Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Room 25 (Again, Some More)

I know I've talked about Room 25 in the past, but there is a new expansion for it and I'm excited all over again.

I'm going to start with a broad overview of the game, and then get into the details and the nitty-gritty.

Initially, there was just Room 25.  The base game held up to six players and had a couple of modes of play - fully co-operative all the way to (my favorite) semi-cooperative play. It was good. It was fun.

It's a programmed-action game, where everyone programs one or two actions at the start of the round and then triggers them in turn.  The list of actions wasn't extensive, and the game wasn't too complicated.

The goal was to move your characters through a complex to find Room 25, and then slide that room out of the complex and escape.  Before time runs out.  But each room was different. There were rooms that would kill you. There were rooms that would trap you. There were a handful of harmless (or even beneficial) rooms, too.  So you couldn't just go charging boldly ahead through the complex.

It was one part Cube, one part Running Man, and a lot of fun.

It came in a small box, and didn't get a lot of notice when it was released, as it came out in the middle of a flood of really good games. It's hard to stand out when you're a great game in a small box, especially when there are larger boxes around.

I can't find just the base game for sale anywhere other than the BGG Market, where there's a US version for $10.

The year after the base game came out, they released Room 25: Season 2.  It added two new characters (bumping the player count to 8), gave special abilities to the characters, added Adrenaline, and a bunch more rooms. It took a good game that was already fun and made it great. It also replaced the grey minis that came with the base game with color-coded figures (which still had differently-shaped bases for colorblind players).  They also released those figures separately for those people who didn't want to buy the expansion.  And Season 2 came in a large box with room for all of the base game components (other than the box).

As much as I enjoyed the base game, Season 2 kicked it up a few notches. To the point where I don't suggest that people buy just the base game.

Nothing was released for the game in 2015.

In 2016, though, Room 25 Ultimate was released. Ultimate is the base game + Season 2 in one box with a combined rulebook. And some minor rules tweaks and clarifications.  If you're just now getting into the game, I heartily recommend that you start with Ultimate.

In 2017, Room 25: Escape Room was released, giving us Puzzle Mode.  Players now had to solve a puzzle (complete with a decoder) in order to escape the complex.  Puzzle Mode is a 100% Co-Operative mode of play.  And, of course, it had a few new rooms to shake things up a bit. It's compatible with the old base game and with Ultimate both.

And now Room 25: VIP has been released. In VIP, it's possible for one player to be (*gasp*) a VIP. And, because the VIP is famous, he (or she) doesn't truck with that whole "advance planning" thing. They're also impatient, and so the VIP must move every round. Otherwise the players lose (and the Guards win). VIP also included sleeves for the rooms - with so many sets from such a span of years, not all of the tile backs matched exactly, making it possible for some players to be able to determine which room was which. The sleeves fix that.  Of course, it includes 40 sleeves. If you have everything so far, you'll need more than that - you can purchase additional sleeves directly from Matagot. Shipping isn't too bad on them, either. I kept my original Base Game and Season 2 separate and sleeved my Ultimate + Escape Room + VIP. It took one extra pack of sleeves, with a few sleeves left over.

There have been three promos for the game so far.  The Audience is a die that the first player rolls each round that will impact play. You just need one of these dice and the rules from BoardGameGeek.

There is a Mr. Tom's Hall room, and there is a Raptor Room.

I've managed to track down Mr. Tom's Hall, now I just need to find a Raptor Room ...

VIP also included a couple of blank paper templates for creating your own room.  I'd love to see what kind of custom rooms the rest of you can come up with. Just comment on this post, and I'll see it.

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