A pun free review – eggsellent
As any hard-boiled detective knows, it’s important to keep your sleuthing skills at the top of their game. Luckily, the egg-heads over at clueQuest HQ have developed this training course for all our agents. So scramble together a team and get ready to foil the villainous Professor Blacksheep as he attempts to poach our latest technological marvel – the Elastic Gateway Generator.
clueQuest seem to be among the most prolific creators of online escape rooms right now, and they are very on the ball with getting games released specifically for select holidays, first was ‘Halloween Survival Escape Training’ for Halloween, then ‘Mechanics of the Heart’ for Valentine’s day, and now they’ve just released Operation E.G.G. in time for Easter.
We’ve been fortunate that (I think) we’ve played all of the clueQuest Print +Cut + Escape games, and it’s safe to say we’ve enjoyed them all. You will be hard pushed to find any company that puts as much into their story and design as clueQuest do, and their puzzles are devilishly challenging!
This review is being written with Easter not yet upon us, yet I have eaten my weight in chocolate already (I have a 3kg bag of mini eggs staring at me right now), so if you’re looking for a way to perhaps slow down your chocolate consumption over Easter, then Operation E.G.G could be a great distraction to break the munching.
As we’re seasoned clueQuest players now, we pretty much knew what to expect, so we dusted off the printer, found our scissors, and sat down (with 3kg of mini eggs) to see if we could once again outsmart Professor Blacksheep.
Operation E.G.G. is part of the clueQuest Print + Cut + Escape range, so as you may expect, this is a print and play game. You download the PDF once you log in to the portal and you can choose how much you actually want to print. Technically not all of the pages need printing but you will need to print some. We opted to print all 20 pages because we wanted to experience this game as it was intended, but clueQuest are considerate that all the printing is in black and white so you won’t need to remortgage the house to buy more ink. (Plus, if any little people in the household aren’t up to puzzling, they can always join in by colouring instead.)
Once you log in to the portal you are also given the opportunity to personalise the game in places. This is something we first noticed clueQuest introducing in their Mechanics of the Heart game, and we thought it was a nice touch. If you’re playing this game with family (or friends, virtually), it gives you a chance to add some of your own humour and memories into the game. You can also use this personalisation option to make it more of an interactive hunt in your own home (like an easter egg hunt?). You could put in a clue to say where chapter two is and the players then have to find that location to get the documentation they need. This personalisation doesn’t appear on the printed pages, just in the online area.
Although this is a print and play, you do also still need to interact with the online portal, we’ve played this type of game remotely with friends using Zoom (screen sharing) and it worked well, just make sure anyone you’re playing with has a copy of the PDF and relevant printed pages. The online portal is a nice way to tie everything together and helps to drive the story forward using the same narrative and characters that we have been introduced to in the past – you can still play this game without having played any of their other games.
I made the mistake of checking a review by a blogger friend of ours for this game and saw that she blitzed it in less than 30 minutes, we took nearly twice that! This just reinforces what we say when we talk about puzzles in that sometimes they just click, and sometimes they really don’t. For us, we didn’t click with these puzzles at all and really struggled on most of them.
clueQuest have made it much easier to know what to cut up and how to interact with the pages so at least that was easy enough to follow. I’m going to put down our struggles with these puzzles due to being in a chocolate haze that clouded our puzzle solving abilities.
Not all the puzzles were a struggle, and some we actually blitzed through, but some we certainly needed that clue system to get us through! The puzzles we encountered were the typical clueQuest fare; wordplay, observation, pattern recognition, spatial awareness, and even audio played a part.
Despite our struggles, the puzzles were fair and satisfying to eventually solve, especially when coupled with the online portal which helped to take the game away from just being paper based and made it much more interactive.
The clueQuest clue system has been refined more and more with each game and we came to rely on it heavily in Operation E.G.G. I briefly mentioned knowing how to use the print outs and how to interact with them, well that is now covered in the clues. The first clue is to make sure you have the right pieces of paper and then you can receive a few more gradual clues that give you more and more information to help get you back on the right track. If you’re really not getting it, then you can reveal the solution to help you get on to the next puzzle.
It’s not really with the clue system as such but I wasn’t sure where else to put it. One of the nice features with the clueQuest games is that they want you to experience the story and not rush through it. The timer only runs when you’re on the page where you need to enter/solve something, all the prep and story driven content has no timer so you can read it and appreciate the effort that clueQuest have gone to with their creation.
Too much chocolate, or not enough, meant that we struggled with the puzzles in Operation E.G.G., but I could see other teams getting through it in no time at all. Likely fun for all the family, hide chapters around the house and make your team work for it!
Although this is an easter themed game, that really only goes so far as the story and some minor egg-related puns. If you like print and play games, don’t be put off by the theming, this one will be fresh all year round.
- Device with Internet Access
- Printer with 20 sheets of paper (or select Print&Post for £25.00/£28.00 with giftwrap in the UK)
- Video/audio conference call software of your choice (remote teams only)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 59 mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.