Cardboard Children: Escape!

Hello youse.

Today I want to tell you about a new game called ESCAPE: The Curse Of The Temple. It’s a game that plays in 10 Minutes. It’s frantic. And I felt that the best way to explain it would be to try to somehow capture the character of the game in text form.

And that’s why this week’s column is one I will write in TEN MINUTES. I am going to start a timer, start writing, and when the timer stops I will take my hands off the keyboard. There’s a lot I want to say, so please forgive any typos or mistakes. I have nothing pre-planned. And I am in a rush.

You ready? Let’s go.


ESCAPE is a “real-time adventure game” for one to five players. Each player is an adventurer inside a temple, attempting to make an escape before the temple collapses. You start from a cnetral tile and explore the tmeple room by room until you can find the exit tile. As you move through the temple you have to activate gems on special tiles that will make your exit easier. As you play, you listen to a soundtrack CD that runs for ten minutes and puts you into a screaming panic.

Okay, hold on – right, I need to explain the dice first I think. Each player has five dice. Every player plays SIMULTANEOUSLY. You’re all rolling your own dice at the same time as each other. The dice have symbols that represent MOVEMENT, KEYS, FIRE TORCHES, CURSES, and GOLDEN MASKS. You need to roll two movement symbols to explore a new room (lay a new tile on the table). And each new room has a prerequisite for entering (for example maybe a movement symbol and a torch) so you need to roll that to be able to move in. Then there might be a gem inside, and maybe you need to roll four keys to activate it, so you try to do that. And you’re just constantly rolling your dice as you move around, looking for the symbols you need.

Move around, activate gems, then find the exit and roll enough keys to beat the total of unactivated gems +1. This will let you escape. So you can see that it’s important to activate as many gems as you can before you try to leave. It makes that final roll much easier. Every player has to escape if everyone is to win.


That CD I mentioned earlier. A little way in, a gong will sound, and every player has to get back to the central tile before the door slams shut. Cue everyone trying to desperately roll moevment symbols. If you don;t make it back in time, you lose a die. A little later, a gong will sound for a second time. Everyone has to dash back again or lose dice. The third time the gong sounds, the temple is about to collapse and you must ESCAPE. The CD is fucking great. It keeps you nicely on edge.

The dice. You can roll these black mask symbols, curse symbols, and they LOCK your dice. Any die that comes up black can’t be TOUCHED. You can’t roll them. Only by rolling a golden mask can you unlock them. So this means that it’s possible to completely freeze all of your dice and be trapped in a room. Then someone has to come find you and try to release you by sharing their gold mask rolls. This is AWESOME, and turns the game into this exciting thing that has so many screams of HELP I’M TRAPPED! And loads of heroic escapes. I’m running out of time here.

When you explore tiles, some of them are cursed. This means you draw a curse card – and these are just hilarious. One of them makes you plkay with one hand on your head. One bans you from speaking. One permanently removes any dice that you accidentally roll off the tab;le. So cool. You need to roll dice syumbol, combviunations to break these curses. You need to make some quick decisions about how best to use your rolls. So good.

Treasure – yeah theres treasure too. You can fgind treasure chesta dn you need to roll keys to unlock them and these give you benefits, like golden masks and extra keys and all sorts of good stuff. There’s even an amazing teleport thing that allows you to zap yourself to any othe rplayer’s room which is amazing for rtescues and for the final escape.

I’m, not going to make this.

In summing up, this is one of thye graetest games I’ve p[layed this year. It’s what I would decsribe as a hout. A hooto. A HOOT. Everybodytr rolling at the same time, shoutiong at the same time, dropping dicer,. In our first sedison with it w ep,ayed it about five tiems ain a row. YOU WILL TOTALLY WANT TO DO THAT. It’s quick, eayse, Fats, and so sos so so much funb 3









  1. BenAffleck says:

    Rab, you are a legend :D

  2. McDan says:

    This has got me really really excited now, and on a sunday afternoon as well. I didn’t want to be this excited, I’ll have to do something now. At least it looks like another boardgame for christmas! Also your new tumblr is pretty damn good Rab.

  3. JB says:

    Sounds fun. I wonder how well it’d work with two players.

    I just thought, you could have used the CD from the game as your timer for the article!

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    slightly off-topic:

    Wolfire released their game from the Fuck This Jam… it’s a bit like their previous 7dfps game, Receiver, in terms of their approach but this time it’s a board-game simulation (i.e. you have to actually pick up the game items and move them around, with physics, etc): link to

  5. Bhazor says:

    “The CD”

    Oh dear, the memories.

  6. Fede says:

    This is a *very* good game. If someone wants to see it in action, I’d suggest rahdo’s gameplay walkthrough.

    • sightseemc says:

      Excellent! Just forwarded it to friends to show what we’ll be playing next board game night.

