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   Found for £13.42 online  Found for €10.90 from dvGiochi

DECKSCAPE: BEHIND the CURTAIN is one of the Escape Room games in the continuing series by dvGiochi. Each of the five games to date, of which I have played four so far, are from the imaginations of Martino Chiacchiera & Silvano Sorrentino and each of them has a similar game mechanic but with a different theme and diverse, offbeat, very creative puzzles. - Deckscape - Test time  - Deckscape - The fate of London  - Deckscape - Heist in Venice  - Deckscape - The Mystery of Eldorado

Pocket Escape Room games all comprise of a deck of cards that must NOT be shuffled when opened. Each card has player instructions such as read the card, flip the card, do NOT flip the card until you have solved the puzzle etc.

When you are confident you have solved the puzzle then you flip the card and read the actual solution. If you are correct then you go onto the next card, if you are incorrect you mark an X on a piece of paper - you don't need an actual score card as long as you keep count of the Xs you get. The game is for 1-6 (cooperative) players though more can join in if you wish, there really is no need for a head count or an age limit, though being able to read and deduce is necessary.

So let's start at the beginning from the moment you take the celluloid wrapper off of the box, open it and remove the cards. Inside is a sealed deck under which there may be small envelope or a folded sheet not to be opened until instructed. 

Each card has a number in its top left corner, every deck being made up of exactly 60 cards, the first (#1) and last (#60) being the Yellow & Black 'Cautionary' cards. The first card gives you the basic instructions 'Do not look through this deck....'  'Each card is numbered 1-60....  & 'If the card order is altered have someone reorder it..'

After the first few cards have been read and flipped it is possible you will have some discarded and out of the game and others placed face up in front of you as they may (almost certainly will) be useful later on. At some time in the game, not too far in, the deck will split into colour coded mini decks. In this game #5-#16 are Grey, #17-#18 are Purple, #19-#21 are Gold, #22-#32 are Orange, #33-#46 are Blue, #47-#56 are Green and finally the last 4 cards are back to Grey as they are informative towards the end result.

After opening the deck and reading the first club you have to mark the current time on your piece of paper; you then have a number of minutes to discover the correct solution. In 'BEHIND the CURTAIN' 0-75 minutes is an amazing success, 76-90 minutes is good and 91+ minutes needs improving. In the first three DECKSCAPE games we, playing as a 3-person team, kept within the frame of the last limit before going over to the 'needs improving' time, and generally with only one or two 5 minute X penalties.

With confidence, maybe not 'supreme confidence' but definitely with confidence, we approached BEHIND the CURTAIN, probably with a bit of a swagger and so expectant to walk through this as we did before, in fact we never bothered with the pen and paper (to mark the Xs) before we hit our first hurdle.

The puzzles are mainly visual and logical in the manner of 1,3,5,9,11,13 which is the next number in the sequence? if you haven't worked it out it's 17. Once all players have agreed on the answer the card is flipped over and the result read. If correct move onto the next card, if incorrect mark an X on your paper.

Some of the cards cannot be flipped over until you have something that allows them to be. You might need a Magnifying Glass to clearly see an insignia, a key to open a locked chest, the code for a numerical lock etc and these will be found on the flip sides of other cards in the deck. Sometimes you will find these before you know you need them, they will be on cards you are requested to keep to one side for later use.

The cards and puzzles in BEHIND the CURTAIN are mostly themed with the entertainment of stage magic, the manipulation of cards, the sawing a lady in half or making her disappear style of magic. I cannot show too much of them or even talk too much about them here because they are the puzzles in the game and if I tell you all the answers there will be no game for you to play.

These are not 'legacy' games where you have to tear cards up or burn them, but they are games you cannot really play week after week. If you do not have a super memory perhaps you can play them again within 6-12 months with a new group of players. Of course if you give up without solving the game you can play it again soon after failing, but in our experiences you always solve the game, what counts is only how long it takes you to do it.

BEHIND the CURTAIN hit us right where it hurt - in the smugness! We were so sure that we would waltz through it that for the first few puzzles we were sloppy and before we knew it we were on a roll, moving through the game dismissively, and quickly which soon had 3 Xs on our sheet. Then after we found a way to erase an X we decided to study the scenes and clues more seriously and discuss between us before flippantly flipping the cards, then we weren't on a roll, we were really cooking.

We reached the end of the deck successfully having completed all tasks and possibilities, matching the items with their uses, picking the correct cards from marked decks etc etc. We congratulated ourselves and looked at our final tally, only 5 Xs remained on the paper, just an added 25 minutes to ensure we were right. Trouble is we had gone over the 75 minutes before adding the Xs x 5, in fact we had taken around 130 minutes plus 25 minutes - we were so far out of the time limits we couldn't believe it.

The thing is, it didn't matter. We enjoyed the social aspect, the discussions between us, the delight at being right and the dismay at being wrong, but most of all we enjoyed the variations in the puzzles.

Now we cannot wait to visit Venice, we hear there has been some kind of complicated robbery there.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021