You wake up in a dank dungeon. It seems impossible to find your way out, especially since none of you can remember what brought you there. Similar to a PC adventure game, players have to explore spaces, combine items, find clues, and talk to people.
It’s a Trap! (+7)
It’s a pretty standard beginning; you’re in a dungeon, find your way out and so on. This place is meant to hold people against their will so you’ll encounter traps along the way. These traps are no joke and they hurt! There’s a reason you get enough health cards during setup. As much as I’ve disliked this game format in the past, the one thing I do like about this installment is that I remember most everything that happened while I was playing the game. This is likely attributed to the lack of puzzles — because otherwise, what is there to remember anyway? After going back and reviewing some of what I said before about Monochrome Inc. I do think that the tricks and twists in this one are much better.
Fun and Interactive NPCs (+10)
With the abundance of NPCs that interact with you, this felt more like a traditional adventure. For example, you can make transactions and there are tiered enemies, as well as the possibility of adding NPCs to your “party”. If they can be added to your party, they do have special skills and interests that come in handy. Pairing this with the ability to create tools and combine items, this installment was much more immersive and felt like the stakes were much higher.
ARGH WHY IS IT A TRAP? (-3)
There is such a thing as too many traps or interrupts right out the gate, and this installment does that. Waking up in a dungeon is already disorienting, and aside from picking a character card you don’t really know too much about yourself until you start trying to do specialized things. When the game punishes you early on when you don’t have that many options or much guidance on what should be done next, adding in painful surprises is just cruel and adds nothing but misery to gameplay.
Frustratingly Lost and Stuck (-5)
I enjoyed the first third of this despite the punishing traps I mentioned but the rest of it was a complete chore. We got irreparably stuck several times and had to reverse engineer several steps in order to get unstuck. Starting with the knowledge of what item was needed, we used the booklet to look up how and where. I have no idea how it could have been any easier to proceed than how we ended up doing things and I’m still wondering what really went wrong. To that end, these were not even truly puzzles and only one non-trap challenge we encountered stands out in my head. You’re just wandering and crossing your fingers.