Online, Jul 2020
If you read only the title of this game and not the description, you may get a surprise: rather than a glitzy casino, the official setting is a barn outside Nashville. This is because you’re not robbing a casino, you’re recovering the loot that your recently deceased uncle stole many years before.
However, in a sense that’s beside the point, because this is a table-top game. Rather than taking place inside a full physical escape room, the game elements are arrayed on a table in front of the static camera.
This is a game of boxes and padlocks, which combined with the static viewpoint made it a quite sedentary game. That impression was added to by the way our gamemaster mostly acted as an anonymous pair of hands, responding to our questions and instructions but not injecting his personality into the game in other respects – although it sounds like they’re still experimenting with different styles of running the game, so that might change.
Although that meant it wasn’t the most exciting or story-driven of games, the format did work well at presenting an experience that was all about the puzzles, with for example no exploration or searching. And I liked the satisfaction of whittling away the boxes in front of you until you’re left with a clear space, a bit like opening presents under a Christmas tree except that clearing the table gives a sense of accomplishment not disappointment.
The casino theme comes through in the puzzle items, with plenty of poker chips and playing cards, mixed in with some more abstract puzzles. Unusually they used a Whatsapp group as an inventory system, sending photos of items through as we discovered them during the game; that worked fairly well, though might be off-putting for players who don’t use that app.
As with other tabletop games, it’s important to know what style it is before playing; if you’re expecting a full room with an elaborate set then you’ll be disappointed. It would benefit from more characterisation and humour, but still, as a pure puzzle solving experience it flows nicely.