Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods
Players: 1-4, Time: 450mins, 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: Children of Wyrmwoods is a 1-4 player, co-operative, story driven, escape room, style game published by Board & Dice. It is the Third release in Board and Dice’s Escape Tales series of games following on from the 2018 release Escape Tales: The Awakening and its successor Escape Tales: Low Memory.
Before I begin, This review is spoiler free and all images are from the very first opening of the game. Also be aware this game is rated 16+ not just to get round CE regulation testing, but because the content has a more mature leaning. Saying that I found this to be the most accessible of the three releases for 14+ age range (depending on the child)
Going into Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods you are provided with very little information. Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods begins with you taking on the role of Gilbert a small town orphan boy in love with the Mayor’s Daughter Sevilla. This love has been kept a secret from her father, That is until now. She has discovered her father is ‘up to something?’ Has he found out about you? Whatever it is begins with you going into the cellar to find out more. But first you must find a way to open the door!
What’s in the Box?
Inside your copy of Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods you will find,
Story books, Location Cards, Game Cards, Rest and Focus Cards, Rule Book, Progress Tokens and Action Tokens and a Map.
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. If you have played either of the previous Escape Tales games then you will already have all you need on your electronic device as Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods is already included on the app.
How does it work?
Board and Dice have managed to create a very rules light games with their Escape Tales games. As in Escape Tales: The Awakening or Low Memory, to play a game of Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods you will,
Reveal a location card or cards
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.
There will also be additional steps between 6 and 7 involving getting puzzle answers wrong, asking for hints. Trying again and using more hints.
Without the pressure of the ticking clock and no final score to worry about, you do not feel so reluctant to be using hints and/or taking longer to solve a puzzle. You can even use the final hint to reveal the answer itself if you need to. This will probably happen because the puzzles can be much more ‘brain burning’.
You will very quickly realise that you are not given enough tokens to visit every space available. You will need to work together and prioritise your options before spending tokens. However if you do run out of tokens on a location there are Rest or Focus cards which can provide you with a few more. After resolving the effect of the cards you will be awarded a few more tokens to use this will have far reaching effects on the story though so be warned. The more you use the bigger the impact on the story itself. 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: Children of Wyrmwoods. The game consists of a good mix of puzzles ranges from the simple Square is worth 4 triangle is worth 3 how much is the pentagon worth style going all the way up to the ‘My brain is melting’ 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 several points on their journey.
The puzzles themselves try to have some relationship to the story itself. much more successfully than in the other games in this reviewers opinion. To say more would be spoiler territory.
I want to tell you a story?
Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods is based on your journey as Gilbert. You try to discover the secret the Mayor has been hiding and how it affects you. To this end Board and Dice have taken the Escape Tales games into a much closer stance to the old school point and click computer games from the 80’s and early 90’s. You will have a character card with several traits like stamina or charisma. When you are using tokens to search a location it is akin to using energy. At a certain point you will run out of energy (tokens). Do you then take time to rest (take a Rest card) and deal with the consequences that involves, or do you instead try to push on through and Focus more intently on the task in hand? Both of these decisions will have long term effects on your characters abilities (spoiler territory so I won’t reveal any more information sorry).
What is really exciting is the different ways that Board and Dice have implemented the various cards within Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods. Location cards are no longer just two side by side, now some are double sided while others will be… Well you will find out. The Game Cards are no longer just puzzles or items but there will be Story cards revealed where you will need to make a pivotal decision based on your own moral compass. The resulting effects will have sometimes major effects on the story. Add to this you now have the ability to combine items together in true point and click fashion or even interact with cards to find out what Gilbert thinks of them. This is done in a smooth and intuitive way using the app and can reveal extra information to aid you.
Good and Bad?
Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods is an ambitious attempt at building on the story driven adventure play-style experienced in their previous games. As you learn more about the story you realise every decision matters. This is something that is achieved to much more success than the previous two games.
The story is long at 450 minutes (that is seven and a half hours!) in reality my firsy run through was under that. You can however save your progress.
You do not know how many cards you need to complete a puzzle unless you check the app. An extra step that if the app said on the solution page number of cards is not needed.
Some of the possible story points might feel a little unsatisfactory at times. I felt like some of the story paragraphs could have been a bit more detailed.
The puzzles in Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods were in my opinion much better than those from the previous offerings as they felt much more relevant to the story (for the most part). Your mileage might differ there but for me these felt much more cohesive.
App tells you how many cards you need for a puzzle (if you want it to).
A full 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 story setting was very atmospheric and appealing to me.
My time with Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods was a delight. I found the story to be full of promise which it mostly lived up to. My play-throughs were done in 4 sittings and I did 2 complete playthroughs and then went through the cards and books to uncover the remaining content. The puzzles were definitely a generally higher standard this time round. Even image clarity on the location cards was improved (a major gripe of mine from the earlier game reviews).
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: Children of Wyrmwoods that gives you 7 ½ 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.
If you enjoy escape rooms style gameplay, are not put off by the long game time and If you enjoyed the storytelling aspect in previous releases ‘The Awakening‘ and ‘Low Memory’ Then Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods is well worth a look. Overall a huge next step in the series showing that Board and Dice are invested in making this style of adventure story game a success. In my opinion this release is head and shoulders above the other two games and really shows potential for the series going forward. I will eagerly await the next release in the series.
You can order your copy of Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods from,