Brisbane Escapes: Squeek & Sausage @ home

Oh no! The evil Professor Noside is doing something evil… as usual. Will you solve the mysteries of Squeek & Sausage to stop him?

General Details

“Squeek & Sausage”
Space Cowboys, Unlock! series
60 minutes
2–6 players
Website

How We Played

1 July 2017
4 players
Succeeded
Hints: 1
35 minutes 7 seconds

The Experience

This is the second Unlock! scenario I have completed, and the format is growing on me. Squeek & Sausage works identically to The Formula: there’s an app, a deck of cards, and plenty of solid puzzling to do. Despite the similarities, Squeek & Sausage feels very different, and is a good indication of the variety possible through the gameplay framework.

One of the reasons for the different feel is the artwork, which possesses an attractive cartoonish quality. This aids with some of the observation puzzles (as I discuss below) but also makes it quite an appealing, family-friendly game.

I still think the app could be used for something more complex than codes, and the deck of cards is still unwieldy due to there being no rhyme or reason to its order, but I enjoyed the experience despite that clunkiness.

I think Squeek & Sausage would also be suitable for kids, partly due to its cartoonish art and story, but also due to the puzzles.

Puzzle Design

The puzzles in Squeek & Sausage lean towards observation and spatial problem solving. This is why it’s fortunate it has such good art!

In The Formula, the hidden objects frustrated me immensely, but I didn’t have the same issue with Squeek & Sausage. There are a few reasons for this – one is that there were way more hidden objects, so I was always on the lookout. The other is that the situation never arose where it felt like we could solve a puzzle when something was missing. Hidden items are fine if it is clear players are missing something, and that was the case here.

Squeek & Sausage still punishes you for experimenting, and that’s still annoying. However, most of the punishments this time are reasonable, as they are for stupid and obvious errors rather than reasonable guesses.

I have noticed that some players feel certain puzzles have frustrating solutions. I can see where they are coming from, but the solutions were well-clued enough for my group. Be prepared for some slightly irrational escape room logic, though.

As is usually the case with escape room board games, too many cooks spoil the pot. You only really need two players, but it wasn’t too bad with four due to the need to scan cards carefully for hidden items. There were also a couple of moments where the path split, and players could work on two puzzles simultaneously, but these were pretty rare.

The Bottom Line

If you’re going to buy Squeek & Sausage, you’re really buying the full set of three Unlock! experiences. Fortunately, my experience with Squeek & Sausage and The Formula suggests these games can have a decent amount of variety. I’d recommend considering them. You can also track down a second-hand copy, since they are 100% reusable, making the value proposition even better.

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