Yep, another heist…
Embrace your inner gangster and rob the casino blind!
You’ve already made a name for yourself on the streets and are excited to take part in the biggest casino robbery the world has ever seen. With a team of world-renowned thieves on your side, you are sure your clever minds will be able to execute the perfect crime! Do you have what it takes to break into the underground casino vault and escape without getting caught?
Good luck gangsters!
Every Sunday, escape room enthusiasts from around the globe have been joining in the EGOlympics, organised by the ‘Escape Roomers DE’ Facebook group. We participated the previous week, with Crime Runners: Back to the Congressman, and loved the feeling of competition and the game selection so much that we decided to take part again, this time with Operation Jackpot, from Big Break Hamburg.
I knew nothing about this game going into it, and had I known, I may have passed on it (Everyone has that theme for a game that they aren’t wild about, mine is a heist). But I would have been wrong to pass. I’m still not a lover of heist themes, and the game wasn’t without its frustrating moments for me, but the good outweighed the bad, with Operation Jackpot providing a number of clever puzzles, pleasing moments, and a surprising amount of fun.
Operation Jackpot is entirely browser-based, housed on its own little website. The design of the game is pretty basic and offered little in the way of surprises, using images and audio clips, but also providing a few instances of more advanced point and click and interactive puzzles. The game is very linear, and each puzzle results in a code or password that must be entered to progress, but annoyingly, the password entry field is obscured. I understand this tactic for protecting my banking password, but it is my pet peeve on an online escape game, equivalent to a live game making a puzzle more difficult by not providing enough light, as it makes it impossible to know if you’ve entered a solution incorrectly due to fat fingers, or if you’ve just completely missed the mark.
Complaints about password obscurification aside, despite the simple design, Operation Jackpot tried to be as immersive as possible within the constraints of the platform, with audio clips providing bits of story, giving the game a narrative which continued throughout, and contained a few unexpected plot twists.
Operation Jackpot started strong, with several puzzles straight off that were engaging, interesting, and a bit more complex, but as we progressed, we ran into one or two that just felt a bit off and we felt as though we were taking some logic leaps. However, one puzzle, in particular, required a significant amount of outside knowledge where none of the others had required leaving the game for external research. Granted, if your knowledge of pop culture is extensive, you may not have even noticed, but Gord and I found ourselves scouring the internet for the name of a person that we did not recognise from a television show we had never seen for quite some time, resulting in a fair amount of frustration.
But once we got over our frustration on that, we could appreciate the beauty of some of the puzzles that came later.
Big Break Hamburg advise that you will need headphones to complete one puzzle, and I have to say, that audio puzzle is perhaps one of the most clever we have come across. And yes, you shouldn’t ignore the advice to use headphones – it is impossible without them. Another puzzle was absolutely beautiful in its simplicity, providing a wonderful “Ah-Ha!” moment.
A PDF containing hints and solutions is included in the confirmation email you receive. The document is long, dedicating one clue per page, and generally with two to three clues per puzzle, plus the solution… I’m sure you can imagine the amount of scrolling involved if you need a hint. Thanks to the linear structure of the game, the clues are laid out in chronological order, so there’s no chance of spoilers, especially with a warning on each of the pages containing the final hint for that puzzle indicating that if you continue to scroll, you’ll find the solution. The only real issue was that these hints were labelled “Puzzle 1,” “Puzzle 2,” etc., and if you couldn’t remember how many puzzles you had already worked through, it could become a little tedious scrolling through to find the help you need.
While heist-themed games are unlikely to ever be my favourite, Operation Jackpot kept us entertained with decent puzzles for over an hour. It’s simple, but effective.
- Desktop/Laptop with an internet connection (Also compatible with tablets but not mobile phones)
- Headphones (required for one puzzle)
- Smart Phone (required for one puzzle)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 68 mins