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Santa's Hard Disk Broke! • Can You Escape? Malta • Point & Click Escape Room Review


Game Website | Company Website | Based In: Il-Fgura, Malta



OFFICIAL SPEC

🕹️ Stay At Home Games » Online Puzzle Game » Point & Click Escape Room

💪 Difficulty: Not specified.

⏲️ Time duration: 90 to 120 minutes.

🔢 Capacity: 1 to 6 players.

💬 Hints: Hints and answers can be accessed through "?" icons, located near designated puzzles.

🛒 If you PURCHASE due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)


MATTSTER'S rec

💪 Difficulty (as perceived by Mattster): 4/10 (team of 1). Quite doable if you take notes and organize them calmly.

🔢 Ideal team size: 4 to 6 for beginners and casual players. Can reduce to 2 to 3 for experts.




OFFICIAL PREMISE

It is Christmas Eve. Santa and his elves have been working for months to prepare all presents and schedule the best route to deliver all the parcels around the world. Everything is packed and ready for delivery, the sleigh is parked outside, the reindeers are ready to start traveling, all parcels are securely stored in the storage compartment of the sleigh. / Upon collecting his GPS device, Santa realizes that there seems to be a problem with the Hard Disk and all addresses for the delivery seem to be inaccessible. Santa goes in complete panic. He remembers that he had installed a Hard Disk Recovery Software in his laptop that would fix this issue. He had designed many layers of puzzles and security measures to ensure that nobody would have access to this system. / Crucial information for the accessing of this system had been placed both in his laptop but also all over his office desk. He is in so much panic that he cannot remember anything of what he, himself had created. / He commissions you, as his security officer to find a way to access this Hard Disk Recovery Software in order to restore all addresses and save Christmas. This is an urgent matter! You need to access the Software as quickly as possible! Not succeeding would mean no Christmas presents for anyone this year! It’s already been a pretty bad year, you cannot let this happen!




OVERALL IMPRESSIONS


"Santa's Hard Disk Broke!" is a Christmas-themed online virtual escape game designed by the puzzle makers from Can You Escape? Malta. However, before going further, I just want to extend my most sincere gratitude to this company for enlightening about the existence of Malta, a small country in Europe. That in itself made me ecstatic that there are people who are passionate about escape rooms on every inch of this Earth. Our invasion shall be complete one day!


Now back to your previously scheduled review programming.


As I was saying, "Hard Disk" is a Christmas special title that describes what would happen if Santa loses his sleigh route information just moments before his annual trip around the globe. There will be no Christmas for anyone, people! This is a Class One Emergency! I have heard plenty of TV shows, movies, and games delineating various disasters on how Christmas would be cancelled. It could be Grinch stealing all the presents. It could be reindeers calling out sick. But a jolly but senior citizen having computer problems? Creative, humorous, and a little too close to home. Whew. But I am here for it!



Hosted entirely by popular escape room supplemental interface Telescape, this virtual adventure is fully automated. Players can purchase and begin playing any time they want; there is no need for a host. Hints and solutions are included in case of getting stuck, hence it's ideal for folks who might want a little bit of holiday puzzling fun, but just can't work out a decent schedule to book a live-hosted game, or would like a lower-tier priced alternative.


The overall setup of "Hard Disk" is clean and simple. Everything takes place within the same work space. Essentially, there is a desk, the titular laptop, and a whole lot of other miscellaneous items to explore. In fact, I would go as far as calling this Santa quite the random guy. I mean, I could kind of see all the items' relevance to the holidays if you really try, but at its core, this could be of any theme really, and it'd still make sense. I see this setup potentially being converted for mobile tabletop rental play for live company events or parties--once the viral pandemic subsides, of course.


The utmost game goal is to retrieve Santa's password, gain access to his computer, run a recovery program, and obtain backup files of the ever-so-important travel information for Santa's gifts distribution on Christmas's Eve. It may sound easy enough, but the creators managed to pull out all the stops and came up with close to a dozen or more puzzles to stop you from making any progress--and that's a good thing! You'll have plenty to enjoy long before it's over.



There are a lot of security locks to undo. Combo locks. Key locks. And of course, the password to St Nick's hard drive. This is gen-1 puzzle galore. Some riddles are simple and fast to solve, others may involve multiple steps before landing on the final concluding answer. Due to the sheer amount, your team may feel a little overwhelmed in the beginning--but don't fret. As long as you take good notes, and calmly put like elements together in groups, everything will fall into place.


It could prove to be a bit too challenging or even frustrating for beginners, so I recommend at least 4 players, who can complete puzzles in a non-linear fashion. Expert players, if you're up for it, solo play is possible.


Solving each security measure would prompt a short video clip of someone actually undoing the device (a lock, for instance), and this marginally increases the immersion of actually being on site--overall, a decent embellishment.


While I have seen majority of these puzzles before, I do appreciate the wide variety to always keep my brain running constantly. While I don't think there is anything extraordinary, nothing felt repetitive. There is deciphering, sudoku-adjacent activity, a listening-based problem, and my personal favorite, a soccer team inspired conundrum. It isn't holidays related, but it's the first of its kind that I've seen, and it really forced me to think. And thinking is highly rewarding, kids.



One possible point for improvement would be the navigation. At times, it became impossible to exit a certain area without backtracking pages of information, which wastes time. Moreover, solution-input method is not the most intuitive, and could be improved through better programming choices. None of this is make-or-break, though the strive for perfection is always appreciated.


Comprehensively speaking, this is a neat package and a nifty online present for classic puzzle lovers. Because it is in fact so puzzle-dense, it may not be everybody's ideal choice; but if you're a veteran fan of the genre, like me, then it's a respectable option for your brain to feast on.




EXTRA TIPS

★ Translucent color Post-its may be a little hard to see, but look hard, for Post-its are known to mark important places.

★ Once you gain access to Santa's PC, don't forget what else you haven't solved in your inventory!


READY FOR FUN?

"Santa's Hard Disk Broke!" is available for purchase HERE.

If you PURCHASE due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)



Signing off,

ESCAPE MATTSTER 😶

Instagram @EscapeMattster • Facebook.com/EscapeMattster



FOOTNOTES

⤻ Full disclosure: Complimentary game access was generously provided for review purposes.

⤻ All media credited to and provided by contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.

⤻ Speed code for on-site search: CYEMDisk

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