In Ascalons Fury (The Beginning) published by Jumbo, you take on the role of an overly curious adventurer. A strange package from an extravagant billionaire is the subject of the first Escape Quest in Jonathan Eaton’s series. Without wanting to anticipate the outcome (note: no spoilers!), you will be laying puzzles and solving riddles. If this isn’t your cup of tea, read on, because it might be. If you do like solving puzzles and laying riddles (or the other way around, believe me, it gets pretty dizzy during the ‘quest’) then also read on.
The story behind Ascalons Fury is that of a 12-year-old boy who fell through the floor of a picturesque church in Ireland decades ago and found himself in an ancient medieval maze. He had to find the exit to the catacombs (which he did, by the way) and now it’s up to you. First, you put together a large puzzle, then you take the first (of three) envelope(s). Each envelope contains a smaller puzzle and two riddles. After solving the riddles, you should find the exit.
To be successful, it helps if you have a certain set of qualities and talents, such as:
- Patience: the puzzles are really not easy and with the small pieces it is a hell of a job
- Thinking skills: no rebuses or word searches, but real thinkers are waiting for you
- Out of the box: apart from the excellent pun, it can also lead you straight to the exit
Even in the absence of these, it is doable. After all, if a young adolescent with an undeveloped brain can find the exit intuitively, then you must be able to do it too. It can’t be that difficult, can it? If you don’t succeed because the creaking and squeaking affects your ability to think clearly, then there is the possibility of cheating. Every riddle has (at least) one hint that should bring you closer to the solution.
As I said, Ascalons Fury is the first in a series of Escape Quests and I’m already looking forward to the next one (Itzamna’s Eye), which luckily is already waiting in the game cabinet. It is not easy, but that is what makes it so interesting and challenging. The combination of jigsaw puzzles and an escape room game is a pleasant one and the story (with some imagination) certainly comes to life. Well designed and executed.
To end in style: which five countries in the world only consist of open letters (such as an E and not an A or a D) if you write these countries out in capital letters?