My kids love a board game, especially at this time of year when the weather can ruin outdoor plans. We were sent the Spy Code Operation: Escape Room game to try out, and this weekend seemed the perfect grey day to give it a go.
Escape rooms have become popular lately, and this game gives children the chance to experience something similar. Suitable for 2-6 players, you choose a teammate to wear the escape belt while the other players work together to free them. The aim of the game is to collect three keys in a range of skill, strategy and luck challenges before the time runs out.
Jacob was the first to be strapped up with the master timer. You can select the amount of time you want to give the other players, so you can tailor it to suit older and younger gamers. You need 2 x AAA batteries for the timer, so stock up if you are planning to buy this for Christmas.
Once the timer is started, the other players have to complete mathematical puzzles, find patterns and solve problems to crack the code. The skill challenge tests their ability to navigate a maze, while the luck challenge leaves it all up to chance. Completing each challenge earns you one of the three keys you need to release your teammate.
Challenge 1 is the Skill Key Cage – spin the arrow on top to decide which side the key needs to come out of. Each side has a difficulty rating, with 1 being the easiest and 4 being the hardest. You use the 2 sticks to balance the key and remove from the cage without using your hands.
Challenge 2 is the Strategy Quiz Master. You insert the key you retrieved from the Skill Key Cage and turn to unlock. You then have to solve 3 puzzle cards, entering the correct code letters from the cards. You can check if the answer is correct by pressing the fingerprint scanner. If it is correct, a third of the key tray will slide out. Once you have solved three consecutive correct answers, the key will be released. But get one wrong, and the key tray slides right back in, meaning you have to start over again!
The puzzle cards are divided into 3 difficulty levels – green (beginner), yellow (intermediate) and red (advanced), so again, you can tailor the game to suit the players.
Challenge 3 is the Lucky Spinner. Insert the key from Challenge 2, and spin the disc. Lift up 3 different doors, one by one, to find key 3. When you open each door, you will receive a hint to help you locate the key. If you don’t find it after the third try, you have to close all the doors and spin again.
Once you have the third and final key, it’s time to release the master timer and free your team mate! Inserting the key reveals the escape button, which you press to stop the timer. There is a manual safety button which you can press at any time during the game to stop the master timer too.
Gemma, Jacob and Max absolutely LOVED this game, and they haven’t stopped playing it since. We love the fact that you can tailor the game to suit younger players too, which means that Max, at 5, can also join in. It is a great family game, and one that I can see us using a lot over the Christmas period when we have friends and family visiting.
Fun for all ages, we highly recommend Operation: Escape Room!