At a time when it is necessary to escape from escape rooms or find a code to escape from a villa, cottage or castle, Schmidt Spele turns the tables and chooses intrusion as the target of his puzzle games. The doors still have to be unlocked with tokens, but this time only players in the Break In series stand on the other side of these doors.
What’s a break in: Area 51 around?
Break In: Area 51 is a one to six person puzzle game from the Break-In series by Schmidt Spiele. Players slip into the role of an alien stuck on the ground. After a message from the spaceship’s artificial intelligence, there is still hope to return to planet Earth. The only problem: AI was brought to the infamous Area 51 by humans to break it up. Time is running out to storm there quickly and use AI to prepare the spaceship for the return trip. With the advantage of being able to influence people’s thoughts as a supernatural being, this task shouldn’t seem impossible.
Thrust, do not erupt!
The game implements hack in a fun way, in which players have to make their way deeper and deeper into the box in area 51. This takes place on several levels, which are unlocked after all the puzzles of the level are solved and thus reveal a new, deeper level.
The story of the game is gradually introduced to the players via the attached cards. New cards are revealed once players find the symbol that matches the back of the card. These appear either after the puzzle has been successfully solved or on one of the levels of the game box. The cards also give players clear instructions on when they can reach a deeper level.
Unlike other puzzle games, players do not need a numeric code to solve the puzzle, but rather a combination of a number, a color, and a symbol. In order to check whether the solution found is also suitable for the current puzzle, several solution strips are attached to the game, which are pushed into the box. A small window will appear in the chest after which another code will allow players to reveal and read a new card. The combination of numbers, color, and symbol determines which bar, which side is inserted, and how deep the square is. As with all good puzzle games, players have the option to use clues for each puzzle that progressively contain the solution to the puzzle.
Is it worth the break: Area 51 all the fuss?
First of all, about the material of the game: when you open the game, you will immediately notice the fairly cheap cardboard packaging, which is attached to each other. Fortunately, this is not necessary for the game and the content looks much better in terms of material. The different levels are made of sturdier cardboard and the individual levels opening mechanism is well solved. After opening, however, you spend a greater portion of the game’s time paving the individual levels so that they don’t fold again and cover the new ones. In any case, there is still room for improvement here in order to enable a better gaming experience. The cards are also simply sticked under the outer cardboard cover. Time and time again, players come across tantalizing new parts that are simply glued to the chest in deeper levels using scotch tape. Under certain conditions, this can affect immersion.
The puzzles in the game are hard puzzles, as shown in many other puzzle games. In our opinion, one of the many puzzles was formulated somewhat vaguely, and for the other, there were two possible solutions, one of which was marked as correct. Symbols to be discovered are sometimes included in the story (for example, you can get the color of the code in a puzzle by selecting the component with the correct color), but often numbers and especially symbols are complete that are placed incoherently next to the items in a box. In general, the subject often looks artificial and is easily interchangeable. However, it is both good and difficult to avoid such a thing in puzzle games. In general, the puzzles in the game are good, but it cannot be said that there is a new, unprecedented puzzle in it.
The game does not have to convince with great puzzles either, as it brings variety to players who have already played many puzzle games in a different way. Reversing the classic escape mechanism into the hack mechanism has its new charm. Knowing you’ve got puzzles and next story elements in your hand all the time, it’s only there on deeper levels, stimulating a new way to solve puzzles. The desire is great to know what awaits you on the deeper levels. Players who love to play puzzle games will get their money here for 120 minutes (with us a little longer than).