Dale Yu: Review of The Escape Game Unlocked – The Heist, Volume 2: The Silk Road

The Escape Game Unlocked – The Heist, Volume 2: The Silk Road (online game)

This game is an Escape Room in a box, done by The Escape Game, one of the better physical escape room franchises around.  We have reviewed the physical rooms a few times (here and here), as well as their boardgame, and this take-home game is an extension of one of their rooms, unsurprisingly called “The Heist”.  You can read our capsule review of the first episode here

The mission now?  Continue to follow the criminal Hahn into Asia.  Intel has noticed some suspicious activity in Hong Kong… According to reports, Hahn is dealing with artifacts related to the Silk Road.  Your mission is to go there, find Hahn and capture him before he can get away!

Due to the corona virus issues, my usual group wasn’t able to meet in person. However, The Heist is a digital game, and we were able to each access the needed information online.  To be honest, I’m not even sure if there is a physical version of this game – everything you need is available online.


It might be helpful to have a printer handy, or maybe two or three monitors – as there is a fair amount of “stuff” to look at.  From my standpoint, I needed the printed material to cross reference.  That being said, at least one of my gaming compatriots doesn’t have a printer at home at all, and he was still able to contribute more than his fair share.


We were each given our own codes to log in, but that is not necessary. Your group could purchase a single code and then simply screen share the computer which gets online via Zoom or Google Hangouts.  All of the files are easily downloaded and then they could be shared as necessary.  Sure, it was a  bit quicker to have each player have their own independent access; but that expense would be un-necessary.

You will have to watch some videos intermittently – we did do a trial of this over Google Hangouts and it worked just fine with a screen share…


Timing is not critical here – unlike real escape rooms, there is no timer!  You are free to work on the puzzles at your own pace, and whenever you think that you’ve solved the current problem, you simply input the answers into the interface to see if you’re right!    Everything is located on your dashboard, so you can just point and click your way to see all the clues and other information that you need.

The structure of this game is simple and straightforward – it is a completely linear path with only one active puzzle at a time.  This makes it good for beginners/novices to puzzle solving as there are fewer red herrings.  However, it also means that when playing with a big group, there is no delegation of duties; everyone is working on the same puzzle at the same time.  In our group, we made a pact to not shout out answers if we got them quickly to give all four of us time to work through the puzzles on our own for a bit.


The puzzles were of varying difficulty, and they tested various abilities.  I did enjoy all of the puzzles in the game, and I did not feel that any were unfair.  If you were to get stuck, the online hint system is easy to find, and after we completed the game, we did look at the hints, and they most definitely would have been helpful.


On the whole, it was an enjoyable experience.  Though this is labeled Volume 2, you really don’t need to have played V0lume 1 first, and if you play this, it doesn’t spoil anything in volume 1.  It is essentially a stand alone play-at-home escape room.   It’s definitely not as good as The Escape Game’s physical rooms, but when that’s not an option, this is a great way for you and some friends to have some fun.


We are eagerly awaiting Volume 3 of this now digital quest!  The cost is not high, only $10 per episode; $17 for both episodes 1 and 2.  For the quality of the puzzles and the time it will keep you occupied in this time of shelter-at-home, it’s a great deal.  The Opinionated Gamers affiliate link is:  https://store.theescapegame.co?sca_ref=190786.ILGJJnBNPy


Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor


About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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