18 November 2019
Flashback is an enjoyable and polished puzzle
The second in the Ronsealtitled Escape Room in a Box series following last year’s the Werewolf Experiment (and technically a sequel to that game, though you can dive straight in here), Flashback is an enjoyable and polished puzzler – but it comes at a cost.
Flashback’s headline feature is its three separate paths of puzzles, each involving a slightly different style of brainteasing and culminating in the cracking of an actual combination lock to open three colour-coded containers. What’s inside we’ll leave for you to discover, but the mental and physical reward for getting the answers right is a welcome treat.
The riddles are clever and varied, ranging from classic wordplay and visual tricks to one especially ‘cool physical gimmick. They individually land comfortably between straightforward and moderately cryptic, but even with three branches to complete the entire experience comes in a little short of the promised 90 minutes on the box – it took us just over an hour to complete all three paths with just two brains between us.
Despite the quality on show, the quantity (or lack of) makes Flashback a little hard to wholeheartedly recommend for the steep asking price versus strong and cheaper – if less flashy – alternatives such as Exit: The Game. If you can rustle up three groups of friends willing to chip in together and tackle one path each during three separate playthroughs, it becomes a much more attractive offering. As another plus, the game can be played carefully enough to keep its components intact (or they can be reprinted online for free), making it well worth passing on once you’ve bested it.
For the right price, Flashback makes for an hour or so of satisfying head-scratching – just don’t go in expecting anything more than it says on the box.
PLAY IT? PROBABLY
Designer: Juliana Patel, Ariel Rubin
This review originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.