Brussels Escape Review: Escape Prod

This is part of a series of articles on games in Brussels – click here for the introduction and links to all the other articles.

The Daltons’ Escape (4.5 stars)

Of all the games we played in Brussels, this was the highlight. Those readers who are familiar with Lucky Luke, the Belgian comic series, will likely recognise the reference to the Daltons, the incompetent brother thieves who are the most famous of Lucky Luke’s enemies. The designers have clearly channelled that cartoon feel in the game, primarily via the scenery but also within the soundtrack and puzzle solutions themselves.  One puzzle in particular had a solution that they’d engineered so that we had to perform a seemingly comical action…

The story is incredibly simple – break out of the jail cell and into the bank and reclaim the money that Lucky Luke “stole” from you. You’re not going to get that story expanded on during the game, but it puts a good framework in place for what you’ll be up to during your 60 minutes and gives you some clearly measurable progress along the way. Indeed, even within those different stages, I always felt like we knew more or less what the immediate goal was pretty much straight away and could measure our progress fairly easily. Each of those stages had a very different vibe, which helped keep up the excitement levels.

I found the choice of opening puzzle “set” to the game interesting because it required a lot of detailed searching of our surroundings. That went OK for us but could easily have been a lot more painful if we’d missed a few things. There’s also a skill-based game that could defeat you entirely. My guess is that, if you fail on that front, they’ll just feed you the answer you need, but I can’t help but feel that being given the solution immediately after failing the challenge would have just compounded that feeling of failure. The upshot of the puzzle structure is that there’s a chance you could be stuck in the opening space for a very long time if you don’t get into the flow early on.

As the story progresses, you encounter lots of enjoyable reveals. There’s also some cool but well hidden technology to add a bit of magic (and some humour!) to the game. We flowed through the game reasonably smoothly – always finding a way forward just as we were getting stuck – right up until the last puzzle. With the finishing line in sight, we couldn’t see how to proceed and eventually resorted to a clue. Quel dommage!

If you’re ever in Brussels, I’d highly recommend playing this game. It worked well for four enthusiasts but above that number, I think you’d start to feel a bit crowded.

That’s all on Escape Prod – want to read more about Brussels games? Click here to head back to the main Edinburgh page.

Full disclosure: We weren’t charged for these tickets. That doesn’t influence the review – you can read more on the About page.

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