Reviews

Room 25 – When Big Brother meets an escape game

Room 25 review: Game Info

Game: Room 25

Year: 2013

Designer: François Rouzé

Type:  Thematic

Category: Bluffing, exploration, maze

Mechanics: Tiles, action programming, grid movement

Number of Player: 1 to 6 Players

Play Time: 30 minutes

Recommended age: 10+

Room 25 Review: Introduction

Some mornings are tougher than others. And this may soon become one of the tough ones. Let’s face it: waking up in a weird room, under the spotlights, with a few other people, was never on the top of your “let’s try that one day”. But hearing this voice announcing you are now part of Room 25, one of the biggest reality TV shows sure has what to give you the chills.

Everyone knows that show: contestants are locked in a maze, filled with deadly traps, and they will have to work together to find the famous Room 25, the only chance for them to exit. Only, not every player conceives “working together” the same way.

Time is counted, and if you do not exit before it is up, the viewers will see you die – painfully – in live TV.

So, don’t forget: run. Survive. Escape. And smile: everyone’s watching.

Under this catchy universe, you will find tiles, building this secret maze, and a game offering you multiple ways to explore the various rooms of the show: solo, cooperative, competitive, in teams, against guards… Everyone will find a way to enjoy this quick game.

So let’s see a bit more what is in store for you!

 

 

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Room 25 Review: Content

Opening the box, you will find a plastic insert cleverly holding the different game components:

  • 32 room tiles,
  • 1 turn counter board,
  • 6 role tiles – guards and prisoners,
  • 6 control tokens,
  • 6 figurines,
  • 6 set of 4 action tokens,
  • 6 turn markers,
  • 6 reminder tokens,
  • 6 player boards,
  • Rulebooks, in 4 languages (Dutch, English, French, Romanian).
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Room 25 Review: How to play

Room 25 belongs to these games that are quick to explain, yet may take a bit of time to master: with the core of the rules spread across 2 pages, including pictures and flavour text, you will not need much time to understand the mechanics of the game. Add another page to describe the 4 actions, and another 2 pages to describe the actions of the 14 different type of tiles, and you will know all you need to play.

The first thing you’ll do is to select a game mode: with 5 to chose from, the game will never be the same.

  • The Suspicion mode will play up to 10 rounds, and with a minimum of 4 players. All the players will need to reach Room 25 and escape. Guards, will do all they can to keep them in. The trick? Until revealed, you do not know which players are prisoners and which are guards. Trust no one!
  • The Competition mode sees 2 or 3 players fighting up to 10 rounds to bring each of their 2 prisoners to the Room 25 and exit. Or kill your opponents. Everything is allowed, do not fear pushing your opponents in dangerous zones when the chance is given.
  • The Team mode, played up to 10 rounds, will host 4 or 6 prisoners. Two teams, the first to escape the complex wins. Alternatively, kill all the members of the other team: this works as well!
  • The Cooperative mode will require a better coordination between the 2 to 6 players in 8 turns maximum. In this mode, the players will win only if all the players manage to exit the complex. You may still achieve a partial victory if one character met an untimely death. With more than one death, everyone loses.
  • The Solo mode will help you to play alone: take 4 prisoners, and make sure they all reach the exit in 8 rounds maximum. No death allowed there! In this mode, you do not have to go through programming your actions.

So, now you know: you want to play one of the variants above. You can select the tiles needed to build your complex: there are essentially 3 sets of 25 tiles recommended depending on what variant you chose.

 

Pick your tiles, put the central tile and the room 25 on the side (and possibly the Vision Chamber if it is in your set), shuffle the remaining tiles and start placing the tiles on the table. Start with the Central tile, face up.

Now, build a cross, 5 tiles by 5 tiles, face down, with the Central tile being… in the center.

Add another 4 tiles in the 4 diagonals of the Central Chamber, then add the Room 25 and the Vision Chamber (if it is part of your scenario) to the remaining tiles, shuffle, and finish building a 5 by 5 square.

