FROM LOCK AND MIRRORS
WHAT IS THIS?
"Lucky Heist" is a play-at-home, online puzzle game with a tad of print-and-play element, though printing can be easily avoided. It is published by Lock And Mirrors, a company based in the United States. The game interface runs on web browser like Chrome, and can be played on a desktop or a mobile device. Complementary clue file requires a PDF file reader.
"LUCKY HEIST" CAN BE PURCHASED HERE.
From company: ⏲️ N/A ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 N/A
You have found a pot of gold! Unfortunately, the Leprechaun that has hidden it has built an elaborate contraption to protect it! Can you solve all the tricky contraptions to open secret compartments and ultimately open the final vault door and get his gold? Lucky for you, he has left behind some of his possessions that may help you to unravel the many puzzles and riddles he has used to lock away the gold.
Ready to strike it rich? | Credits: Lock And Mirrors
SHORT ON TIME? ⌚
▪ You're on the go, or just don't feel like reading? Jump to THE VERDICT for a quick assessment!
THEMING & PRODUCTION
▪ Originally released around early April, this literally luckily titled game offers puzzles surrounding a theme of good luck, great fortune, and a leprechaun. Most probably first conceived as a Saint Patrick's Day holiday special, "Lucky Heist" certainly feels seasonal, though undoubtedly can be enjoyed throughout the year. While the goal of hunting treasures isn't the most unique, (just ask any other pirate booty escape games out there), the unifying puzzle focus on luck does offer something less commonplace, and also functions as helpful pattern in solving the brainteasers. I've overall come to appreciate the concept.
▪ Otherwise, there isn't much of a story other than "solve my various intricate puzzles and win big money!" But you don't always need an elaborate narrative to have fun. (Corny spoiler alert: the memories you make with you team is the real treasure after all...) (Omg, shut up, Mattster.)
▪ The presentation, however, leans a bit on the bare side, though this is admittedly a product of preconceived bias. Having already reviewed the "Alone Together" saga, and knowing "Lucky Heist" also comes from the same creator(s), I expected the graphics to be similarly impressive. And while "Lucky" is entirely adequate in its own right, it justifiably pales against its older siblings. I would love to see a future facelift with brighter colors, more quirky animations, and more lively additions in general.
Leprechauns use puzzle-powered security system, apparently | Credits: Lock And Mirrors
GAME PLAY & PUZZLES
▪ The game interface cycles through a handful of pages of interrelated puzzles, with each representing a different surface of the treasure vault that one must unlock in order to get to the luxurious center--where the gold coins await! It's a simple, no-BS setup that has both pros and cons. On the one hand, this is the cleanest route to go for its target players with little puzzling background, to help them decipher challenges without excessive amount of distraction. On the other, for those who eat puzzles for breakfast, this appears too basic and is unlikely to make a memorable impact.
▪ The puzzles themselves rely on scrambling critical information all over, requiring the players to locate, match, and apply pertaining clues to appropriately corresponding riddles. For the most part, (with a few exceptions maybe), what you need to complete a puzzle in the web browser is located on the PDF file, so the first step essentially becomes a matching game between the two. (Your eyes will be darting left and right and up and down!) The relevant cues are fairly obvious and should easily instill a sense of satisfaction and confidence in players of all level.
▪ Once appropriate clues are sorted out, what remains are classic escape room tropes, with the likes of "directional lock", pattern recognition and input, jigsaw puzzles, and interpreting encrypted secret messages. It's a nice collection for Beginners 101 course, and again, most fitting for younger audience. Experts will speed right through like Flash.
▪ I've finished, well, almost finished, the entire game as a solo effort under 25 minutes, sans one puzzle that stumped me silly. My friend walking by was able to nonchalantly beat it under matters of seconds, nonetheless. This strange turn of events actually made me like this game better, since something that offers zero challenge often bores me, and "Lucky Heist" still has a trick or two up its sleeves for different mindsets, brain types, and more experienced gamers beyond its intended target.
▪ The print-and-play PDF contents need not to be printed. Certain puzzle pieces will make the game a more tangible and hands-on experience, and probably a more engaging time and easier solving journey for the kiddos. For the more mentally capable, replicating identical clues on scratch papers will do just fine. So, if you want, go green and save some trees.
▪ I initially couldn't understand why the contents is split between the web and a PDF, because everything can certainly be merged into one seamless, purely online experience. The separation of information achieves 2 goals, as it turns out: 1) it elevates the difficulty of puzzles slightly, and 2) it facilitates game sharing. That is, each purchased game code can only be used once on one device, and having a small group congregate around that one device seems impractical. Distributing each member their own PDF clue sets (somewhat) bypasses this inconvenience.
▪ At a $5 price tag, it makes for both a great pre-planned party event or a last-minute purchase if you need a family game night attraction but just don't have one. For returning customer familiar with the Enchambered's "Alone Together 2", however, be aware that even though both games sell for the same dollar amount, "Lucky Heist" will be significantly simpler and shorter, a reflection of its catering for a younger audience.
"Lucky Heist", in a nutshell, is a luck-themed escape game designed for a family of all ages to enjoy. While the not-often-encountered theming works well enough, presentation falls a tad short. Both the game play and puzzles clearly gravitate towards the more novice population, rendering this an affordable and wholesome option for the non-enthusiast public for a casual playthrough. After all, $5 for a chance to heist for gold at the end of the rainbo... errr... inside a sturdy prize vault? It's a bargain to consider.
The above subjective rating is based on a team of 1 (mostly). It may differ from the company's official rating. Let's put this 2/10 into perspective, however: for a game that aims for a demographic of mostly tweens and teens, the puzzles aren't going to be terribly challenging for adult players--let alone for this puzzle fanatic/enthusiast!
IS THIS FOR ME?
If you're looking for a game for the younger crowd, or for beginner-level players with little to no prior experience, or a light but fun option for family game night, or something that will not break the bank, "Lucky Heist" may be for you. Fans who want to support the same folks who brought you the "Alone Together" series may also want to check this out for completist's sake. For other hardcore escape game lovers seeking a real challenge, this is probably not it.
"LUCKY HEIST" CAN BE PURCHASED HERE.
Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. SAMLucky.