OOMM Board Games
A Preview by
- 2-8 Players
- 30 minutes
- 13+ Ages
What is No Escape
You have done it. You finally landed your dream job working on the space station Titan. You arrived last week and have been getting your space legs ever since. Tomorrow you are due to start working all your clearance codes and passes have been activated. Suddenly there is a huge explosion and the station shakes violently. Alarms sound and Gas starts to fill the room. Outside you see escape pods launching and the evacuation warning sounds. The electronic display tells you that there is a single seater escape pod left, then the power fails. You are now in a race against the other survivors to try to find the last pod and escape before the station explodes. Will you survive?
What is in my Box?
The copy of No Escape I received for preview was a prototype copy and so quality and quantity were not 100% finalised. At the time of writing No Escape was live on Kickstarter meaning stretch goals could also have an impact.
- Double sided start board (2-4 & 4-8 player sides),
- 42 Action tiles,
- 90 Maze tiles,
- 12 New path tiles,
- 8 Player pieces,
- 24 Energy tokens,
- 2 Custom (1-3 numbered) six sided dice.
How does it work?
You objective is to be the first player to exit the board while adding to the maze and using Action tiles to slow your opponents or help yourself. All players start on the central start board they also take 3 tiles from a central stack of Action / Maze tiles. On your turn you have several action options to take which include compulsory actions. These are,
- Play Maze tile to extend the maze in a legal direction based on corridor directions. No Maze tile in hand and you discard entire hand then reveal tiles from the stack until you reveal a tile you can place.
- Roll the dice and move your character which can interact with other players character pawns.
- Optional Actions,
- Play Action tile from your hand with an immediate effect,
- Use Energy token to add +1 to your movement.
The main method of gameplay in No Escape is very simple. Play tiles to extend the maze making life difficult for your opponents while trying to get off the board yourself. First off the board wins but if the tiles stack ever runs out the station explodes and everyone loses. It really is as simple as that. The main wrinkle comes into play when you start using the Action tiles to aide yourself or hinder your rivals with some mild take that style elements of play. Another method of interaction is when you encounter another players pawn. You make them turn round and push them along the corridor, often in the opposite direction they wanted to go.
Here we have a game that is very ‘strategy-lite’. This does not mean that it is a bad game at all just that the decision on where to place the next Maze tile is usually fairly obvious. The interaction of strategy comes with the use of the Action tiles, of which there are a wide range. Some of these include,
- Redo – Play any one tile from the discard pile.
- Tactical Update – Play 2 maze tiles this turn.
- Switch – Change locations with another player.
- Supply Stash – Target player draws 3 Tiles.
Who is it for?
No Escape is a very entry level gateway tile laying game most suitable for larger family groups containing some ‘non-gamers’ or meet-up groups when you want a bigger group game to play. Very rules light and easy to teach. I do not see this being used by the Game group setting as there is not enough ‘meat on the bone’.
This is a tough on for me to call. I say that because having played at 2, 3 and 4 player it felt very flat. I would have loved the chance to play a full 8 player as there could potentially be more room for fun over a beer-n-pretzel style title. Fortunately it does not outstay its welcome and with an average 30min playtime you can easily play a quick game or two. Personally though I do feel that there was something missing, maybe an additional mechanic or take that element. Overall an interesting take on the tile laying mechanic and one that shows promise from an interesting designer.