Review – Escape from the Two Base Stations by SCRAP

Review – Escape from the Two Base Stations by SCRAP

Website Link – available through Amazon

Price – ​​​​$37.13 for the English version (as of 9/25/2022)

Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.

The Product:

Escape from the Two Base Stations is an escape experience specifically designed for two people.  Each player is trapped at either the North or South Pole base, and they will need to work together in order to get out before they are captured by their enemies.

The game comes with two envelopes, one for each player.  Inside they will find four smaller envelopes that contain pieces of information that will aid in escaping the two bases.  Players will need to share and trade info to figure out how to proceed on their adventure.

This game is built under the assumption that both players will be communicating virtually using a tool such as GoogleChat, Zoom, Skype, etc.  At different points of the journey, players will be instructed on how they can communicate, being told whether they can or cannot use mics, cameras, or chat functions.  Many of the puzzles will be based around figuring out how to best communicate information despite limitations.  Players will need internet enabled devices beyond just the video call feature as well. 

* Quick Note: We played our game in not only the same house, but in the same room.  For no-camera, we didn’t look at each other and set up a small barrier between us.  For no-mic, we simply did not talk.  We used texting as our chat-feature.  This worked well and saved us from having to set up a video call from different parts of the house.

The game is recommended for ages 13+ and should take about 1-2 hours.  As a pair of two, the game took us slightly under 90 minutes.  

Our Thoughts:

Since we play the majority of our puzzles games as a duo, it is always great to find an experience specifically built with two players in mind (though technically, this could be played as two separate teams instead).  The SCRAP team put together a strong game that it would be hard not to recommend for puzzle-solving duos.  

The premise of two spies being stuck at separate locations and needing to exchange information is a good one, and the game uses it well to engineer reasons for the puzzles and the different communication limitations.  What really carries the story is the partial scripts provided for each level.  Both players get to exchange dialogue to set up the situations they find themselves in.  This can be a tad cheesy, but it sets up the scenarios well and helps players immerse themselves in the adventure. 

When we first started the game, the puzzles felt a little easy and the challenge seemed to simply be how to describe things the other person couldn’t see.  However, as we continued forward, the challenge level did increase, in both the puzzles and how we could communicate.  We had a number of different types of puzzles to solve and even how to overcome communication limitations turned into puzzles at points.  The game did a great job of ramping up the difficulty while also teaching players skills to use later on.  The balance was impressive and we were left with a feeling of accomplishment when all was said and done.

While it wasn’t an issue for us since we played in the same house, we would like to note that the two envelopes can only be purchased together.  If you do plan to play remotely, you’ll either need to buy two copies or have one person order the set and then figure out how to get one half to the other person (extra puzzle?).  We would love to see an official option for splitting the set or buying individual pieces akin to Trapped Takeout’s Taco Twosday.

Escape from the Two Base Stations definitely seems like a product made for those isolated and separated by the Covid-19 pandemic, but we really enjoyed playing it and hope SCRAP will consider making more games like this despite the world no longer being locked down.  This is a great game for duos but is also worth checking out for anyone who loves puzzles.  The unique set up helps it stand out and should provide a memorable experience for all players.  

Official C&C Rating:

Narrative: 3/5

Puzzles: 3.5/5

Overall Fun: 4/5

Total Averaged Rating: 3.5/5

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