June 23, 2021

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Escape the Room: The Cursed Doll's House - material - photography by Axel Bongaert

Room Escape: Cursed Dolls House – Backgammon Game

When trying to keep the escape games interesting, publishers are filled with ideas, sometimes imagination. This theme also gives them a lot of nutrients for that. The new Escape variant of ThinkFun can be described as “private” in the best sense of the word. Did the previous room escape games pop up from the publisher (Narrative. Seriously And the Secret Observatory) Instead with its conservative gameplay and relatively simple standards, Das Verfluchte Puppenhaus nullifies both judgments.

The toy chest becomes a home

The large box was expanded into a two-story house in addition to the attic. In each of the five rooms, cardboard furniture was assembled and installed. Some objects are attached to the wall as folded cardboard and have puzzle-solving parts. When fully assembled, the house looks impressive and should inspire every interested halfway.

In the story, you learn that you have shrunk home and now you have to find the way out by solving puzzles. So far, somewhat classic.

Difficult puzzles

Room Escape: The Cursed Doll's House - 3D Building Detail - Photo by Axel Bongaert

The puzzles to solve are significantly more demanding than the previous ones. Whether it’s folding, baffling, or creating logical connections with things whose meaning isn’t immediately clear: Here you have to get your mind to move and think outside the box again to find three symbols in each room that you have to set on the solution dial. Most puzzles can be solved with human logic and mind, although the majority of the simpler puzzles are not really easy. Puzzles, where you have to think less directly than think in the corner, has actually made us kneel more than once, and we had to get help online. The link takes you to the help pages, which then lead you step-by-step to the solution. The solution approach actually occurs very carefully so that you become familiar with your individual steps and can stop at a point where you gain new knowledge without actually trying the final solution. It’s stylish and I love it very much.

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Guessing without time pressure

Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse - Room - Photo by Axel Bongaert

The instructions actually indicate that the game will take several hours to complete. In fact, it’s ambitious that you’ll want to play the entire house from ground floor to rooftop in one house. And so he was with us as well. If you want to start a game against time, 2.5 hours is recommended as default, but I think this is sports. To be honest, this could also damage the feel of the game if you unnecessarily expose yourself to the time pressure you don’t have unlike the games from the Unlock series (Space Cowboys / Asmodee). Because puzzles are made to deal with it.

Escape the Room: The Cursed Doll's House - Another Room - Photo by Axel Bongaert

To what extent you find the puzzles, whether extremely challenging or appropriate, only becomes apparent afterward, when you really should have taken advantage of the solution. Then you can evaluate whether or not you can come to this solution. There was only one mystery that I believed – with the means at my disposal – I would never be able to solve it. With some others, it is often the same: You have already gathered all the facts, even close to the solution, but are stranded because you are not properly evaluating the puzzle pieces.

Fun practical puzzle

Room Escape: The Cursed Dollhouse - Thinkfun Photography

Thus the cursed doll house offers a fun experience in a double sense. On the one hand the tactile, which results from the mere structure and appearance, and on the other hand the pleasure of solving puzzles and tasks. Both merge so well and harmonize perfectly with each other that anyone who has managed to escape from the doll’s house can then restore it to its (almost) original state. For this purpose, some materials may be printed on the publisher’s home page so that the effects of the treatment offer no conclusions for subsequent escape groups. For me, Escape the Room: The Cursed Doll’s House is a stimulating and challenging escape game in an extraordinary presentation and therefore recommended for experienced groups.

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