Last year Board and Dice took escape room board games to the next level with Escape Tales: The Awakening, introducing a unique level of re-playability through a highly immersive and multi-layered narrative.
We love The Awakening, so you can imagine our excitement when they announced the next standalone game in the Escape Tales line, Escape Tales: Low Memory. And we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on a sneak peek of the tutorial scenario to share with you guys!
NOTE: This Escape Tales: Low Memory preview post is split into two halves. The first half is a spoiler-free zone – we’ll be talking about the game generally and won’t talk about the details of what’s in the preview box. In the second half, we’ll talk about the preview scenario in more detail for people who want to get more of a flavour for the game.
What is Escape Tales?
Escape Tales are escape room style card games that have a heavy use of narrative throughout. A mash-up between an escape room puzzles and a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel. And unlike normal escape rooms, the aim isn’t to crack the clues and get out as quickly as possible. Instead, it’s more about exploring the settings and choosing your own path in the story. Although there can be consequences if you explore for too long!
Location cards make up a room and matching card, both of which are mapped to the grid board. You place location tokens on the grid to select the corresponding part of the room that you want to search.
Once you’ve picked where you want to search, you read a corresponding paragraph from the story book. Sometimes you might reveal part of a puzzle, or an item…or sometimes you might reveal nothing at all, wasting your time and the token!
If you run out of search tokens you have to reveal and resolve a doom card. This represents things deteriorating as time passes and may trigger something bad, like losing an item. But it will also give you more tokens so you can try and keep going.
What’s new with Escape Tales: Low Memory?
Those of you who have played the first Escape Tales, The Awakening, will know that it has quite a dark occult narrative. You take up the role of a father whose wife died years before, and now your daughter has fallen into a coma. The doctors can’t help and you’re out of options. So, you start to research her condition yourself and soon find yourself in the possession of a mysterious tome containing a ritual that you’ve been led to believe will help bring your daughter back… but how will your story end?
Escape Tales: Low Memory doesn’t share this dark theme. Instead, it’s set in the technologically advanced, not too distant future of the year 2060. This change in the theme is complemented by a change in art style. The artwork feels lighter and more colourful, with the futuristic theme carried through the game by a colourful almost cartoon-like artwork. But appearances can be deceptive…
The story starts in your gadget-filled futuristic apartment. You wake up on the sofa with a pounding head, a trashed home you watch your partner’s car pull out of the driveway.
And you’ll have to play the game to see what happens next!
This is only one of the narratives in Low Memory. Unlike its predecessor, players will experience the story and locations from 3 different perspectives. Players will need to use the knowledge they glean from all 3 experiences to resolve the overarching plot.
The Low Memory preview includes the tutorial chapter, which will likely be the first scene in the full game. Without giving too much away (we’ll go more into spoilers further down!), we found the playthrough as enjoyable as we did with The Awakening. Despite its lighter aesthetic it feels like Low Memory will have a dark sci-fi undertone, perhaps like the TV show Black Mirror.
The full game for Escape Tales: Low Memory will be released later this year. It will be premiering at Spiel Messe, Essen in October. So if you’re going to Spiele you should make sure you check it out!
Now, if you want to be spoiler-free, stop scrolling now!
We’re heading into spoilers in 3…
Escape Tales: Low Memory preview (spoilers)
Here’s where I’ll describe what’s in the box in more detail. The preview box includes the tutorial location, which will likely be the first location in the full game. It also includes some item cards, a doom card, and some blue and yellow tokens. The different coloured tokens caught our attention straight away because there’s only one type of token in The Awakening.
You start your story as Elizabeth. You watched your husband’s self-driving vehicle leave the driveway of your futuristic home. Next thing you know, you’ve woken up with a groggy head and a messy apartment. Before you can piece together what’s happened, you need to get out of your house – but your husband’s DIY techie security systems are activated!
And so for the tutorial scenario, you explore your home to try and figure out how to deactivate the laser system. There are three puzzles that you have to solve in order to deactivate the lasers – this is what the 3 yellow tokens are for.
We won’t reveal too much of the puzzles themselves – you’ll have to try the game for yourself to see them! The majority were straightforward, but there was one puzzle, in particular, we struggled with for a while because it was hard to make out what was on the card.
There’s one doom card included in the tutorial, but because it’s the tutorial it isn’t too bad and just gives you more search tokens!
We’re excited to see where this story goes. The box art and story set-up are intriguing and we really enjoy the mix of puzzle and narrative. What is quite innovative here is that the story will be told from 3 perspectives, which hasn’t been done before as far as I’m aware, so it’ll be really interesting to see how that works out.
Thanks to Board and Dice for sharing this teaser with us!
Disclaimer: The Escape Tales: Low Memory preview copy was provided to us by Board and Dice for free, but the opinions and views we give in this review is 100% honest.