In and amongst our busy weekend , adventures and gallivanting, we still found time for some family time at home. On Saturday morning we had a lot of fun as we got to grips with a new game by Spy Code named “Operation: Escape Room”! We were sent it recently from Smyths Toy Store, and have had a lot of laughs and tense moments with it – it is ideal for some family fun and time together on these cold, wet days!
Escape rooms are all over right now, and are a fun thing to do (or so I hear). This game brings that experience to a child’s level and creates the thrill and problem solving vibe of an escape room, right here in to your living room! Within the box there are three challenges and each one is to be solved in order to retrieve the golden key. Once found the key takes you to the next puzzle and so on, until you get the final key, which if found in time, will stop the ticking “time bomb” (as named by Megs)! It was great to test our spy skills and problem-solving nerve with three seemingly simple tasks (they were harder than they appear) and that are designed to make you work as a team.
Operation Escape Room is suitable for ages 6+ and both Ethan and Megan really got into it and understood exactly what they needed to do. It is a fast paced game and something you can play in just a short space of time which we really liked about it. Unlike the board games we have tried to play with in the past, where they seem to lose interest easily, this wasn’t at all like that at all- It was fast moving, fun and required some skill and problem solving skills too, which they were only too happy to demonstrate. They enjoyed the urgency of each task and the fact that they were “on a mission” to solve the problems, find the keys and free the family member that needed to escape! We played it a few times, taking turns on the tasks and they loved it every time.
How to play Operation Escape Room
You begin by assembling the games/puzzles and then placing them around the room (the instructions are really easy to follow – as long as the kids aren’t nagging at you in the process!). After this you choose someone to wear the escape belt, and then you have to work together to free them! It requires you to collect three keys in challenges of skill, strategy and luck, before the time on the escape belt runs out.
We began with “The skill challenge” – this tests your ability to navigate a maze. From here we went onto “The strategy challenge” which required that we complete mathematical puzzles, find patterns and solve problems to crack the code. This was by far the hardest part, and rather tense too! Finally, when we cracked the code and released the key, we moved onto “The luck challenge”, which is exactly that – luck. It leaves it all up to chance.
Completing each challenge earns one of the three keys you need to release your teammate and if found in time you can stop the timer and free them.
What we loved:
As I said we loved the fast pace and excitement that this game brought to our home. It was a lot of fun to play together and the kids were ever so giddy as they tried to get the keys! We liked how it tested their brains with puzzles, required team work and some level of energy, and we liked how it tested their motor skills too.
It’s great that the skill challenge offers players different levels of difficulty, enabling this game to grow with the kids and offer many many more moments of fun and spy missions!
What we didn’t like so much:
The only think I am not so keen about is that it is a little bit plasticy for me! This is obviously purely a personal thing, but I do worry it could easily get broken if the kids are too heavy handed in their state of urgency to free their sibling/parent/friend. It also requires batteries (2xAAA), so don’t forget these!
Operation: Escape Room is available now from Smyths Toy Store. It is £19.99 and also available for home delivery (how convenient). It would be a great gift for Christmas, a child’s birthday, or just for the fun of it on a rainy day, to keep the kids busy and having fun! It was a lot of fun and we look forward to sharing it with friends and cousins, and having many more family laughs with it too. There are so many ways to play and I think one evening I may even get them dressed up as spys, and bring out our imagination and role play skills as well as the teamwork and problem solving that this game requires.
Thank you Smyths / Spy Code for this new and fun addition to our family game cupboard!
*We were sent this game for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and pictures are our own.