Good story, Good puzzles, Good game.
Retrieve the sword of the dragon king and save the kingdom in this online escape room game.
Since the world ‘unlocked’ we’ve been quite busy doing things like going on holiday (in the UK) and playing regular in-person escape rooms. Because of this it’s been a while since we played an online game, and I must admit, I had kinda forgotten how fun they are. E-Scape Rooms are a company we are familiar with as we played their ‘The Alp’ and quite liked it, so when we saw they had a new game we were excited to give it a try.
Technically The Sword of Drakul can be played on one device, but really this game is designed to be played by at least two players and on different devices. Even though Liz and I were in the same room, we decided to log in separately on our own computers and play as if we were playing remotely from each other.
Like ‘The Alp’, The Sword of Drakul is on the Telescape platform. If you’ve not heard or used Telescape before then where have you been for the last 18 months or so?! Telescape is a great development that has come out of this crazy world and makes for a fun and collaborative approach to playing online games. The best thing about Telescape is that you can see each other’s cursors on the screen and if one person completes something, it unlocks it for everyone in your team.
Although the intro text to this review is pretty short, there’s actually quite a lot of backstory with this game, and it is introduced in the form of an opening video when the game is started (don’t worry, the timer doesn’t start until after this is over). For me, the game had a Lord of the Rings crossed with Game of Thrones type of vibe about it.
While The Alp was a horror game and probably not suitable for family groups, The Sword of Drakul was much more family friendly. There was nothing that I would class as scary or too ‘adult’ in the game and the topic was one that I quite enjoyed.
The graphics themselves were really rather good and the game looked slick. Couple that with some decent animations from when items were solved and it made for a genuinely pleasant game to play.
This game is mostly about one thing, communication. A number of the puzzles rely on communication between players, where one player will be looking at an item and trying to explain it to a team mate so they can enter it and solve the puzzle. Other than communication, puzzles rely on observation, logic, lateral thinking, minor maths, and some audio puzzles.
You could probably also say that searching is one of the puzzles. When you move your cursor over something that you can interact with, a dragon’s eye appears, the trick is to find where all the items are. We managed to miss one for a while and it delayed us by a few minutes.
One puzzle would have been quite tricky to complete had they not made a design choice to make it a bit simpler, and we were certainly thankful for this. I won’t say specifically which puzzle, but if you see any apples, that’s the one. If I had to choose a favourite puzzle, then I think it would be the one involving ‘spells’. This puzzle could have been frustrating and slow, but it was very well designed so that it was quick to solve once you knew what you were doing.
Signposting was good and it was quite clear to know what went where. I think there was one puzzle that stumped us and that was because we didn’t interact with it as much as we should have. It would have been nice to have this signposted a little clearer as you don’t normally interact with this item until you have solved the puzzle, not in the process of solving it. Saying that, once we realised what we needed to do, we felt a bit dim.
Being the thorough reviewers that we are, we made sure to have a look at the clue system to see what it was like, not that we needed to, honest… Ok, maybe we needed to have a look on one occasion due to a search fail. When we looked, what we found was a granular clue system that would give you clues relating to the room you were in. The clues were broken down according to the puzzle name and you had to click to get the first clue, and then the subsequent ones.
Because the puzzles were all so logical (and fun) we didn’t need to venture into the clue system too much, so once again we don’t know what happens if you get really stuck. I would guess that there would be enough info to get you through the game one way or another, and possibly that they would have the solution in there too if you get really stuck – but that’s a guess.
The Sword of Drakul seemed to take away a lot of the frustrations with their first game, The Alp, and this made for an enjoyable experience. The graphics were slick and the puzzles were solid, well done E-Scape Rooms, you’ve made a cracking game!
- PC or Laptop strongly recommended
- Pen and Paper for note taking (optional)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 40mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review