Thursday 18 October 2018

Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room Game (age 6+) Sent for review by Smyths #Ad

Our latest toy review is Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room from Yulu Toys. Sent to us for review by Smyths Toy Superstore, it's suitable for 2-6 players aged 6+. This is a really brilliant game and we love playing it, the boys laugh and watching them running about frantically is great fun...

The box is sturdy and great for storage between uses. There are plastic bags protecting parts in transit, but unwrapping is almost instant. Minimal assembly is required before first play, which looks daunting at first, but is straightforward and only takes 5 minutes.

The game is played by two players at a time over 4 different parts. The concept is that one player is locked up and it's up to another to rescue them by solving the puzzles dotted around the room and collecting the keys locked inside. The final key stops the timer and releases the trapped player. 

Once you've set everything up, start the timer and begin with Puzzle 1, The Key Cage. The first key is inside the cage and using the two shaped poles provided you have to remove it. Each side of the cage has a hole that varies in difficulty and it's decided by spin of the arrow on top which side you have to attempt.

This is harder than it looks with the timer running and actually brilliant practise for younger children with learning to be calm under pressure, problem-solving and pen control - benefits you might not expect from a game such as this!

Once you have the key, you can set it into Puzzle No.2 The Quizmaster. The Quizmaster comes with 45 cards with puzzles in 3 different difficulties. Some of these are obvious and some are really confusing at first!

Enter the number on the the card plus the answer, check the answer by pressing the fingerprint button and a tray at the end of the Quizmaster will pop out 1/3 of the way if you are right. 3 correct answers to 3 different cards and you'll be able to remove the key from the tray.

Grab that key and insert it into Puzzle No.3 The Lucky Spinner. This has little doors all around which open. Spin the spinner to randomise the location of the key and then you may open only 3 of the doors. Each door has either an arrow pointing towards the key or the key itself underneath.

If you fail to find the key with 3 attempts to open the little doors, you'll have to give in and close them, re-spin and try again. It's very quick and you'd think fairly easy, but under pressure it's simple to make daft errors.

Once you've collected that key, the final part is to release the prisoner! The last obstacle is The Timer. The timer is on a strap so that you can attach it to the prisoner, or you can choose instead to fasten it around some treasured posession and hold that hostage instead.

Fastening the timer around someone's torso I find a bit disturbing. It does look quite like a bomb, there's no getting away with that fact. My boys even refer to it as a bomb despite us reminding them many times that it isn't - it simply represents chains and locks to hold the captive prisoner.

All you have to do is turn the key in the lock before the timer reaches zero. This opens a special drawer and exposes the release button. Press that and the strap will undo - the captive is free! The score remaining on the timer is the one to beat next time.

The Timer is fantastic. It makes an awesome and quite loud ticking noise when it's going, which increases the tension and makes it seem just like you are really attempting to beat the clock and escape. It has a big emergency release button at the rear too - just in case you don't undo it in time...

Each game only seems to take around 5-10 minutes including set up, but you'll want to do it again and again. Beating your own time is quite addictive, the key cage is especially something you can work on and improve.

Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room is tons of fun, very quick to set up and play, and the challenges are exactly the right degree of hardness to make you work without being frustrating. If you beat the time too easily, just move all of the challenges further apart or set the timer with less time to start with. Likewise if it's too hard, give yourself more time...

There is a great Spycode website with videos, competitions and details about the whole range of Spycode Toys and grown ups can search the hashtag #Spycode online to find even more.

Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room is available instore exclusively from Smyths Toys Superstore, priced at a very reasonable £19.99rrp, suitable for age 6+.

We were sent our copy of Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room for review by Smyths Toys Superstore and given a toy voucher for the boys in return for our time, hence the #Ad which I'm obliged to add for clarity. 

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