Unlock! is a series of cooperative card-based escape adventures for up to six players. Each Unlock! game consists of sixty cards depicting objects, maps, and puzzles that can be activated, solved, or combined in an effort to access other cards and areas. The free companion app tracks the time allotted to win the game, while also offering hints and unlocking new, and necessary, elements. When the players believe they have figured out the code to escape each adventure, they will input the number into the app and escape the danger, or lose even more time in finding the real sequence.
Each Unlock! game begins with a starting card (or two), featuring an introduction to the adventure on one side and your initial location map on the other side. Across this first card will be a series of numbers, indicating which other cards you can access as soon as the clock begins counting down. In order to progress through the deck, you must examine the cards and figure out how they interact with each other and with the app.
Green machines and yellow codes are two card types you'll encounter that require some problem-solving. Machines feature an array of numbers associated with a visual, and determining which numbers are relevant will allow you to assign a value to the card and use it later on. To bypass a yellow cards, you will need to enter a four-digit code into the game app. Solving both codes and machines will require you to locate hidden information or recall clues provided on other cards. It is possible, then, that you will be faced with a code or machine that you cannot solve until the associated cards have been revealed.
In the deck, you will also come across object cards, both blue and red. In order to move on from these cards, you will have to combine them, adding together the card values in order to access another card in the deck. For example, combining a red card numbered 35 and a blue card numbered 11 will give you access to card 46—if it exists. Sometimes, you will also be able to combine these cards with solved machines and discovered modifiers. Many combinations will be possible throughout each game, but with tricks and traps all over the place, you may not always want to know what's on the other side of the card you've accessed.
Combining and solving cards is the only way to progress in the game, but it may not always work out in your favor. Incorrect code guesses and unfortunate card pairings will cause you to take penalties in the app, which will shave off remaining time and lower your final score. However, a bold choice may also be the one thing that gets you out of each sticky situation, so you'll need to keep a close eye on every hidden clue before making any risky moves.
Once you have cycled through the deck and think you have figured out the ultimate solution, you will have to enter a code into the app to see your score. Your rating will be determined by your use of hints, incorrect guesses, and the duration of your game. Every play of the game will get you closer and closer to that perfect run and a five-star score, so don't dismiss your defeats, for every mistake may be the key to your success the next time around!
Unlock! comes with 3 scenarios (more available online):
Squeek & Sausage is a cartoon adventure, in which you must try to stop the evil Professor Noside from activating his doomsday device. The Professor is very clever, though, and you must be able to evade his traps in order to save the world.
The Island of Doctor Goorse is a complex and multifaceted
mystery adventure set on a billionaire antique collector's island. The
crash-landing that got you there will separate players into two teams,
adding yet another obstacle to achieving your brilliant escape.
Playing Time: 45 - 75 minutes
BGG page: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/213460/unlock