Players: 1-4, Time: 3 X 3 Hours, Age 16+
By Board & Dice
A copy of this game was sent to me by Board & Dice to review.There was no obligation to provide a positive review asked or given
Escape Tales: Low Memory is a 1-4 player, co-operative, story driven, escape room, style game published by Board & Dice. It is the follow up to the 2018 release Escape Tales: The Awakening. Before I begin, This review is spoiler free and all images are either from the very first opening of the game. Also be aware this game is rated 16+ for a reason and not just to get round CE regulation testing.
Into the Future?
Going into Escape Tales: Low Memory you are provided with very little information. Escape Tales: Low Memory takes place in 2060 and you begin the game as Elizabeth, a researcher who is having a hard time remembering anything from the past 24 hours. Over the course of the game you will complete 3 stories all based around different characters interwoven into one whole of a story.
What’s in the Box?
Inside your copy of Escape Tales: Low Memory you will find, 3 Story books, Location Cards, Game Cards, Stress Cards, Rule Book, Progress Tokens and Action Tokens.
You will also need access to a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. This is because the game uses an app to keep the puzzle answers hidden and allow you access to individual hints (or even answers if your completely stuck) as opposed to your needing to open envelopes or cut cards. What is nice though is that once you have downloaded the app you can play offline.
Progress Tokens? They are new. Yes where as in the previous Escape Tales game you had to find the exit before moving on. This time due to the more narrative driven aspect of the story you will reach a point in each room when you are forced to move to the next location. This is irrelevant of how much of the current location you have explored.
At a total of 9 (yes nine) Hours playtime this is a long game but do not panic, you don’t need to complete the game in one sitting. There is a very simple save and resume function explained in the rule book which allows you to record your progress and get back up and running again really quickly. In fact as you play through the stories you will reach points when the game suggests you save and resume at another time.
How does it work?
Move to a location- a location consists of 2 Tarot sized cards and a smaller map grid card. Giving a total of 12 searchable points in each location
Take Tokens- Collect a specific number of action tokens.
Place a token onto a grid space of the map grid card.
Read out the relevant paragraph from the story book.
Take associated actions, cards etc. as depicted in the book.
Attempt to solve puzzles.
Enter your solution in the app.
Follow the directions of the app after a correct puzzle answer.
As there is no ticking clock pressure and no final score to worry about, you do not feel so reluctant to be using hints. You can even use the final hint to reveal the answer itself if you need to (yes we did on a couple of the puzzles). This also allows for the puzzles to be more intricate and brain burning.
You will very quickly realise that you are not given enough tokens to visit every space available so you will need to all work together and prioritise your options before spending tokens. However if you do run out of tokens on a location there are Stress cards (A different set for each story) which can provide you with a few more. After resolving the effect of the Stress card you will be awarded a few more this can have far reaching effects on the story though so be warned. As you would expect with a name like Stress Cards, The more you use the worse it gets for you.
The pressure builds as you move through the story due to the fact that you will be awarded progress tokens at points in the story and these can trigger moving location. Even if you have not solved all the puzzles. You need to pay attention to everything as there can be clues all over as you try to uncover the plot of this interwoven epic.
Are you a Clever Trevor?
There is definitely something for everyone in Escape Tales: Low Memory. The game consists of a good mix of puzzles ranges from the simple collect all the bits style going all the way up to the “My brain is hurting” end of the spectrum. I would certainly not be exaggerating say that most players will find themselves needing to use the apps inbuilt hints at some point on their journey.The puzzles themselves generally try to have some relationship to the story itself. Some more successfully than others. To say more would be spoiler territory.
I want to tell you a story?
The 3 interwoven story narrative works really well and while Escape Tales: Low Memory’s story is not as dark as their previous outing. I did find it an interesting and unique adventure. It reminded me of those movies where you follow different characters as they lead to the finale.
Good and Bad?
Escape Tales: Low Memory is an ambitious attempt at building on the story driven adventure play-style experienced in their previous game with. As you learn more about the story you realise every decision matters. This is something that is achieved to different levels of success.
Some of the location card images are hard to see properly, this is quite a big issue especially as visual reference is so important. The box is plenty big enough to have allowed for larger location cards and this would have improved the playing experience greatly especially if you have 4 players all trying to see what an image is. I had hoped that following their previous outing having the same criticism levelled at it this would have been resolved.
The story for me personally was not as emotionally investing as in Escape Tales: The Awakening. The characters just did not come across as well in my opinion.
Some of the possible story endings might feel a little unsatisfactory at times.
At 9 Hours Escape Tales: Low Memory is a long game.
The puzzles in Escape Tales: Low Memory were in my opinion much better than those from Escape Tales: The Awakening. Your mileage might differ there but these felt more cohesive.
App tells you how many cards you need for a puzzle (if you want it to).
A full 3 story experience that has some nice twists. Also each of the story segments are not overly long at just a small paragraph each normally.
No time limit meaning you can spend as long as you like on the current puzzle.
Re-playability You don’t destroy any components.
The futuristic story setting was more appealing to me than the previous setting.
My time with Escape Tales: Low Memory was a mixed bag. I found the story to be full of promise which in my opinion it ultimately did not quite live up to. My play-through was done in a 3 sittings over 3 days and I came away feeling glad that I had completed it. But a little flat after the emotional investment in the previous outing. That being said I did find the puzzles to be of a generally higher standard this time round. Let down only by the lower than expected location card clarity.
While this game plays up to 4 (in theory more could easily join in it would just be crowded) I felt the story lent itself more to solo playing while the puzzles definitely needed more eyes (3 players at least)
The amount of content in Escape Tales: Low Memory that gives you 9 hours of story driven gameplay is phenomenal and much higher on the value for money scale than the much shorter hour long offerings of other escape room games. I do think that even with the potential to replay this game I was not engaged enough to want to go in again.
If you enjoy escape rooms style gameplay, Like the idea of a more futuristic storyline and If you enjoyed the storytelling aspect in previous release Escape Tales: The Awakening (you can find the review here) Then Escape Tales: Low Memory is well worth a look. Overall a good next step in the series showing that Board and Dice are invested in making this style of adventure story game a success.
You can order your copy of Escape Tales: Low Memory from,