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Level Up - Escape Hunt Retro Game Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published July 3rd 2020
Review of latest play at home Escape Hunt game
If you grew up on Pac-Man and fighting over turns on the joystick, Escape Hunt's new play at home game will be up your street. Here's a review of new puzzle game Level Up.

Level Up, Escape Hunt, play at home games, review, Weekend Notes, Alison Brinkworth
Go back to the Eighties era of computer games in Level Up

With throwbacks to the 1980s, Level Up sets a series of challenges around a mysterious old retro console that has been discovered and needs shutting down before a dangerous virus in its software manages to escape.

With garish neon and designs reminiscent of Tetris and Donkey Kong, Level Up brings back fond memories for anyone who was an '80's child.

At its heart are a series of clues and puzzles to solve but Escape Hunt has put effort into making the aesthetics as fun as possible. They look dated, but that's the point.

Compared to its other recent play at home games, Level Up is on the medium to difficult side so that you need to concentrate to complete it within the one hour target.

Level Up, Escape Hunt, review, play at home, Weekend Notes, Alison Brinkworth
Level Up goes back to a time when special effects were simpler

Along the way, the tasks range from assembling your own paper spaceship to deciphering a coding clue.

There's even an optional bonus round that involves choosing your own retro computer game character that includes the likes of Sabrina Slayer and Ninja Nathan. A nod to Mortal Kombat.

While the storyline of uncovering the dark secrets of the Seiyako Technologies videogame empire and hacking in to stop the system is a little like starring in Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy movie WarGames.

It costs 14.99 and can be played by between two and six people - the same as Escape Hunt's other similar print at home games that WeekendNotes has reviewed recently. These range from The Treasure Of The Aztecs to Stolen, along with The School of Magic and Murder At The Mansion.

level up, escape hunt, play at home, games review, weekend notes, alison brinkworth
There's various levels to get through to reach your goal

You'll need to have a Facebook account and Facebook Messenger to receive messages and submit answers. There's quite a bit of use of the internet along the way as you are directed to certain web pages to seek out answers and help with solving clues.

This game, more so than others in the Escape Hunt print at home range, involves a lot of cutting out in advance, so allow time for that before you get started. And have a pair of scissors handy.

If you are doing it as a family, maybe make that part of the activity as it will add another 10 minutes or so on to the adventure.

With themes about a dangerous computer virus, gaming and coding, Level Up is refreshingly a game that can provide a link between generations. Just imagine explaining the fun you had with those basic graphics and how an old-fashioned joystick worked.

But even if it isn't about the trip down memory lane and you are a fan of escape rooms and puzzles, there is enough intrigue as well as conundrums to keep challengers entertained.

level up, escape hunt, play at home, review, weekend notes, alison brinkworth
Joysticks are back in Level Up

Level Up is a 1 hour experience suitable for 1 to 6 players aged 8 and above. The game can be played within households or via video chat and cost 14.99 per game from the Escape Hunt website here.
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Why? Fun puzzle game to play at home
When: Anytime
Phone: 0121 233 3023
Where: At Home
Cost: 14.99
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