| April 4th 2016 | Thanks for checking out my blog. I have a new, much better looking version of this review here: http://www.boardgamebarker.com/blog/2015/8/22/escape-the-curse-of-the-temple
With all the buzz on the internet about this game I decided it would be a great target for my next review. I've now had the chance to play both the base game and the expansion several times with all different numbers of players. It doesn't really matter how many you play it with this game is pure gold. It plays like no other all the hype about it on the internet is not for no reason, and people who say it’s not for them I can almost guarantee never gave this one a chance!
My favourite part of this game that makes it pretty unique is the fact that there are no turns. Players will participate in ‘one big turn’ simultaneously and constantly for 10 minutes. Your goal is to escape the cursed temple. To do this you must ALL make your way to the exit tile with all the gems from the “gem depot” placed on their magic altars.
This is a cooperative game and you either win or fail as a team. Although there are several different strategies to win, it is best and easiest if you stick together and really help each other out. Being a lone wolf is not an option as you will soon find yourself trapped without help and no way back to the safe room when you hear the gong.
In order to get a magic gem off the depot and onto an altar you must roll the required number of keys or torches. Some rooms have multiple altars with different values, however you may only fill one of them per room. The required number of keys or torches required to unlock the altar is collective, meaning everyone located on that room’s tile can contribute.
|All the Specialty Dice|
Once the exit tile is drawn you simply have to get all of your gems into a magic altar, then each player must get onto the exit tile. If you all make it before the final sounds of the temple sealing shut play through your speakers you all escape and win, if even one person is left behind you all fail.
As if the game isn't enough fun already they throw in a full expansion that allows for a lot of replay and defiantly makes the game more interesting for more experienced gamers or people that just know how to work well together. I will do a full review of the expansion later.
Let’s talk about who would enjoy this game and why.
Family Gamers: The rules are simple enough that kids can play although if they have never played a cooperative game before this could take some extra explaining. But it is defiantly a game that mom and dad can enjoy while playing with their kids without feeling ‘dumb’ for lack of a better word. This game has no violence or adult theme and if there are any Indiana Jones fans in your family this is sure to be a big hit!
Casual Gamers: Most of my friends would be considered casual gamers, they have only tried a handful of games but do enjoy trying and learning new ones and I can tell you they loved this one. I had them intrigued right from my words “try this game there are no turns and we work as a team”. There is a lot of table talk in this game I think more then I have seen in any other game even other cooperative games. The game lasts only 10 minutes (maybe 15 if you include setup) so if time is an issue for you it won’t be with this game. You win or lose as a team and either way your group will want to play again and because the game has some elements from more complicated games (tile placement, specialty dice, and cooperative game play) it can work as a bridge to other games, perhaps dungeon crawlers and other team games.
Gamer Gamers: Although there are exceptions to every rule or statement I do believe that even most hardcore gamers have not played that many cooperative games. There are less of these games to choose from and they just seem to be catching on. I think that the uniqueness of this game allows it to appeal to gamers, the sheer intensity of the game is eye catching and enough to make even dice haters give this game a try. The ‘sharing’ of dice with players in the same room as you as well as the time limit/pressure of the game does a great job of making people who hate the randomness of rolling dice forget they are rolling dice all together! The game itself is hard enough that without a solid strategy you will fail, and the expansion makes even a solid strategy fall apart! Although the basic game might not keep a ‘gamer’ interested the included expansion sure will.