Part of the Unlock! Mystery Adventures box – which also contains spooky mystery The House on the Hill and nautical adventure The Nautilus’ Traps, The Tonipal’s Treasure is an app-powered, […]
Part of the Unlock! Mystery Adventures box – which also contains spooky mystery The House on the Hill and nautical adventure The Nautilus’ Traps, The Tonipal’s Treasure is an app-powered, pirate-themed tabletop escape room style experience that shares mechanics with the other Unlock! titles.
Using a deck of cards and an app, you’ll work your way through numerous puzzles in an attempt to find the treasure – but be warned, I have to say that this is probably the most challenging set of puzzles I’ve encountered in an Unlock! game so far – and couldn’t quite reach the end before running out of steam with my gaming group.
It shows the same level of inventiveness in its puzzles, as well as clever use of sound and music to give atmosphere and further depth to the challenges it poses, but a few solutions were either extremely obscure or far too convoluted to be fun and ended up frustrating us; even with the solution found, we still couldn’t see how we’d ever have reached the end without looking for assistance.
The good thing about the Unlock! games is that even though you can’t really play them again once you know the solutions to the adventure’s puzzles, it’s perfectly possible to pass the game on to someone else. This contrasts with the Exit series of escape room style games, during which you’ll cut up, fold and write on the components, meaning that they really can only be used once.
Talking of the Exit games, I do find them a lot more tactile and inventive in terms of the puzzles they provide – with you needing to quite literally think outside, inside and around the box. Being restricted to cards and an – admittedly clever – app means that the Unlock! games feel a little less interactive and the cards can also feel a little too small when trying to scour them for visual clues.
Still, if challenging puzzles are up your street, you’re likely to enjoy a session of Unlock! Just don’t start with The Tonipal’s Treasure, as I found it to be an ultimately frustrating experience, albeit one with lots of clever puzzles. It’s a shame that there’s a few which mar the experience, but it may well have simply been that myself and my group weren’t quite tuned in to what was required of us in order to succeed. Your mileage may vary.
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