Gameday First Play – Escape! The Curse of the Temple
Keep rolling, rolling, rolling…
Times up, we all lose.
Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a cooperative game in which players must escape (yes…) from a temple (yes…) which is cursed (yes…) before the temple collapses and kills one or more explorers, thereby causing everyone to lose.
I picked this up in a Maths trade not knowing if it was going to be a game that’s a lot of fun as it has been described by many people, or just a novel 5 minutes of fun that tails off to nothing. (See: Rampage)
I played it 5 player and lost, and lost bad. Out of the 5 of us, 4 were new to the game so we tried it again, similar result. But it was FUN.
In case you’ve never heard of it, it’s a real time game timed with a 10 minute soundtrack. Everyone is rolling dice simultaneously and using icons on those dice to move into rooms, discover new rooms, place gems and eventually find the exit and get out.
Obviously due to the timed and simultaneous nature of the game, I didn’t get to take any pics 🙂 So I stole this from BGG.
Apart form the novelty of a fast and furious timed game there are three things I enjoy…
Every so often you need to return back to the start room. Its after about 4 and 7 minutes depending which soundtrack you use and while it sounds pretty dull it actually adds a lot to the game. You hear the gong, you know you’re short on time, the drum beats start and rolling the right dice suddenly seems 10 times harder than it dead at the start of the game. You permanently lose a dice if you’re not back in time so there’s a lot to play for.
The co-op element is cool. While rolling dice you can get them locked if you roll a Black icon, two of thee dice can be unlocked with a Gold icon. You can also unlock dice of other players in the same room as you. This means if a player has fully locked themselves out (which happens quite a bit) someone has to drop everything and get over to them ASAP to help them get back in the game. Remember, if ANYONE fails to get out the Temple EVERYONE loses.
Also, and this part is optional but really shouldn’t be, the Curses you can get are fantastic. Being unable to talk or having to play with a hand on your head, again, I thought was a bit of a novelty but it doesn’t feel like you’re playing a kids game. Other curses such as the one that means dice that fall off the table, stay off the table is more like it, more mature.
I’ve played it a few times 4 and 5 player. I’ve NEVER won 5 player and NEVER failed 4 player. Not sure its the group of people of the player numbers but it just seemed easier.
Not sure what the lifespan for this will be with me. It’s good enough to keep for now and should I decide to keep it there are a couple of expansions that seem to add a lot to the game.
But for now, I’m happy to play it as and when and those expansions are on my ‘want to buy’ list 😉