This Deckscape review was made after playing the first six games in the Deckscape series. We were sent copies of the games by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What is Deckscape?
Deckscape is a series of escape room games in which you have to solve a bunch of puzzles and escape without making too many mistakes. Most of the games in this series (six so far) are just decks of cards and no other components.
Below you’ll find my spoiler-free thoughts on the five most recent Deckscape games. Check out my Deckscape: Test Time review to learn about the first game in the series and the core rules for all of the Deckscape games.
The Fate of London
Description: In The Fate of London, you play as detectives who are on a top secret mission to find and defuse four bombs.
- In my opinion, The Fate of London has the least interesting theme of all of these Deckscape games.
- You need outside knowledge for one of the puzzles, which was pretty disappointing.
- The art isn’t bad, but it’s my least favorite in the series so far.
- Most of these puzzles were just okay. Some were pretty challenging, but there weren’t as many creative puzzles as the ones found in the other Deckscape games.
- One of the puzzles got the biggest laugh-out-loud moment of the series from my group. It wasn’t because the puzzle was funny, though. It was because we spent a good 10 minutes working on it and the solution was right in front of our faces the whole time. It was a great moment.
- There’s a nice buildup to the final puzzles.
Heist in Venice
Description: In Heist in Venice, you play as six retired thieves who are forced to come out of retirement to steal an extremely valuable poker chip from a casino.
- Heist in Venice has a cool theme and story that definitely works for this type of game.
- It has some of the toughest puzzles in the series so far.
- There’s more hidden information in this one, so there’s a lower chance of quarterbacking than in any other Deckscape game.
- For the same reason, it also requires more teamwork than the other games in the series.
- This is probably the best one to get if you have a full complement of players (6).
- I wasn’t a big fan of the final puzzle in this one.
The Mystery of Eldorado
Description: In The Mystery of Eldorado, you are explorers who are trying to survive in the Amazon while also looking for the lost city of Eldorado.
- The Mystery of Eldorado is one of the most thematic Deckscape games, from the characters to the puzzles.
- You get a selection of items to choose from that change how your game plays out. Very cool.
- Probably my favorite artwork in the series.
- I really like how the clues are presented in this one.
- None of the puzzles were very tough, but none were too easy, either.
- This was the most relaxing/pleasant game in the series for my group. It’s probably the best one for families to play.
Behind the Curtain
Description: In Behind the Curtain, you are invited to a famous illusionist’s last show… and then weird things happen.
- This is another great theme for an escape room game.
- The story is one of the best in the Deckscape series so far.
- Some of the early puzzles were a bit too easy.
- The same type of puzzle was used multiple times, which was disappointing.
- On the overall, though, this has some of the most unique puzzles in the series.
- It also has my favorite puzzle in the series so far.
The Curse of the Sphinx
Description: In The Curse of the Sphinx, you are tourists in Egypt who get trapped in an ancient pyramid and need to find a way out.
- The Curse of the Sphinx is creepier than the other Deckscape games, which added in a bit more tension.
- I like that the formula was altered just a little bit to handle incorrect answers in a different way.
- Some of the puzzles were extremely easy, including some with simple math problems.
- Some of the text on the cards was tough to read.
- It felt more on rails than the other games in the series. We often had to focus on one puzzle at a time rather than having multiple puzzles to work on.
- You need to use your memory a bit more in this one, which I liked because it meant that it required a different kind of teamwork.
My group had a good time playing through each of the first six Deckscape games, even our least favorites in the series. It’s obvious that a ton of work went into making them because there are so many different types of puzzles to solve and, for the most part, the stories they tell are great.
Just like I said in my Test Time review, I really like that each game is just a single deck of cards and that the puzzle-solving process – solve the puzzle and then flip the card – is super simple. I also like that the decks usually get split up so you can look at multiple puzzles, allowing everyone to stay involved. It’s an elegant system that just works for this type of game.
So far, this is how I’d rank the Deckscape games:
- Behind the Curtain
- The Mystery of Eldorado
- Test Time
- Heist in Venice
- The Curse of the Sphinx
- The Fate of London
If your family or game group enjoys escape room games, or you think you will, you’ll want to try at least one Deckscape game. I recommend choosing the theme that you’re most interested in, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what these designers come up with next.