We're getting closer to the United States release of Unlock!, and anticipation is growing. Even though the game isn't out yet, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to preview the adventures that await you right now. But before you go running off, there are some important things to keep in mind. The various Unlock! adventures will take you on journeys to all sorts of places. You and your team of up to six players will search a secret lab hidden within New York’s subway system, break out of a cartoon villain’s house of horrors, and explore a billionaire’s remote island, all in the first three adventures alone. It's best you know what you'll need before you venture on.
Despite the variety of their settings, all Unlock! scenarios have one thing in common: the challenge. No matter how experienced a player you are, it’s still possible to get stuck, and each Unlock! adventure can pose a stiff challenge to you and your team. While it’ll be up to you to solve all the dastardly puzzles you encounter, it’s important to remember that you have some tools at your disposal that could save your skin in the nick of time. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you get through your first few games of Unlock!
Preparing for Adventure
Close discussion with your team is, of course, the best way to untangle the web of puzzles, traps, and brainteasers that make up each Unlock! deck. It’s important to continue talking through the more difficult puzzles, even if you feel stumped. Take a look at what cards are available to you and discuss all the possibilities, no matter how unlikely they might seem. A good team considers every option available to them.
Even if you don’t succeed on your first few attempts, it’s important to take some time and discuss the puzzles that really stumped you in order to be more efficient the next time around. Once you’ve got a few adventures under your belt, you’ll be prepared for anything.
It's in the Cards
Pay close attention to the cards. The cards that represent the rooms and the objects in them can contain important secrets, so it’s a good idea to examine them closely. An object critical to solving a puzzle and advancing could be hiding right under your nose, so make sure to examine every card for even the smallest clues.
Once the cabinet in the tutorial scenario has been opened, for example, the number 16 is visible within it, giving you access to a new card. Although it might seem obvious in this example, a keen eye can make all the difference in your effort to escape. Items can turn up in unexpected places, making Unlock! about more than just combining cards.
Tools of the Trade
Make use of the app. The Unlock! companion app does more than just keep time. It can provide useful information when you feel that you're stuck. Hints are always available by punching a card’s number into the app, and although it might seem most obvious to do this with room and place cards, it’s important to remember that you can get hints for almost every card, including machines, objects, and modifiers. The number of hints you request throughout an adventure will affect your final assessment, but they can also be the difference between victory and starting from scratch. It’s never a bad idea to ask for a hint if you’re stumped.
Beyond getting hints, though, there is another way that the app can help you solve the puzzle. By clicking the Hidden Objects button, you could be led to one of those oh-so-subtle numbers tucked in the corner of a card. Anytime you might feel that you've overlooked something, the Hidden Objects button might help you advance to the next stage of the adventure.
Carefully consider your decisions. Although the clock is ticking and tension is on the rise, it’s always a good idea to mull over your decisions before you commit. Acting too quickly can lead to dreaded penalty cards and time deducted from the clock. You can preserve those precious seconds by carefully choosing your next move.
For example, it could be tempting to attempt to enter “7239” as the exit code upon revealing card 48 in the tutorial, but this won’t work. An important detail is being overlooked. Can you spot the key to putting the numbers in the correct order? Being mindful of these small details—even if it means taking a few more seconds—can save you time in the long run.
Give these tips a try with the Unlock! demo materials available on the Unlock! website. The demo folder provides everything to get you started, including a quick-start guide, the full game rules, the ten-card tutorial and The Elite, a free Unlock! prerelease adventure. Once you’ve whetted your appetite, look for Unlock! to hit store shelves later this spring!