quite simplistic hints, there is no approach in small steps.
Short, cooperative puzzle game in which everyone also has a solo appearance. Everybody embodies a character with special abilities, which additionally ensures varied puzzle variations. A successful puzzle game that requires concentration for a short 60 minutes!
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