Unlock Mythic Adventures is the 8th box of escape room style board games from Space Cowboys. Designed by the likes of Cyril Demaegd and Jérémy Fraile, this set of three adventures sees players venturing literally around the world, dabble with Greek Gods and use Professor Noside’s new gadget. Lasting around an hour each, the adventures are designed to be played by 1 – 6 players, utilizing an adventure deck and a free to download app. However, will players want to actually escape from the experience? Let’s find out!
The first adventure of the set, the 1 padlock difficulty quest, is In The Clutches of Hades. Players take up the role of Alix, a young and talented slave, just as her master has disappeared. In this Greek God themed adventure, players will learn to read the stars, craft items via the app and utilize a divine vision granting special card to find hidden information. With some interesting puzzles along the way, Alix’s journey is one full of thematic nods towards the Greek Gods.
A few aspects of this adventure revolved around drawing the right pattern on the app. On one occasion though it suggested the outline of a shape which had no relevance to what we were currently doing. We drew the shape believing we must have missed something, only to be given a random card – which went unused for a good 10 minutes of the adventure. This is one of the only times we have encountered the app offering a hint at random, when we haven’t been stuck for a while. It didn’t break the experience, it just felt like we had slightly cheated that tiny aspect of the adventure.
Professor Noside’s Animal-o-matic is the second included adventure. The professor is back again and this time seems to have left an experimental device on the kitchen table. After an awesome Fallout Vault Tec style intro video, players find out that the Animal-o-matic device puts the user’s mind into any animal they zap! Unfortunately, the device doesn’t have enough juice left for the professor to transfer his mind back into his own body.
As different animals, players will have to think about what they can do better than others, from their size to what they might see. This creates puzzles which have real life logic needing to be applied to them, allowing everyone to get involved. For those that like the usage of the app to be minimal though this won’t be an adventure for you. While the adventure doesn’t come with a reduced deck around 50% of the experience did utilize the app in some way, or someone at least had it in their hand trying a machine. This enables the adventure with such a focus on the Animal-o-matic device to exist, so is thoroughly worthwhile.
The final included adventure is the 3 padlock rated Around The World In 80 Minutes, with it unsurprisingly starting with 80 minutes on the clock. Equipped with a travel diary, though instructed not to open it initially, players will be visiting many places around the world. Interestingly, the events aren’t all in order, with a flashback of sorts interrupting the current day events. Putting the current cards to one side this flashback gives a movie-like vibe. The story could have felt broken up as a result. However, soon players will be back on track, realising they’ve caught up with the plot.
Much like in the Unlock! Epic Adventures set, the adventure named The Seventh Screening, Around The World In 80 Minutes puts a novel twist on the standard Red Blue item combinations. Explained to players at the offset of the adventure, at times subtraction is needed which just keeps players ever so slightly more on their toes. Another difference is a continued task, which wasn’t just a reoccurring one but an ongoing one. Ongoing throughout made the adventure and various visited locations around the world more linked together into one narrative.
For each of the adventures we got 4 out of 5 stars as our final rating, thanks to utilizing a few hints in each. The hint system allows the game to move forward just when a real lull point is reached, with everyone around the table stumped. Mostly the hints come in multiple parts, with more of a vague hint before being more specific – so players can determine how much help they want. While the adventures are given an increasing padlock difficulty there wasn’t a huge difference from one to the next, with the difficulty jumps more noticeable in previous sets. Being more middle ground difficulty wise the adventures all were of a moderate difficulty, allowing progress to be made whilst keeping that sense of satisfaction when you complete them.
One addition in the Unlock Mythic Adventures box was the inclusion of a solutions booklet. This is full of spoilers to the puzzles and ways to combine cards, so is naturally not something to be flicked through beforehand. Unlike the hints system in the app this is more about explaining why something is the solution, with plenty of pictures and illustrations to help. One aspect the app falls down on is at times the hints and this is a good way to afterwards look back at something you hinted to see why it was the case. The only fault is that during play it would be hard not to see spoilers for puzzles ahead, if trying to look up a specific one.
Unlock Mythic Adventures doesn’t have the added excitement of an IP like with the Alice in Wonderland adventure or the Sherlock Holmes case in the Heroic set. This doesn’t hold the set back from offering three unique adventures, which will keep those around the table engaged for an hour at a time. The app is used a good amount, without ever feeling like it fully dominated an entire adventure – with some great moments to think outside the box. As a series there seems to be no dip in form, with Unlock Mythic Adventures being yet another great set of escape room style games.
(Editor’s Note: Unlock Mythic Adventures was provided to us by Asmodee for the review. The game is currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)