Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a 1 to 5 player cooperative game in which players run around the temple collecting gems and escape the temple before it collapses. All players are required to escape or else the players lose the game. Players uncover new temple areas by discovering them using dice rolls. They collect gems and try to return to the safe room before it collapses. The movement is done by rolling adventurer symbols, Key and torches help you to collect gems and other relics. The special feature of this game is that all the players play simultaneously wandering around the temple in real-time. There is a tension throughout the game to move and collect quickly as fast as possible and escape before the collapse.
The game is designed by Kristian Amundsen Ostby and artwork is done by Oliver Schlemmer. The theme of an ancient temple with a curse on it and the rush to collect maximum gems to avoid endgame losses is a well-thought scenario combined with Yahtzee style dice rolls to move across various halls of the temple and collect gems is fascinating. The game has many mechanisms weaved together like push your luck, tile placement, grid movement, elapsed real time endgame, and much more. It is a very gripping experience to do all the adventure in a fast-paced decision making within a limited amount of time. This game will surely make you stand on the edge of uncertainty throughout the gameplay.
Give each player adventurer meeple and 5 dice. The players start the game on the starting chamber tile. Other chambers are revealed as the game progresses and players discover more of them. These chamber tiles are supplied from a draw pile. Set aside a gem depot from which you get gems on to the tiles by activating them using dice symbols. Put an exit chamber with 4 tiles around it, it will act as the escape route out of the temple.
The game is exactly 10 minutes long, i.e. the temple will collapse after this time and if the players are unable to escape, they lose the game. Players simultaneously roll all the 5 dice up to 3 times and gather the symbols for their quest in the cursed temple. They activate gems by rolling the dice face combinations given on the chamber tiles. The more gems they activate the easier it is for them to escape the curse at the end of the game. Players can help other players to move from one chamber to another if they feel they are confident about their dice rolls. When time starts to run out, players are alarmed by a soundtrack to rush towards the exit as fast they can. That sequence makes the game a win or loses tension driven scenario with a lot of excitement and fun.
The game plays exactly for 10 minutes which is very less time considering the amount of dice rolling and decisions the players have to make. Also, it can be played solo and up to 5 players. The game is designed so well with good quality components and the artwork takes you right into the environment of a cursed temple. The soundtrack which guides the game with a tension driven mood really brings the situation to life. There is a tremendous amount of fun that can be extracted from just 10 minutes and 1 to 5 players with this amazing game. Try this if you like dice rolling and ancient theme with a time twist attached to it.