Escape Hunt: Level Up Review | Welcome to Level One …When you discover a mysterious old console from the 1980s in the attic, a dangerous computer virus hiding in the software starts to escape. Through a combination of printed puzzles and online hacking, can you play your way through the retro levels and shut the console down before the virus gets out? It’s your job to hack into the mainframe, attack the computer virus and Level Up!
Date Played: 2020
Number of Players: 1
Time Taken: 60 minutes
A very cool and colourful retro styled print and play at home game, with a tech edge!
The story – you stumble upon an 80’s retro games console however things aren’t quite what they seem. Switching it on, you release a dangerous computer virus which threatens the future of the world. You must hack into the mainframe and shut the system down before its too late.
A really enjoyable story and theme which certainly opens up a real field of creativity. Retro gaming is a real personal favourite theme of mine (in fact a physical room I have played previously which had a retro theme is up there with my personal favourites) so I was very excited when I saw this game advertised!
In respect of game play, once purchased you will receive a printable PDF file. This includes the vast majority of puzzles and story however you do miss key pieces of evidence which you will unlock online as you work your way through the different levels.
The first thing you notice when receiving the PDF is the outstanding design – a real 80’s feast of pixel- led retro gaming vibes. Nicely created characters and effects certainly fit the theme beautifully. Now, it may not be the most printer-friendly of games given the vast amount of colour, however the instructions sheet does direction you as to what should be printed and what is required to be in colour – there are a handful of sheets that will require colour in order to help aide you in solving the puzzle.
In respect of puzzles, again, these fit the theme brilliantly and there is certainly no doubt you are on a retro gaming mission. There may not be vast amounts of puzzles, but those within the game are very strong and unlike anything I have seen on any other print at home games. Be prepared with your scissors and best origami skills and then be prepared to be amazed with the games creativity.
I would certainly suggest that this is one that families and enthusiasts alike will enjoy – with a medium/high difficultly this certainly isn’t going to be a game you will crack within 20 mins and move on! Younger players will certainly enjoy the design, bright colours and the physical aspects to the game (which also includes some interesting online elements), whilst others will appreciate the difficulty and effort which has gone into making a very well rounded game.
If you get stuck, the PDF includes a link to a web page where there are some well appointed clues and if you get really stuck, you can also track down the actual answers. We used the clues on a few occasions and they certainly helped move us along. Given that the puzzles have multiple elements to them, make sure you press the right box for the right hint otherwise you could end up getting yourself in a bit of a mess!
An honourable mention should go the way in which this game reaches its conclusion and the addition of a “bonus” , just for fun level. They are both great little touches which added to the enjoyment.
In summary, a game that we certainly enjoyed. The colourful design, story and theme are strong. Although not hugely puzzle heavy, those included are great fun and unlike anything I’d played before. Nice interaction between the printed and online elements make this a very well rounded game.
Level up can be downloaded from Escape Hunt’s website here.