  7. Aaarrrggghhh says:

    Played this on the “Spiel 2012”. So much frantic fun! I can only recommend this one.
    Next to “Sentinels of the Multiverse” :)

  8. wodin says:

    That article looks like what i see every time I look up after typing something on the net..I then spend god knows how long fixing ll the typos..

    OK quick question. Anyone played Last Night on Earth? Is it anygood for 2 and my daughter? She is Zombie mad…

    • Henneth says:

      Last Night on Earth is pretty good fun with 2 players. The expansion add a bunch of stuff but you can get a good idea of how the base game plays here: link to

    • Xyvik says:

      My wife and I are huge fans of LNOE (as those of us who play it often call it…..) and it plays wicked fun with just 2 players. We probably play LNOE when it’s just us more than any other game. The expansions really ramp up the excitement, and you absolutely need to play it “in the mood,” with the lights dimmed and the soundtrack CD playing. You don’t -have- to, but it sure makes it fun

    • Choca says:

      I’ve started a Last Night on Earth game last week with three people who had never played it before (amongst which two had never played this kind of board game).

      Rules are pretty easy to explain/understand and everyone’s having fun. We have an extremely slow turn player in the group and I don’t expect the game to last more than 90 minutes in the end (we’ve already played an hour).

      I would recommend starting with the “Escape in the truck” scenario for beginners, since it can be done without too much fighting and is pretty straightforward for the heroes (which should be played by those unfamiliar with the game).

      I do wish the (short) rulebook was better organized though, it kinda throws all the rules around in one large bulk.

      I also like the fact that you can play with pretty much any number of players (between 2 and 6) without losing too much of the fun.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Yes, LNOE is fun with any number of players. I usually play 1v1 with my brother, it gets very tense and loud. I remember our first discussion when we couldnt tell if all cards were “instants” or not. I was livid!

      Oh, and a word of advice. Never, EVER, and i mean it, put that cd anywhere people can hear it. Just. Don’t.

    • Punctured Bag says:

      Plays great as a two player – but I’d recommend getting LNOE: Timber Peak instead. It’s a stand-alone new version of the game, with more fully-evolved rules – and it includes the additional quick 2-player rules. Of course, you can play the full game (4 heroes) with the regular rule and just 2 players.

      Love it!

  9. jnik says:

    Is there a purchasing source for those of us who missed the Kickstarter? I’m only finding one somewhat dubious source using the Kickstarter name.

    • rudyriot says:

      Cool Stuff inc has it for preorder as do a few of the other big online game stores. I think the official release date is listed as Dec 6th or thereabouts.

      • Warduke says:

        I’ve never ordered from Cool Stuff Inc.. good online store??

        • Whosi says:

          I highly recommend CoolStuff, I use them to order anything gaming related. Good prices, good service.

        • Douchetoevsky says:

          Cool Stuff Inc has just about the best prices I’ve seen for board games. I’m in the US though, so I’m not sure how they are about overseas shipping, but they have free shipping on orders over $100, which is pretty reasonable if you ask me. A great place to get games on a budget.

        • Emeraude says:

          Anyone can confirm they actually *do* oversee shipping ?

        • Warduke says:

          I’m in the U.S. as well, thanks for the feedback. I think I’ll give them a whirl, this game looks like a lot of fun.

          Edit – Well I’m out $100 but I’ve got Escape: Curse of the Temple, Cosmic Encounter and Arkham Horror on order. Should be a fun Christmas!

    • Xyvik says:

      Might also want to give Miniature Market a try. As the name implies they are mostly Minis but they have some dang fine deals on board games too. Here’s the Escape pre-order page link to

    • Sarigs says:

      Well if your UK based you might want to give: a try, I’ve been using them for pretty much all of by game purchases for the last 8 odd months and they tend to be very fast and competitively priced plus they accept paypal which is always a bonus for me

  10. Temple says:

    I’ve played a game he’s reviewed! (well this and Escape from Colditz)
    Can recommend, worked very well at the boardgame club I go to even with two completely new people to the club people chucked into the mix. Playing this actually made me realise I prefer light social interaction games when in the company of strangers whereas at home it is all meaty intricacy.

  11. ts061282 says:

    *girlish shriek*
    RAB! I love you!
    *passes out*

  12. Synesthesia says:

    This sounds absolutely fantastic. I’ll have to wait for a friend to bring it to argentina though. No big deal though, in 2 weeks i’ve got City of Horror, Space Alert, King of Tokyo and Android: Netrunner arriving. I can’t wait!

  13. sightseemc says:

    Rab, just pre-ordered this simply from this review and a walk-through video. A first for me in board games, and let me preemptively thank you for the awesome nights I will have introducing people to this!

    • BryanTrysers says:

      I’m looking at pre-ordering as well. Never happened before. If they don’t use
      “It’s quick, eayse, Fats, and so sos so so much funb 3”
      in their marketing material I’ll be sorely disappointed.

  14. Shadowcat says:

    This game looks hilarious, and the review format was a hout. A hooto. A HOOT.

    Definitely on my want-to-play list.