 

 

 

 

 

The complex is ready. Lights are turning up. This is the moment to discover our contestants!

 

Each player receives 1 (or more, depending on the mode) prisoner: take the figurine, the tokens and player card.

Set the Round Counter board on the table, showing the correct number of turns, and place the player counter tokens.

Set the figurines on the Central Room. And: action!

Every player may know, in turn order, look at one of the tiles adjacent to the Central room for free. Only one tile. No diagonals.

 

 

Now, every player will have to chose, secretly two of their actions, and place them face down, in front of them. Beware: the order matters. The first token you will reveal will be your first action, and the second… well: you get the gist.

Four actions are possible:

  • Look at a tile: take one of the 4 tiles adjacent to the tile you are standing on, and secretly look at it. Should you wish to let other players know what you’ve seen, you may describe what awaits them, should they chose to step on the tile. But you are not allowed to name the tile, nor give a clear explanation of the tile. So, tell them: “a gruesome death will great you”… and remember: you don’t have to tell the truth either. You may also chose to leave your reminder token on top of the tile after checking it out.
  • Move your character: move your character on one of the 4 adjacent tiles, and reveal the tile if it was hidden. Upon stepping on the tile, perform the tile action. It may be a safe room, an obstacle or a mortal danger. Each of the room will have a description written on the character’s board.
  • Push a character: Take a step back, arms forward, and push! One prisoner will be moved on an adjacent tile. Push a friend on a helping tile, or an opponent to his death. Surprise them! If you push an opponent on an unrevealed tile, you will reveal the tile and the character stepping on it will trigger the tile’s effect.
  • Take control of the complex: with this action, you will be sliding either the row or column of the room your character is. Up, down… Or left, right… You chose. A room will get “expelled” from the complex, and moved on the empty spot, unrevealed.

As mentioned, the order of your choice will be essential: on some occasions, you’ll prefer to check out a room before moving, on other occasions it’ll be in the other order. It’ll always be fun to push an opponent to an acid bath, and then step in there, killing the other character instantly… only, beware: someone may step in there not long after.

After every character has been played, the first character is moved to the back of the “queue” – this character will be the last to play – and we move the round tracker forward. If it reaches 0, the game is over.

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Room 25 Board Game review: Final words

This game is quick to set up, quick to play and really fun! It brings a vibe very close to the movie “Cube”, without being a copy or using the Intellectual Property to sell. It also contains a very high dose of fun, and challenging your friends is always good fun. In cooperative mode, you will need to find your way through the maze, and in team mode, playing the “death-match” – getting your opponents killed – is always a challenging moment, and this ironic smile on the face of your opponent after he looks at a tile may mean so much. Don’t trust anyone!

Solo, the game offers a nice puzzle environment, and as it is a quick game to set up and play, it will always be a pleasure to put on the table.

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Facebook Comments
8 Total Score
Room 25 - When Big Brother meets an escape game

Some mornings are tougher than others. And this may soon become one of the tough ones. Let's face it: waking up in a weird room, under the spotlights, with a few other people, was never on the top of your "let's try that one day". But hearing this voice announcing you are now part of Room 25, one of the biggest reality TV shows sure has what to give you the chills. Everyone knows that show: contestants are locked in a maze, filled with deadly traps, and they will have to work together to find the famous Room 25, the only chance for them to exit. Only, not every player conceives "working together" the same way. Time is counted, and if you do not exit before it is up, the viewers will see you die - painfully - in live TV. So, don't forget: run. Survive. Escape. And smile: everyone's watching. Under this catchy universe, you will find tiles, building this secret maze, and a game offering you multiple ways to explore the various rooms of the show: solo, cooperative, competitive, in teams, against guards... Everyone will find a way to enjoy this quick game.

PROS
  • Easy to explain
  • Fun to play
  • Interesting puzzle play
CONS
  • Light game
  • Player elimination (though games are quick)
  • Interest may fade once you "break the puzzle"
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