“Turn the difficulty to 11”
Your mission begins where we left off at the end of Episode 1: Lisa Hammerschmidt – aka Agent Crimson – has been rescued from her prison in The Cube, and has briefed the agency on Professor BlackSheep’s evil plan. The Professor has been kidnapping the world’s top scientists and forcing them to build a system capable of hijacking humanity’s brain power, and turning the world’s citizens into sheep-like followers. Agent Crimson is moving into the heart of The Cube to locate this machine, known as Alpha Brain Systems, and free the kidnapped scientists. Some time ago we lost contact with her, and Agent Q and Lord Hammerschmidt are going in to find her. Your job is to direct them from Mission Control, to help them find Agent Crimson, and stop Professor BlackSheep in his tracks.
clueQuest make great escape rooms, and fortunately they now make great play at home games too. We’d played Episode 1 a couple of weeks ago and as soon as we finished we couldn’t wait for Episode 2 to be released. Once it was finally released, we were straight on it and our team scheduled a Zoom date to tackle it.
While we were waiting for our date, we couldn’t help but notice a few teams talking about how hard the game was and we saw some teams taking over 2.5 hours to complete it (much longer than the first). What we didn’t account for was that clueQuest took this feedback on board and actually released a revised (marginally) easier version just before we were going to play, unfortunately, half our team had printed the original version and the other half had printed the easier one. Being hardcore enthusiasts we decided we wanted to see what all the fuss was about so we opted to stick with the harder original version.
The concept of this game is in the title, there’s no avoiding it, you need to Print, Cut, and then Escape. This game weighs in at a pretty sizeable 26 pages (two more than Episode 1) so it will give your printer a good workout, although it’s also worth noting that you can pay a little extra to have clueQuest print it for you.
Once you’ve printed all the pages, the next step is the hardest, cutting it all out! Be prepared to get an RSI from all the cutting you need to do. Saying that we can’t complain about the cutting, it’s in the title so it was not surprising, and the way you cut things out and how they later come back together is what helps to take this game to the next level.
As with everything clueQuest, there is more to this game than just printing and cutting. There is a slick online portal that you interact with to progress through the story, including videos that give a nice sense of immersion.
If you gave this game a higher price-tag then perhaps you would expect to have pieces already perforated for you and delivered in a fancy box, but for £12, what you get in this game is a bargain.
Firstly, these puzzles are hard, really hard. We did the harder version but afterwards, we were able to look at the easier version. I say easier but it is still going to be a good challenge for people, the puzzles are the same but they’ve just made it a little bit clearer on how to get to the solution.
This game has a lot going for it and manages to fit a lot of different styles of puzzles in. Observation is key as there are a lot of small details that you will need to notice in order to succeed, but outside of the box thinking is also vital. Working out how to use the cutout pages is a puzzle in itself, at times it reminded me of an old-school pop-up book.
Even though this game is hard (did I say that already?) we didn’t actually need any clues, which to me says that the puzzles are solid puzzles and if you spend enough time to really think about them, then you’ll solve them.
Having used the clue system when we completed Episode 1 we know that the hint system would have been just cryptic enough to get us back on track without revealing too much of the puzzle to take away our sense of accomplishment.
clueQuest have turned the difficulty up to 11 for this game and that will likely give you love/hate feelings towards it. We loved it and it kept us occupied for nearly 2 hours, which for £12 is a bargain. If you want a challenge, give it a try!
- Laptop/Computer with an internet connection
- Printer + 24 pages of paper (or select Print and Post at checkout)
- Glue/Sellotape could help
- A pen and paper may be helpful
|Value for Money|
Team: 5 players
Time Taken: 1hr 55 mins (no clues)