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  • Writer's pictureDawn Dalton

These are a Few of My Favorite Games: Escape

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for cooperative games. Nor that I get bored with super long games. I blame the latter on long afternoons playing never ending games of Monopoly.

Which is why I love Escape. It's ten minutes long. No really, there's a soundtrack and everything.

The premise is simple: you're an explorer in a temple and it's collapsing. You only have ten minutes to find the exit or the temple collapses on you. One problem though, the exit is blocked.

This game is perfect if you only have a few minutes to spare and are okay with a bit of chaos in your game. Because there are no turns; everyone rolls their dice as fast and often as they can to explore the temple as quickly as possible.

The temple changes from game-to-game as it is built as play progresses. Players have to roll a combination of adventurer, key, and torch icons to enter and explore the rooms of the temple as well as activate as many gems as they can find to clear the exit. If you roll a black mask on your die, it because cursed and unusable unless you or someone in the same room as you rolls a golden mask to break the curse.

You don't have to keep rolling all of your dice every time you want to take an action. If you haven't used your torches this turn and you know you'll need them in the next chamber, set them aside and only roll the ones you used this action to keep moving forward.

One of the best ways I've found is to stick with another player so you can combine dice to activate bigger gem amounts and break each other's cursed dice. The only thing you can't help each other with is moving from one chamber to another.

Twice during the game, a gong sounds to start a countdown. Make it back to the starting chamber (or out the exit) before the doors slam shut or lose one of your dice, making completing the temple even harder. This is the only time I leave my temple buddy behind because it's better to only have one player lose a die instead of two.

The third time the countdown starts indicates the end of the game. As this is a cooperative game, everyone has to make it out alive for the group to win. But, once you escape, you can gift one of your dice to another player still inside the temple to aid them in escaping. To escape, you need to roll a number of keys equal to the gems on the door plus one, so be sure to activate as many gems throughout the temple as you can.

Because this game goes so fast, I love to play it in between other longer games as sort of a palate cleanser. It also helps soothe hurt feelings from the "screw your neighbor" type games my group tends to favor.

What's your favorite short game to play when you only have a few minutes to play?

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