Family-friendly fun for the Spooky Season!
Around this time of the year we get numerous reports of Halloween horrors terrorizing neighbourhoods across the world. That’s why we have developed this emergency training course for all field agents – including you!
By the time you’ve graduated, you’ll be well prepared to survive whatever Halloween might throw at you!
We have one week until Halloween, and if you’re anything like me, that means getting into the full spooky swing of things, with horror movies, haunted houses, carving pumpkins, and scouring the UK for one of the seasonal the guilty pleasures of my American childhood: candy corn. (Yes, I am aware it’s disgusting. Don’t judge.) But with the pastime of Trick-or-Treating likely to look very different this year (if it happens at all), parents across the globe are likely looking for a spooky activity to keep their little ghosts and ghouls occupied. Well, look no further the Halloween Survival Escape Training from clueQuest is here.
We don’t have any little people, so never fear, I can confirm that this game is thoroughly enjoyable for people of all ages. And although we feel that kids will really enjoy the game, it is not specifically designed for children, unlike timeQuest Kids, so we highly suggest playing as a family if you are going to get the littles involved. We chose to assemble our usual team of friends to share the fun and prepare for the onslaught of vampires, monsters and zombies. We gathered at the appointed hour on Zoom and began our “training”
Although completely separate from the narrative throughout Stolen IQ, Alpha Brain System, and Humanity 2.0, Halloween Survival Escape Training is part of clueQuest’s Print+Cut+Escape range, and like the others in the range, there is a fair amount of printing, cutting, and, of course, escaping to be expected. Fortunately, the PDF is optimised for printing and black and white, so it makes the 26 page document slightly less strenuous on the printer. If you prefer to skip the printing, for an extra £10 you can receive the game in the post, pre-printed on premium paper with beautifully coloured illustrations. But in all honestly, some of the illustrations are just screaming out for a pack of coloured pencils – perfect as either a secondary activity, or to allow any little ones that might not be up to solving the puzzles to still feel involved in the escaping.
After a bit of pre-game work to ensure our “training” materials were properly prepared, we logged into the game portal and our mission began with a briefing video from Prof. Apollo Calypse to tell us all about the new training course, Special Procedures for Identifying Dangerous Entities and Responding With Extraordinary Brilliance, or S.P.I.D.E.R.W.E.B. Of course, with an acronym like that, I think we can all see the sort of humour that will pervade the experience. The game is split into sections, with a linear progression and clear points to take a break if needed. Unfortunately, the in-game timer won’t pause during the videos, and will continue to count down until you finish, so if you do need a break from the monsters, it will be reflected in your finish time.
Halloween Survival Escape Training felt as though it was lacking in clueQuest’s usual strong narrative to drive it forward (although Professor Blacksheep does make a brief appearance), but given it’s meant to be “training,” that in itself is a narrative. I did feel as though some of the immersion that comes from a strong story was lacking, but the game made up for the lack of strong storyline with excellent Halloween theming and humour, providing us with an hour of silly and seasonal fun.
Observation has always felt like the most critical skill for any of the clueQuest Print+Cut+Escape games, and Halloween Survival Escape Training felt no different, with the fact that noticing the most infintesimal detail can often mean the difference between needing to take a clue or not. But with that said, the puzzles are all so well sign posted between subtle clues in the printed materials and the Online Game System, that you know exactly what you need, so chances are, if a puzzle is only resulting in gibberish, there’s just something that hasn’t been noticed. (If it seems to easy at first, it probably is).
But if observation is not your strong point, there are plenty of additional skills needed, including spatial awareness, deductive reasoning, a hint of logic, some decoding, and even listening. The puzzles were thematic, often humorous, and often multi-faceted. Although the game is linear, there are a few more open moments within puzzles, where you could opt to tackle things in a different order, or even simultaneously, if you happen to play with a remote team and multiple copies of the printed materials.
As we found with the other play at home games from clueQuest, if you’re struggling clues are readily available within the Online Game System. The designers have used the tried and true system of several granular clues to get teams back on track, and followed by the solution if you’re really stuck.
Difficulty is always subjective, but we found that between the game materials and the Online Game System, there was enough signposting that we knew exactly what was needed, and didn’t require any clues. But, this is also the fifth play-at-home game from clueQuest that we’ve played, so we’ve also started to realise how they work, and how the pieces of the puzzles may fit. In terms of difficulty, we felt this fell between their timeQuest kids game and the other games in the series – designed to be more accessible to families, but still enjoyable by enthusiasts.
It’s incredibly important to be able to correctly identify the various creatures that go bump in the night, and know how to respond accordingly. With excellent Halloween theming, family friendly content, clever puzzles, and beautiful artwork, clueQuest’s Halloween Survival Escape Training is a delightful way to to get into the mood for the Spookiest Time of Year.
- Device with Internet Access
- Printer with 26 sheets of paper (or select Print&Post for £25.00 in the UK)
- Tape/glue (optional)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 55 mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.