Imagine you’re hanging out with friends and need something to do. Monopoly doesn’t cut it and Life is no longer exciting; MacGyver is here to save the day! “Macgyver: The Escape Room Game” is just like the title implies. You (and MacGyver) have to escape rooms as part of each mission.
The game itself comes with five missions with the finale dealing with MacGyver’s sworn enemy, Murdoc. Each mission has a case file that throughout the mission will unfold and open for the players to utilize moving forward as well as colored envelopes that have the puzzle pieces and items needed to finish the mission. Each mission takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how on top of puzzle solving you are.
Like real life escape rooms (which are tons of fun) you have to work on puzzles to get to the next puzzle and move forward in the game. However real life escape rooms usually require multiple puzzles to be solved simultaneously. In “Macgyver” you can only do one puzzle at a time. Understandably so.
For this review, I played through the first mission. You do have to play through the missions in order since items from the first missions come into play again later. As seen below, number one is the “Underground Lab” where MacGyver has to stop an acid leak!
But before I could even open the first envelope I had to pull up a website! MacGyverGame is both timer and tie-in. Without it, you cannot play the game because as you solve puzzles, you must answer prompts on the website. So this game can’t be played by candlelight when the power goes out. Unless you want to use the data on your phone?
And this is where I got a bit frustrated. The website isn’t the worst website, but it’s not the best either. Some of the text can be a bit small. Zooming in doesn’t always help because the area to answer prompts doesn’t move. Instead you have to scroll down or up to finish seeing whatever you zoomed into. Not the end of the world, but can be annoying for folks who need larger font. Otherwise the website is great! There are no extra effects or anything too out of the world. If you play with a timer, that ticks away at the top of the page. If not, it just reads zeroes.
The best part about the website is that there are hints! I definitely think you can beat this mission if not all of the missions without hints, but I did struggle with a couple of the puzzles. The hints are also true hints and don’t give away the puzzle unless you ask the website to after three hints per puzzle.
One puzzle where I needed help included math, and another had a lot of lines to follow and that can easily get confusing as is the point of the puzzle. In fact, this mission reminded me a bit of the ClueFinders franchise! I don’t want to give away the mission’s details entirely but puzzles involved moving around furniture pieces on top of a map and even an actual puzzle with pieces. What’s really fun about the puzzles is how they evoke moments and actions that MacGyver himself has likely done in either iteration of the show. All the game’s missing is a Swiss army knife!
Mission one took about 45 minutes for me to complete as I was also eating dinner (be careful not to drop pizza sauce on your pieces!) but I’d say the first one probably won’t take anyone longer than an hour. Overall, I thought that the first mission was a lot of fun and definitely challenged my patience. I’m excited to play the next four missions and can’t wait to face off against Murdoc at the end!