Room-in-a-box, Mar 2017
Also (or previously?) known as Heist Party, Lock Paper Scissors appears to be an enthusiastic one-man operation providing escape room experiences as print-and-play downloads.
I’m reviewing this as a room-in-a-box game, but note that the intention is emphatically not to sit around a table solving the cards. As part of the download you receive themed party invitations, game posters, and the option to modify any part of the game before printing. This is a game designed for the purchaser to act as host and operator, using the components to set up an escape experience in their house for family or friends. The bulk of the game is divided into four separate stages, so a host could assign each stage to a different room of their house, and hide the cards for players to find.
Alternatively, you can ignore all that, get the cards printed and play it (mostly) around a table. This was how we played it, and there was no problem with spoilers during the printing process – the card illustrations do not show anything that gives solutions away at a brief glance.
The game has six sets of cards, one set for an initial training task, four for the main stages of the game, and one to round it off after the players finish. I found the setup instructions for how to prepare the deck to be less than perfectly clear, but my co-player understood them immediately so perhaps I was just being dim. Once the cards are divided by stage, players then enter answers into a webpage to verify they’ve solved the puzzles correctly. The page also provides hints and solutions if needed, with everything working on an honour system.
Component quality depends on how you print it, of course; though the artwork is professional and stylish and it’s worth using something more sturdy than printer paper. The puzzles themselves are fairly slight, and experienced escapers will likely zoom through them. The game difficulty states “for casual gamers and teen parties”, and that’s entirely accurate. While it’s not going to give you a serious intellectual workout, it has decent variety and a fun, unexpectedly physical finish.
I’m rating Rebel Revolt a little lower than most of the other boxed escape games I’ve played because for enthusiasts looking for an escape game to play at home, it wouldn’t be high on my list of recommendations – it’s somewhat on the easy side for regular escapers, the reliance on the website is a little clunky, and if you print the components on quality card then the total price isn’t much cheaper than buying one of the Thinkfun / Exit / Unlock! games.
That is of course a rather unfair way to judge this game, because it ignores most of the game’s strengths. If you’re not looking for something to play yourself, but rather for something to run for other people at home – particularly younger players, and/or people who haven’t done any escape rooms – or for something that you can customise and extend, then this is exactly the product you’re looking for. Unlike other boxed games, it can also be printed multiple times and run for larger groups, splitting players into teams of four and having them play head-to-head.
Otherwise, for simple play-at-home escaping, you probably want to try one of the other commercially available games first; but if you’ve run out of those, or if you want a game right away and can’t wait for postage delivery, then this will provide a good 40-50 minutes of light entertainment.