Unlock! Mystery Adventures: The Tonipal’s Treasure (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-3

Price: $14.99

Hoist the Black Flag!

Theme:

You’ve been on the trail of Captain Smith’s fabled buried treasure, and are on your way to Tonipal Island to claim it when the Governor throws you in prison for some contrived reason! Not coincidentally, the treasure hunter Johnson has started to make his way to the treasure himself, and will snatch it out from under you soon if you don’t hurry! You’ll need to escape from prison, find a treasure map, and enlist the help of a Voodoo practitioner along the way if you hope to succeed!

First Impressions:

The Tonipal’s Treasure is right up my alley, presenting a pirate treasure hunt full of swashbuckling adventure and devious puzzles! I noticed that the cards themselves were a bit different from their usual design, and this hinted at an excellent surprise that was in store for later. The full design of the game is one of the best in the series, and I couldn’t wait to see if the content matched the excellent packaging!

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Talking parrots, broken compasses, and a treasure to seek!

High Points:

The Tonipal’s Treasure is jam packed full of puzzles, and working through it is an absolute blast! There are loads of creative interactions to play around with, and at no point do any of the puzzles presented feel boring. This adventure is also full of surprises, as many of the cards will be used in creative and innovative ways, unlocking various ah ha moments every step of the way. The game flow is impeccable for the most part, with only one point creating a roadblock due to insufficient cluing. This treasure hunt is also the most challenging, but fair, Unlock! game I’ve experienced to date. The game presents several locations all across the fictionalized Caribbean, and there are always several puzzles to solve at any given moment. Regarding the puzzles, they’re highly logical, and do not require any strange leaps to be made, and on the whole, each one provides just enough hints to lead players to fantastic moments of revelation.

The atmosphere that is set up by the Unlock! app is also fantastic, boasting a Pirates of the Caribbean-esque score, and loads of audio hints that are revealed by many of the cards. Feedback from the app is great, and the ability to take hints, track time, and work on certain “machine” puzzles in a more interactive way all combine to bolster the experience and make it more immersive than a basic at home escape room. The story develops throughout the game, and though it isn’t particularly deep, it accompanies the game well, and presents a climactic and satisfying finale.

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It wouldn’t be an excellent Unlock! game without a friendly puppy to help you out!

Low Points:

One particular puzzle is very poorly clued, and involves a fair bit of math that doesn’t make much sense on the surface. Honestly, it feels as though there’s something missing throughout the solve, and the reasoning behind one number never made much sense at all until we realized that a certain letter was actually a number. If you’re unfamiliar with the metric system, this one will become even more difficult.

Verdict:

The Tonipal’s Treasure is a fantastic addition to the Unlock! line of at home escape games. Innovating on the basic formula and including loads of surprising new ways to interact with the cards, I highly recommend checking it out. A more difficult adventure, veteran players will definitely enjoy the challenge, but I don’t think newer players would be lost thanks to the excellent game flow and helper app. We bought ours at the ever excellent Atomic Empire in Durham, NC, check out their online store here!

9/10 (Excellent)

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