E.B. Black is a nerd girl who loves games of all kinds, including tabletop RPs, board games, and video games.
Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse Board Game Review
My husband and I have never gone to a real-life escape room. We don’t have friends that want to play, I’m disabled, and they cost a lot of money.
Luckily, some board game companies have come up with alternatives rooms like this one that can be played at home. Instead of escaping a giant room, you are pretending to be trapped in a tiny dollhouse where you’ll be trapped forever if you don’t solve the puzzles in time.
I thought this game looked really neat, maybe because I had paper dolls and dollhouses as a child. I also love paranormal and horror-related things.
As soon as I saw the game in person, I got really excited. It turned out to be quite entertaining, although the experience was filled with both positives and negatives.
What Is Good About the Game
It's Fun to Put Together
The picture above is what the dollhouse looks like before you solve anything. I thought it looked really neat. They make you put together the house before playing (and the way it’s designed allows you to do so without spoiling anything.) Putting it together was enjoyable; I liked popping the pieces out of their cardboard cutouts and connecting each room of the house, although the directions on how to do so were a little confusing at different points.
Exploring Is Fun
There are so many new items and secret compartments in each room as you play. Exploring them all, opening new things, and discovering new things is really exciting. It was one of my favorite parts of the game.
Each Room Is Unique
I can tell the designers of the game put a lot of work into making each room unique. There were unexpected surprises everywhere. Even when you glance at the next room and think you might know what it’s all about ahead of time, you wind up being wrong. Wondering about each next unknown kept me on the edge of my seat.
The Atmosphere Is Creepy
Also, the atmosphere of it is genuinely creepy. Not creepy enough to give your family nightmares, but just enough to make things fun.
What Is Bad About the Game
The Storyline Is Cliché
While I enjoyed the atmosphere of the game, the storyline was cliché. The characters weren’t very fleshed out, which I supposed isn’t important in an escape the room game, but the little we knew about them made the ending make no sense. The characters did several illogical things that I don’t imagine real people in these situations would do.
The Music Is Bad
The playlists they suggested were awful. This is supposed to be a spooky game, but the music they were suggesting wasn’t even spooky and required signing up for a specific streaming service that I feel they were using the game to advertise for on purpose.
There's No Replay Value
Like most escape room games, there is no replay value, although that’s not surprising.
The Materials Are Flimsy
And while the things they hid and the puzzles they provided were all interesting, they were also made with flimsy paper or cardboard materials instead of something higher quality.
Some Pieces Are Difficult to Maneuver
The wheel the game provided to check your answers was somewhat difficult to maneuver. I kept worrying I would break it as I struggled to hold down parts of it while moving the other parts into place.
You Have to Destroy Some Parts
Also, playing the game requires you to destroy some of the pieces. They do say you can reprint these pieces online if you want to set up the game again for someone else to play, but the average, at-home printer won’t be able to replicate these pieces in a way that will make it look like the whole thing is brand new.
My Overall Thoughts
Despite all the negative things I listed, my husband and I had a lot of fun playing it.
The puzzles ranged from fairly easy to extremely difficult to complete.
We are just two people playing the game, and I will admit that we aren’t very good at solving puzzles. We had to cheat many times in every room in order to complete everything. It‘s probably better to play with more friends so you can solve things faster and not have to cheat like we had to when we got too impatient.
The last puzzle, even after we looked it up, was extremely difficult to put together. The pieces were hard to maneuver, and we almost ripped them several times.
But other puzzles were a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed all the puzzles in the bedroom. They were unique and fun to play with. They were also just the right amount of difficulty for my husband and me to enjoy them the most.
Out of all the “Escape the Room” brand games, this one looked like it was the most fun. I’m glad we purchased it, and I recommend it to you as well.
Just make sure to choose your own music and go in with the right expectations.
Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse
© 2021 EB Black