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Escape Tales - Low Memory

[Escape Tales - Low Memory]

Jakub Caban, Bartosz Idzikowski

Board & Dice

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

From the point of a reviewer, escape room games are hard to review. I mean, how can you describe the game without spoiling the story or worse: the challenging puzzles. Every detail you describe could be a hint to solve a riddle. On the other hand, for you, the reader, it is important to find out which game might please you in the growing market of escape room games. I personally came in contact with this type of games some years ago, when my sons discovered the Exit games series of KOSMOS. Then, one year ago, I came across the ingenious Detective Stories series by IDVENTURE that completely fascinated me (two reviews can be found in our board game section, Fire in Adlerstein and Stillsee).

One of the disadvantages of this type of games is that they cannot be played twice, by the same person. And so I am always looking for new escape room games with fresh ideas. That’s how I found Escape Tales - Low Memory that has the under title “Story driven escape game”. Story driven that sounds to be entertaining, so let us try to have a closer look insight without spoiling too much content:

[Escape Tales]

Click on image to enlarge!

The game tells the story of three different persons: Elisabeth Weber, John Barns and the Black Princess. The story of each person is presented in one file and it takes you approximately three hours to solve it. 3 files a 3 hours means 9 hours total playing duration, not bad for an escape game. Each file has a story book with 60-70 paragraphs that unfold the story whenever you are asked to read a paragraph. The rest of the game consists of a double sided small game board with rooms on the one side and a coordinate system on the other side, 19 location cards that are placed on this game board to build up the various locations you have to discover and a lot of other, smaller cards.

Those smaller cards are the heart of the game. Puzzle cards, item cards, story cards, map cards, condition and pending cards can be found in this huge source of new information. But of course, you are only allowed to take a specific card when you are asked to do so. But how does all that fits together?

[Escape Tales]

Click on image to enlarge!

Each story book starts with a prologue of the respective file. Next to the story you are also requested to take the first cards (of course they are not in chronological order but distributed randomly, e.g. you might be asked to take card 5, 76 and 111 at the end of a paragraph) and locations that are placed on the board as given by one of the game cards. And then you can begin to play the game. You usually begin to explore the locations, i.e. you place one of the available action tokens (those tokens are limited, but you can gain new tokens during the game) on the map card and read the assigned paragraph section in the story book. There is no strict order you must follow, you can go wherever you want on the map.

But time is progressing and you need to hurry, that’s why it is not clever to choose a location at random. As I said you can get new action tokens during the game, but often you have to take a stress card to do so which is a viably way, but taking to many stress cards will alter the story to the negative. As a result, it is much wiser to take a look on the map and search for details that might be useful in your situation. For example you might have heard a rumour that someone likes to write her passwords under her coffee table, and at a closer look on the location card you can spot a small table next to an old armchair. So, it might be useful to go there to have a closer look, wouldn’t it be?

Puzzles regularly come into play in form of puzzle cards, e.g. when you go to an area on the map card with a safe. In that case you will need a code to open it. And you can find the code on other cards you get while exploring the location. But often you are also asked to tax your brain, because you don’t find the code in the pure form, but in form of a riddle you must solve. And those riddles are indeed tricky and often hard to solve. Fortunately you have the chance to get hints. This brings the game app into play. All answers to the puzzles must be fed to an app on your smartphone. Once you have opened the website with the app, you can add it to the main of your mobile device, and from that moment on, it also works offline. And this app also enables you to get hints (and finally see the answer as a last resort).

[Escape Tales App][Escape Tales App]

Escape Tales - Low Memory was a great adventure for me. Finding out what happened to the three persons and what the three files have in common was nearly as exciting as reading a good crime story. It is much more than solving the puzzles, you really want to lead the persons and want to know why something has happened. Low Memory is already the second game in the Escape tale series. I have not played the first game, The Awakening, but the rules say that this game is more difficult to solve than the first title. And for me some puzzles were even too hard, so I had to take hints. Indeed, one time I even had to read the answer. But that definitely did not spoil the party for me. I played solo, but you can try solve the puzzles as a team. If I had played in team, maybe then I wouldn’t have needed the help of the app, who knows. But in my case, that was OK, because the hints are wisely chosen and there are always several hints for one puzzle. For me, the game is another fantastic example how escape games have developed over the years to create a great game experience. I am already looking forward to the next title of this game series. By the way, you do not destroy anything of the game material, so the game can be played by other persons once you have finished the story.

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Copyright © 2020 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany