@RussBuilds (Based In The United Kingdom)
◣ GAME'S SPECS
💪 Difficulty not specified.
⏲️ 60 minutes duration limit.
🔢 Capacity not specified.
💬 Hints given by host at user's request. Unlimited hints, but 0.5 point deducted from final score for each.
📝 Note potential time difference between your location and the host's (check with host).
🛒 If you BOOK GAME due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout out! ;)
◣ MATTSTER'S TAKE
💪 Difficulty: For Mattster's team of 2, not bad at all, 3/10. Only certain specific puzzles gave us a hard time. Rest are ok!
🔢 Ideal Team Size: 1-2. Can totally be done with a solo effort, though may need to activate a few hints.
🤷♂️ Best Fit For: Beginners to experts, anyone who wants to sharpen their puzzle solving skills with some practice.
🍵 Boils Down To: Solving gen 1 style escape room puzzles presented in a PDF booklet, to unlock a series of padlocks.
🙂 Overall Rating: Can't complain much about a complimentary game hosted by a friendly dude for a hobby! Ty, Russ!
Endgame is a cold-war inspired game that revolves around themes of war, weapons, politics and the game of chess. The premise is simple; prevent World War 3.
Storytelling • Jump Right In, No Further Knowledge Needed (Or Given)
"Endgame" is an escape experience set during the Cold War era, and here's what I, a history idiot, know about the Cold War: I know Russia is a big player, and somehow, chess is a motif that appears over and over throughout. Perhaps something with secret spy codes? I am not sure, and I am not about to research deeper into this topic. High school is done with and behind me for a reason, people.
However, I didn't need to anyway; as it turns out, this game does not actually expand upon these ideas much further. There's little attempt to narrate a story that the players can follow along, historical or otherwise. So fair to say, the plot line is minimal. As someone who has minimal propensity for world history studies, I think this is more than forgivable!
Setup • The World's Fate On The Table... Literally
Much of the entertainment value derives directly from the actual game portion. And in that sense, it almost doesn't matter there is no story. All we really need is a bunch of solid puzzles, dressed in the aforementioned themed outfits, and it's good to go. And that's precisely what "Endgame" offers. (And yes, obligatory chess puzzle, a-check!)
Similar to a mobile escape game service usually reserved for team building events, the experience consists of three portable tabletop devices guarded by a series of locks. Think of it as a extremely condensed version of an escape room, without any extra bells and whistles, just the puzzles laid out in plainly, begging for curious minds to crack the codes.
Two other components round out the complete setup: 1) a PDF file containing all the relevant clues and actual puzzles, only to be opened when the count down starts, and 2) Russ himself as the mostly silent avatar over Zoom, acting as your hands, but not your brain. Russ isn't the psychic type, so be sure to command with specific directions!
With one push of a big red button, the world is saved! We need to order more of these.
Puzzles & More • A Strategy Game Of Point Budgeting
The PDF file offers a small buffet of challenges that can be solved in multiple, non-linear order with some minor exceptions. Each solution offers a combo code to undo a corresponding padlock. Due to the nature of this setup, puzzles are gen 1 oriented, with pattern and symbol recognition being the main focus of most problems.
Initially nervous that I won't be able to complete the game in time with two players, I found comfort in discovering that all the gen 1 puzzles are right up my alley! Some code cracking and arithmetic practice later, World War III is successfully averted with relative ease! Oh, how I would apply this superpower to today's endless chaos had this been real!
One key feature absolutely worth mentioning that is "Endgame" is not just a time limited, but also point based game. You start out with 20 points total. 1 point is deducted for every 5 minutes ticked away, and 0.5 point spent for every hint requested. With the right strategy in mind, cunning players may want to minimizing damage by taking a hint at the cost of half a point, instead of being stuck for 5 minutes too long and lose one whole point.
One silver lining in a world of pandemic quarantine is that I get to discover and connect with hobbyists around the globe, those who share the same interests and passions as I do, via remote gaming. Champs like Russ delightfully offer the community a taste of their talents, and I am so thankful for their hospitality during this strange, strange time in history.
With "Endgame" retiring soon, and a new game already in the pipeline, follow @RussBuilds to see his latest updates, and tap those hearts away to show him plenty of likes and support.
★ The first 2 locks are light blue and pink. So, I suggest that you spy, with your little eye, something of the same colors.
★ Not familiar with chess pieces symbols? You have my permission to Google for those. (But maybe don't tell Russ. Wink.)
⤻ All media credited to and provided by contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.
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