Reviewed by DT (initials used to protect my childrens’ privacy)
My twin sons had their 9th birthday during the summer and I wanted to make the occasion extra special for them. I have always liked the idea of an escape room experience but somehow have never got around to doing one. I was therefore delighted to be offered this ‘escape room at home’ type product. The product (we received two packs) arrived quickly in perfect condition, but not excessively packaged which I think is a great thing. I thought that the packaging has a simple but bold and also mysterious looking design which just added to the intrigue. I was delighted to see that the game is suitable for those age 8+ and can be played by 2-6 players. Whilst I did decide to play the game with T, one of my twin sons who is 9, I like that it can be played by more people as part of a family games night perhaps.
I excitedly opened the packaging and read the instructions booklet so that I could set up the game. This was a simple process due to the easy to follow guidance in the instructions booklet. What you have to do is stick certain clues around the room on the wall. Other materials need to be put on a flat surface. The contents include – an origami penguin, animal enclosures for you to make, several clues which are postcard size, a clip which allows you to clip your notes (pen and paper not included but I think a lot of people would have these already in their household), a clue book, a clue reader, feeding schedule with 8 meerkat cards in a pouch, a penguin enclosure and an envelope to open once you have all 8 meerkat cards.
The aim of the game is to find the escaped meerkats. So how did we get on? We didn’t actually manage to find the meerkats but we had great fun trying to work out what the various clues meant and their connection to each other. We did use a lot of the available clues and T had great fun looking up the clue number in the clue book and using the clue reader to read the clue. It was great fun seeing if the answer we came up with appeared on the feeding schedule. We were chuffed to earn ourselves 4 meerkat cards. We did use several clues to achieve this. That said, I think that someone else may be able to work out the answer using less or no clues. I would like to try playing this game with more people at some point soon.
I think that the scoring system is great. What you score depends on how long it takes you to complete the challenge and how many clues you used along the way… the more clues and time the lower the score. Information is provided which allows you to score your efforts.
Whilst we were a bit disappointed to have not managed to complete the game and find the cheeky escaped meerkats, we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience of trying to complete the challenge. My son was the lower side of the age the game was suitable for and he had no problems at all reading the clues.
I like the fact that there are different escape room adventures available. The Zoo is just one of several available. I would love in the future to try other escape room games from the same range. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this game to others. It was a great way of having some quality 1:1 time with one of my sons. It kept him really well engaged/interested as well.
For the purposes of the review I did have a peek inside the envelope you can open if you do successfully get 8 meerkat cards and the contents were very exciting. This whole game has been so well thought out.
In my opinion the RRP of £13.00 represents excellent value and that this product would make an excellent birthday, well done at school, ‘just because’ or Christmas gift idea.
This product can be purchased from Argos here.
This review has been written as part of a wider piece of coverage about a Summer Birthday Celebration. Do have a look out on the website for the other reviews that are a part of this coverage plus the main review-led article. At the time of writing this review, the review-led article is not yet online.