This is the pre-production version of Legacy, so the art, rules and mechanics may be subject to change over the next couple of months. We were provided one section of the game. Therefore please treat this as a first thoughts piece, based on version of the game that we were provided with. We have not been paid for the preview. We also do not provide a full play by play explanation of the game due to possible spoilers.
You could argue that as games get more complicated, or even more involved, and as components multiply, and set ups seem to last almost as long as the games themselves, there is something wonderfully attractive about the Escape Room and Puzzle genre. There is something extremely attractive about opening a box and just starting to ‘do’, getting stuck in and trying to figure out the first piece of puzzle.
With Legacy from Argyx Games it starts off as a letter from Maitre Santini, the notary for your father’s estate for the Hellas section of the Legacy Escape box. With a collection of items contained in an envelope and a website address to start your investigation, you have to use the items at your disposal to uncover the secret your father has left you in the will and either triumph or lose your potential fortune.
Straight off the bat there is an abundance of theme in Hellas, where there has been a conscious effort to make the puzzles fit in with the Mediterranean type setting, and this is displayed in the various items that form the puzzle package you’ll be working with. Interestingly, there is a lot of subtlety in these pieces and as you work through, things don’t become apparent what are meant to be doing with something until it comes to the time wen you are meant to be working with them. There’s only one piece that really sticks out in the collection as an obvious puzzle, and even with that, you aren’t really sure what you are meant to be looking for, even if you do kind of manage to figure something out.
Pacing is controlled through the website where you are asked to provide information in codes, numbers or passwords, and there is a handy help system designed to give hints for those who get stuck or want to check their working. While the sites are small and functional, there are some interesting surprises as you make your way through the investigation. Overall, it provides a welcome structure to make sure that your are tackling the puzzles in the order you are meant to, and don’t end up on a wild goose chase.
The most important aspect of a puzzle like this, is making sure the challenges are finely balanced. Making them too easy will leave the player with a sense of dissatisfaction and potentially cause them to have too much information to hand before they are meant to be in play, thus losing the narrative element of the game. Too obscure, and player is likely to give up, frustrated and annoyed, dumping the game before they reach the end of the line. Hellas does a good job that when you do need to resort to using the hints, the majority of the time it was down to you making a mistake in your interpretation, or you were on the right track but couldn’t tell your left from right. There wasn’t a case where I was screaming at the screen because it just didn’t make sense, it was only because I had tried to rush ahead, or assume what the answer should have been.
It also doesn’t take hours and hours to complete, and it would easily suit someone relaxing for an evening or those deciding to get together for a night of fun and brain teasers. For me, there were more Aha! than Hmm. More punching the air in success than tightening the fists in frustration. There was cleverness and great thought put into this Escape Box from Argyx Games, and it left me looking forward to what else they are bringing to the table in the future.
If this preview interests you, then you can check out the campaign here