A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Unlock! – Secret Adventures

Secret Adventures
05 April 2021
at home
3.0 out of 5.0 stars

In my quest to finish all Unlock boxes, I came around to an earlier box. Secret Adventures comes with three games with vastly different themes.

Noside Story brings us back to Professor Noside, who is apparently our arch nemesis and has brought a thick smoke over the region. We are tasked with finding out what is going on and foiling his plan. This scenario relies mostly on the cards and doesn’t have a lot of techy help from the app at all. Some of the riddles are deliberately obtuse and make it quite hard to follow along, or maybe I was just being slow in the uptake, I don’t know. I thought the story was quite fun, but the mix of super obvious puzzles that were too easy. and very weird ones that didn’t make sense, made this scenario a little frustrating to play.

Next up, Tombstone Express, a Wild West adventure complete with weird Native American stereotypes that feel a bit out of place nowadays. In this game, you’re on a train transporting a gemstone that is crucial for peace with the Apaches. Unfortunately the gem gets stolen almost immediately, and in your role as the Sheriff, you have to race against time to find the culprit. This game is definitely more narrative driven than most Unlock, but this experiment doesn’t pay off too well. There are too many cards to rifle through to find what the puzzle is supposed to be, with at times more than 20 cards active at the same time, and too many breaks with needless tasks to fight off bandits or quickly distract you from the tasks at hand. I did not enjoy Tombstone Express very much, though the solutions did seem to work quite well. The narrative driven side just didn’t work out great with what the game had to offer.

Lastly, there is The Adventures Of Oz, where you take on the roles of Dorothy, the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman to follow the well known story of the Wizard of Oz. Now this one was a completely different beast to the other two in the box. With a lot of new ideas and beautifully constructed riddles, it was really fun to follow the narrative and figure out the plethora of riddles. There was only one part, right at the end, that seemed a bit far fetched, but overall definitely my favourite of the three!

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