Review – Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse
Amazon Affiliate Link – https://amzn.to/3JVB6Np
Price – $42.00
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own. If you decide you’d like to purchase the game, we’d love it if you could buy through our Amazon Affiliate link to support our purchase of new games to play and review.
The Cursed Dollhouse is an at-home escape room in a box experience. The premise will have you working your way through a dollhouse, hoping to find your way out before it’s too late. What makes this product unique is that it will have players actually interacting with a small dollhouse, consisting of five miniature rooms. Each room will have its own puzzles to solve, but some of the clues and materials will carry over to future puzzles.
The game claims it takes about 2-3 hours for a group of 1-4 players. While players obviously have the freedom to spend as much time on the game as they would like, the suggested timed variant is set at two hours and thirty minutes. If players must take breaks, moving into a new room acts as an easy pause point. The Cursed Dollhouse is designed to be suitable for players of at least 13 years of age.
The idea of having to construct a mini dollhouse before starting the game can seem a bit strange or intimidating. Thankfully, the dollhouse is designed in a way that has the game’s actual box working as the frame of the house with players needing to do minimal work to finish assembly. The directions are pretty clear and it took us less than ten minutes to fully complete the structure. Putting the house together also shouldn’t spoil any of its mysteries.
*Quick note about assembly: the game claims to be fully resettable, with the option of printing out replacement pieces for several of the items found inside. While this is true, you do need to be careful with your handling of objects in order to make them reusable and you’ll probably have to provide some of your own tape and glue to replace what you’ve messed up. We were able to reset the box pretty well, but the house definitely has a bit of a used feel to it now. If whoever you’re passing it onto next isn’t too particular, things should be fine. Worst case scenario, just claim that the worn-feeling adds to the aesthetic of the creepy and cursed dollhouse.
We completed The Cursed Dollhouse in two sittings, which did add up to over two hours of play (though having a baby present for parts of our journey may have impacted our time slightly). While the dollhouse really only acts as a vehicle for theming and immersion, we thought it added a decent amount to the experience. It was neat getting to interact with tiny pieces of furniture and to figure out what other secrets rooms held. They might not have all been super well hidden; it’s hard to miss a bulging piece on a wall, but it’s still fun to take things apart. If any of our readers have played Exit the Game brand boxes, the dollhouse acts as a physical representation of what those games do within their books. The same goal is accomplished, but the overall experience feels more immersive and interactive (which may or may not justify the higher price tag for some players).
The puzzles proved to be a good level of challenge, with a nice range of difficulty. Most of them made sense, even if we had to think about them for a bit or try a few theories out first. The game uses a solution wheel to check your answers. Again, it will be very familiar for those who have played Exit brand boxes before. It’s a simple tool, but it works well. It will let you know whether you’re right or wrong without spoiling anything if your attempt is incorrect.
There was one puzzle in the second room that really stumped us, however, the dollhouse delivered on its easy to use online hint system, so we were able to use that and move on pretty quickly.
If you’re into the at-home escape room in a box genre and you want to try something that adds to the level of immersion without distracting from the puzzles, we strongly recommend Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse.