Room-in-a-box, Apr 2021
The first thing to say about Escape From Hoth is that it’s not intended for enthusiasts. All three of the games in Unlock’s Star Wars box are easier than their usual standard, and this is the simplest of the lot. Presumably since they were anticipating more of a mass market for third box the difficulty level is toned down, the usual Unlock format but with training wheels.
This includes a complete walkthrough packaged with the box. That’s actually a really helpful addition and I’m glad to see they’ve included this with subsequent boxes too. One of the major weaknesses of the game format was that you could end up unsure what to do next, and without knowing which card number to get a hint on it was hard to get unstuck; having the option to peek a glimpse in the solution booklet removes that pitfall.
The game’s story casts you as a rebel fighter in peril on planet Hoth; which is to say, it’s squarely in the Star Wars setting and style, with plenty of references to elements familiar from the movies.
Although this game is easy, it still uses some of the lateral thinking tricks and technological gimmicks that Unlock tend to favour; it just provides a greater level of signposting with them. I actually think this makes it a rather good introduction to the series for those who haven’t tried it before, by giving an idea of the sorts of puzzles that come up without them seeming unfairly out of left field.
It was a short game, around half an hour for us, so not so good value for money for experienced players. But it was solid and enjoyable, so if you’re happy with a short diversion I’d happily recommend it; and it’s certainly worth considering as a game to introduce people to the Unlock games before leading them in to more challenging titles.