September 20, 2021

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Storming: Alcatraz - Article - Photography by Schmidt Spiel

Storm: Alcatraz – Board Game

The scenario is as shocking as it is outrageous. The goal of or on the break: Alcatraz is to enable a fellow out of a high-security prison on the well-known island off San Francisco. For this purpose, the prison is visited as a tourist to enable the friend to escape from there.

This sounds a bit confusing, but it has to be the case, because we are effectively going deeper and deeper into the game chest, exposing layer by layer from the inside and testing the full story of the prison visit and the subsequent attempt to successfully find a way out of the rigidly secured dungeon to be found on Earth and safely.

Break-in process: Alcatraz

On the way again, there are many different puzzles to be solved. So, to an extent, we’re dealing with a kind of checkout game with the opposite sign – you have to come up with an idea like this first. However, getting into the penalty area is a gimmick that has nothing to do with the game. Puzzles can easily be presented in a traditional way. But of course, revealing new layers creates fun and excitement, which is clear.

On the other hand, the connection to the Box makes it difficult to see and access the events of Break in: Alcatraz. In any case, more than two people can barely handle it and it seems ironic if the game is offered to larger groups (even six people ?!).

After all, the whole break-in and escape attempt adventure can begin after a short setup and we’re right in the game. One of Break in: Alcatraz’s strengths is precisely the engaging narrative of the planning and post-processing of the entire escape. In contrast, in other exit games we basically work our way from puzzles to puzzles in order to unlock any doors and locks.

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That’s much less than the Break in: Alcatraz story. But we all know that the best vegetable is of little use if the main thing is not good. And in games like this, these are undoubtedly the puzzles and tasks that must be solved in the course of the game. Unfortunately, there are some concessions to be made.

You have to search and find a symbol, color, and number that in their combination specify how far one of the multiple solution strips must be pushed into one of the special slots in the game box. Then another symbol appears there, which indicates either a map containing information on how to solve the puzzle or another chapter of the entire escape.

Is it worth a break: Alcatraz?

It’s very surprising that the cards in question are not picked out of the heap, but they are available in relatively chronological order. So you pretty much know the symbol you are looking for. Additionally, the puzzles are sometimes completely vague and not all of them final and easy to understand, even with the help of the solution cards.

Storming: Alcatraz - Box - Photo by Schmidt Spiel

This is annoying and somewhat distorts the overall impression of the game, which is very exciting and fun. It’s also worth noting that with Break in: Alcatraz, unlike many other escape room games, there is no time pressure and no rating system. Personally, I haven’t missed these items at all, but there might be someone who sees it differently.

Storm: Alcatraz is like a movie that you can watch to the end, but other than that it doesn’t create any great emotions or even enthusiasm. After all, nothing in the game is broken or used on others, so you can then pass it on to other interested parties. Because there are enough of them, thanks to the unusual structure of the game that you have to penetrate or escape from.

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