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Unlock! Kids Detective Stories Review

My wife and I have played through almost all of the Unlock! experiences, whether they be random mysteries or those themed around Star Wars. We really enjoy playing them, but doing so does leave out the younger members of the family. With Unlock! Kids, we can have a similar unlock experience but one that we can enjoy with our 8 year old, Lochlan. So how does Unlock! Kid hold up against the original? Let’s take a look.


Quick Overview

Unlock is an escape room with cards. And you are not trying to leave a room. You get 1 hour to complete each quest, and wrong turns and answers will result in time penalties. Players will search cards to find clues – numbers to flip other cards – and other hints that might help piece together what you need to do.  Unlock! Kids takes a very similar approach, but with a few differences in play.

Different buy Great for All

Unlock! Kids does not hamper your adventure with a 60 minute countdown clock. Instead, the game works on a star system. The more you play and uncover, the more stars you will find, the better your score. The colourful cards are much easier to look at then those in the original Unlock! series, and finding the hidden numbers is MUCH easier! The game also uses symbols to uncover clues. While in standard Unlock! you need to use your own wit to figure things out, the kids version is properly centred around symbol combinations.

On certain cards you will see half a symbol, and using some intelligence you can figure out what other card or item might complete the puzzle. Each game comes with a handy symbol decipherer that will help you solve problems! Here is an example NOT from the game.

Billy is missing his ball because the dog down the street has taken it. This makes Billy sad. In your pool of cards and items, you have a bone with half a symbol on it. Wisely, you pair the half symbol on the bone with the half symbol on the dog card. The game tells you to then draw card 42. Card 42 is the ball Billy is missing, with half a symbol on it. You now use the half symbol from the ball with the half symbol on the Billy card, and voila! You’ve won the game and Billy is happy.

The puzzles are never overly complicated, and perfect for kids between the ages of 7-10. I unboxed the game on Sunday afternoon with the sole desire to play one scenario. Unlike standard Unlock! games that include 3 scenarios and 3 decks of cards, the Unlock! Kids Detective Stories includes the standard 3 decks of cards, but six possible scenarios to play (2 per deck!). That is a ton of playability in one box. A few hours later, we had played through 4 of the 6 different scenarios, and were doing better each and every time. There were a few challenging points that even made me stop and think for a bit, but with the help of an adult, it’s unlikely any group of players will be stuck for very long.

This game is the perfect balance between accessible for kids and fun for adults. So few games hit this mark, so I’m glad to see this as an option. For parents who want to play games with their kids, Unlock! Kids Detective Stories is an easy recommendation.



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