Card Game: Unlock! Night of the Boogeymen

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Card Game: Unlock! Night of the Boogeymen

This is our third Unlock! game after the enjoyable Unlock! Squeek & Sausage and the intriguing Unlock! The Nautilus' Traps from Asmodee. The scenario for Unlock! Night of the Boogeymen is quite a fun one! Little William has been having sleepless nights as of late and has been attacked by monsters from nightmares: the boogeymen! You have to seek out the monsters and fight them... but be careful; William is sleeping, and you can't wake him up!

For those who are unfamiliar, the Unlock! series is a cooperative card game inspired by escape rooms that use a simple system which allows you to search scenes, combine objects, and solve puzzles. Yup, all with a deck of sixty cards! Unlock! utilize only cards and a companion app that provides clues, check codes, monitor time remaining, etc.

The card backs feature (at first glance) random numbers and the face cards are color-coded: yellow cards have four-digit unlock code, grey cards are informational, green cards require manipulation and interaction with the app, blue and red cards combine to open/discover new things. The basic idea is, you pair the blue card and red card, add their numbers together and reveal that card if it’s in the deck (hence the number on the card backs).

I would recommend a calculator handy to help with the addition if you are playing with kids. Also, the deck order out of the box is random. Considering you have 60 minutes on the clock, I would re-order the cards sequentially (numerical and alphabetical) to save on time when looking for cards as you discover new clues.

The scenario starts with an introduction of 4 different types of monsters which come to fill children's heads with nightmares. As you progress through the game, you will have to eliminate each type one at a time... think of it as a mini-boss fight as you go through each room.

In general, the game mechanics are relatively simple- in each room, you search for clues, hidden objects, and information. Pair them up by combining the blue and red cards and reveal the next card for more clues/information,  defeat the boss and progress to the next room.

But wait...! What is a boss fight without a twist? Each monster you reveal will also force some limitations on how you interact with the game. This is a nice touch and we were completely caught off guard! This game mechanic exemplifies the uniqueness of each Unlock! adventure that continues to surprise.

The puzzles are very well done. There are a handful of puzzles that require outside the box thinking but the majority are relatively logical and straight forward. This provided a good balance between captivating storyline and engaging puzzles.

Like Escape rooms in the real world, there are some machines that you need to manipulate using the app. Compared to the machines on the Nautilus' Traps, these are more straight forward. However, if you do get stuck, you can call for hints to keep you moving.

As each card is associated with a number, type that number into the app to get help with the card. The hint system is very well done. It has 3 levels of reveal without giving too much away initially. Once you get to a yellow card and obtain the hidden 4-digit code, you type the code in the app to progress (or not) to the next room.

The Night of the Boogeymen is very enjoyable. Believe it or not, we managed to defeat the Boogeyman with 10 minutes to spare. Whew! The artwork is fantastic, the puzzles are challenging without being too frustrating and the storyline has a consistent flow to keep us captivated. We love how the puzzles build up to the final epic showdown with the final boss. For us, this is the best adventure we've played to-date and would recommend it to anyone who wants to start with an Unlock! adventure.

Card Game: Unlock! Night of the Boogeymen Reviewed by Ivan on 4/30/2019 Rating: 5

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