This Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion review will not contain any spoilers.
What is Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion?
Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion is a cooperative escape room game in which you and your group play as the Mystery Incorporated gang as they attempt to solve a ghost mystery and get out of a haunted mansion.
Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion Gameplay
Your goal in Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion is to solve the mystery of Lady Fairmont’s ghost and get the highest score that you can. Throughout the game, you’ll be moving from room to room, drawing clue cards and opening secret envelopes as you progress. You’ll be using Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma, and Daphne’s unique skills to find clues and solve the puzzles.
No one controls a character in this game. Instead, everyone collectively moves the characters around the mansion and you can take turns reading from their books.
Each of the characters has an ability and whenever you want to use a character’s ability, you’ll combine their unique number with whatever you want to interact with on a map tile or a clue card. For example, if there is a wall numbered 44 and you have a hammer numbered 8, Daphne, who is number 3, might be able to use the hammer to get through the wall. In that example, you would look for entry 3844 in Daphne’s book.
Every time you fail to solve a puzzle, get three or more hints in a room, or look up a code that isn’t in a character’s book, you’ll get a Scooby Snack. At the end of the game you’ll lose points for every Scooby Snack that you’ve eaten.
- The designers did an awesome job of making Escape from the Haunted Mansion feel like a real Scooby-Doo episode. The story, the dialogue (the humor is on point), the art, and even the puzzles all do the job of pulling you into that world.
- I’m a big fan of this Coded Chronicles system. Combining a character’s number with things you want to interact with is a simple and satisfying way to handle actions in this type of game. It’s genuinely exciting looking those numbers up in the different books to see what happens.
- I like that the game encourages you to explore the mansion. Most of the time you can check how different characters interact with things around the rooms without having to worry about losing points. That gives the game a more open world feel when compared to most other escape room board games.
- The game also has really good puzzle variety. None of the puzzles are alike and there’s a nice mix of medium and medium-hard puzzles. We only found one of the puzzles easy to solve.
- The hint system is also very solid. The initial hints don’t give you too much information so you don’t feel like you’re cheating in any way, and you’ll only be penalized if you get three or more hints.
- I think it’s great that everyone gets to play as all of the characters rather than having to stick with one or two each for the entire game. This is especially great for groups who are big fans of Scooby-Doo and want to take a stab at attempting the different voices.
- Like most other escape room games, Escape from the Haunted Mansion has very simple rules, which is great. It takes about five minutes to read the rulebook and you can explain how to play it in about 30 seconds.
- I do wish that there were two or three more puzzles in the game. You are constantly doing something, but there is a bit more of a gap between the puzzles than I was hoping for, especially in the first half of the game.
- The character standees are pretty flimsy. Also, if you have three or more of them in the same room, they can cover up some of the numbers on the map tiles. We ended up just putting them outside of the rooms.
- There are some typos in the books.
Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion is one of the best escape room games that I’ve played. It’s simple to play, most of the puzzles are challenging, and it really does feel like you’re playing through an episode of Scooby-Doo. My group (three people) had a great time playing it.
I’d recommend this one to just about any Scooby-Doo fan and I’d also recommend it to fans of other escape room games. I think the puzzles might be a little too tough for younger kids, but it’d definitely work for families with teens (the 12+ rating seems about right). Also, I know from experience that it is a good one for adult gaming groups. You can play it with any number of players, but I’d say it’s best with three or four players as a family game and it’s best at two or three if you’re playing with a group of adults.
I really like this Coded Chronicles system and I’m looking forward to checking out the next game in the series, The Shining: Escape from the Overlook Hotel.
Update: Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion was included on my Best of 2020 list!