Argyx Games (Based In France)
◣ GAME'S SPECS
💪 Recommended for ages 14+ by company.
⏲️ 75-90 minutes duration (for "Hellas 2019" portion) expected from company.
🔢 Suggested for 1-5 players by company.
💬 Hint system via hint page. Users can reveal little bit of nudges at a time, until finally the solution.
📝 Game requires box contents, internet, email, or more. Check for details.
🛒 If you PREORDER GAME due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout out! ;)
◣ MATTSTER'S TAKE
💪 Difficulty: For Mattster's team of 1, not bad, 4/10. Certain demo error(s) might've made the experience more confusing.
🔢 Ideal Team Size: 1-2. There are portions that require keen observation. More eyes mean less frustrations.
🤷♂️ Best Fit For: Those who enjoy solving puzzle hunts and mysteries in a box with a few online components.
🍵 Boils Down To: A familiar treasure hunt base formula with an attractive family inheritance theme overlay.
🙂 Overall Rating: Current demo of "Hellas" portion felt only adequate, but the 2-part "Legacy" offers promising potential.
Marseille, Fall 2019. You receive the letter of a notary that comes with a mysterious black box. In his last will, your estranged father reveals the existence of a family treasure, hidden somewhere in Europe. To find it, he leaves you objects and documents that belonged to him as well as to your ancestor. You have to shed light on the past in order to be able to claim your inheritance...
Nothing Stops This Game Master
Not very often do I feel an escape game box trailer sound and feel like a movie trailer, but the "Legacy" trailer did. The narration by your now late father details how one of your distant relatives made a huge fortune in France long ago, and now that wealth is safely buried away somewhere in Greece. And here comes the kicker: Daddy knows where it is, and he ain't telling you, even as he passes! With his dying words, "I want to play a game," he says. Who are you, Jigsaw?!
The plot then leads directly into the game play for "Legacy", which is divided into "Eiffel 1889" and "Hellas 2019". "Eiffel" seeks to uncover who in your family tree struck rich in the 19th century, while "Hellas" has you actually embark on the treasure hunt. I received a demo version of "Hellas 2019" for review, so this blog post will strictly focus on the latter chapter only. (Fact of the Day: Did you know that Hellas mean Greece, and not the plural form of a slang for "very"?)
Such a unique premise is not seen often, so I found it intriguing. Having events take place in both France and Greece, two countries popularly associated with romanticism and breathtaking sceneries, adds to the mass appeal. And did you catch this? The notion of having siblings work together in harmony as a subtle nod of telling customers this is a group effort, so play nice and not hog all the puzzles... Let's admit it, escape room and puzzle enthusiasts, who else feels attacked?!
Hi Again, High School Reading
Even as a review only demo package, the contents are of decent quality. Certain items stood out. Take the lone sheet of paper for example; it's actually page 110 of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "Treasure Island". Produced on actual and distinctive novel printing paper, it instantly takes me back to my high school days. Oh how glad am I now to encounter this leaf of paper for not a boring book report, but an entertaining game of puzzles!
Other objects meriting of mention include a travel agency brochure that was done with just enough amateurism to imitate that local mom and pop shop look, and 5 photographs of the scenic city spots around the port. And yes, these're actual tangible photos, and not images printed on glossy cardboard made to look like photos. Both offer an optimistic preview of what "Legacy" could look like as a complete package.
While I obviously can neither confirm nor deny the actual quality of the final product, per website, the full game will include 40 realistic objects and documents, such as newspaper, postcards, and everyone's assumed favorite, a 3D Eiffel Tower. If the game is reasonably priced, this could turn out to be a deserving investment in a puzzle addict's collection.
Puzzle Fanatic, You Got This
The puzzle faction of "Hellas" felt a bit underwhelming. There is a total of roughly 7 objectives to complete in beautiful Greece, and none qualifies as truly challenging. I would, however, say they are well written, presented, and executed.
Your quest begins with two letters, one from your father, and another from his designated notary executor. Both act as guiding flow charts, with the entire game's skeleton cleanly laid out, even providing distinct icons for each individual steps. With the exception of one erroneous icon (how does a passport picture magically transform into a sailor anchor?!), going from puzzle to puzzle is a breeze, if not too easy for experts.
Many puzzles resemble those found in a gen 1 escape rooms, such as cipher decoding, key word and pattern recognition, and the likes. While not entirely groundbreaking, Argyx Games (AG) did manage to teach me a certain moderately well known flag codes that I hadn't seen until then, which coincidentally proved useful just days later. So thanks much, AG!
"Doh!" Along The Way
Errors aren't uncommon in a demo, and I did encounter a couple: When I emailed a key character as instructed, my message bounced right back with an "address not found" error. Oy! Even a fictitious NPC AI doesn't want to reply me back, confirming my most dreaded fear-- that nobody likes me! Post profuse sobbing, I carried on via the handy hints page.
When it came time to dig up the long awaited treasure chest... DOH! MY TREASURE MAP WASN'T PACKAGED IN MY DEMO PACK! At this point, I was convinced my father was just trolling me beyond the grave! Aw, Hell...as 2019. (Get it?)
Quick note: This section's written strictly to inject some humor into your reading pleasure. Argyx Games immediately and graciously offered to send me the missing element upon contact, A+ customer service! Mistakes happen, and such is life!
Despite minor but amusing issues, "Hellas 2019" is still a cute little at-home adventure that provided me a good hour of entertainment. Nonetheless, since accidents did occur, I cannot in good faith claim my own experience as an accurate representation of what "Hellas" sets out to achieve. Overall, I still got a the gist of it, and see great potentials for a decent escape box product if all issues are properly addressed by official release date.
★ Unpack and open every item before starting the quest. Some helpful icons may not be visible when first arrived.
★ Instructions state certain element may be used more than once. If you haven't by the final step, maybe it's time!
⤻ Full disclosure: Complimentary demo access was provided for testing/review purposes.
⤻ All media credited to and provided by contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.
⤻ Speed code for on-site search: AGHellas