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Escape from Iron Gate Review

Unless you have been living under a rock, it is likely that you have heard of a little company called The Escape Game, who are famous for marketing and delivering a wide variety of escape rooms across North America, drawing in millions of fans each year.


Groups of friends are enclosed in an area, and given a set amount of time to escape the room. Not only has it provided a fun experience on a Friday night, but has also been used as Team Building exercises for corporations, both big and small! The team behind The Escape Game are bringing their puzzle making expertise to the table, with the launch of Escape from Iron Gate.

How to Play – A Brief

Escape from Iron Gate is a board game adaptation of the companies famous escape rooms, but instead of cooperation throughout, players will ultimately be vying to be the escapee, as there is only one. Players are incarcerated in Iron Gate for a crime they did not comitt, and instead of trying to battle the legal system to get out, they’ve all decided to escape.

On any given turn, the active layer will roll a set of wooden dice and perform actions based on the outcome. Roll two P’s, and players select a Puzzle Card and a Lucky Card. Roll two A’s, and players selected a Action Card and a Lucky Card. Roll one of each, and players decide whether to pull an Action Card or a Puzzle Card, but no Lucky Card is awarded.


Players will play the Lucky Card first – and it could technically be unlucky… – and then proceed to play their Action or Puzzle Cards. Puzzle Cards will pose a puzzle to the player, and they must have an answer figured out by the time it is their turn again. If the player drew an Action Card, they have 30 seconds to draw or act out a easy, medium, or hard word on the card. The player who guesses correctly, and the player providing the clues, will get items depending on how hard the word was.

Item cards – whether common or are – are key to getting out of each section of the prison. Players cannot advance to the next prison area without the required cards to turn in. Players will have an opportunity to trade with the commissary or each other, and can earn specific wild cards in each area. Ultimately, however, the more you collect, the better it is for you.

Whoever makes it through all 4 areas of the prison first is the winner!

Our Thoughts

I’ve always enjoyed doing The Escape Room, and make an attempt to try one regardless of where I am or if I have done it before. What makes them so much fun is the social aspect of the experience. And that translates really well to the board game. This is a social game, where you will interact with others, attempting to flee the cell as fast as possible. In my experience, attempting to always take Puzzle Cards and trying to go alone is never a good way to succeed. By working with others, you can attempt to better position yourself as you move towards the end.

While it’s definitely not like an escape game in other ways, I found the Puzzles to be incredibly fun, and at times exhilarating to complete. While the player count definitely impacts how easy or hard a puzzle can be – the more players, the more time to complete – puzzles are pretty varied and never felt unfair when the answer was revealed.

Action Cards were a little less fun, although it really does add to the social aspect of the game. Working with others to guess your drawing or actions was a great way to deal with your fellow inmates, and could be used in bartering and trading down the line. In one game, a friend who guessed multiple of my drawings and actions – as I tailored them to him specifically – exclusively traded good items with me, making both our experiences better in the prison.


There is a social game to this experience that really takes it to the next level. Like in real prison, you cannot just focus on yourself and hope to succeed. It was those that we aware of those around them, what cards they might have, and how beneficial they could be, that ultimately had the most success. And that is what made this game a keeper for us.

Each and every time we throw down Escape from Iron Gate on the table, a good time is had by all. Lots of laughs, lots of frustration, but at the end of the day, everyone is having a really good damn time. And what more could you ask from a board game?

With easy to understand rules, great components, and a great premise, this is an easy recommendation for anyone looking to expand their board game collection.


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel