Ever wanted to test your lock picking skills? Think you have what it takes to be the fastest at breaking free while being chained to your friends? The new game, Break Free, which is in the Spy Code line of games from YULU, will put your skills to the test in a fun and exciting (and safe) way.
Since opening Break Free, it has been in constant use. My son absolutely loves it. He enjoys locking up himself and trying to pick the lock. He likes putting the cuffs around different things, often chaining himself to them in the process. He also likes locking me up in different ways and seeing if I can escape. It has been a joy to see him play with the cuffs day in and day out, trying out new ways of chaining up himself and chaining other things together.
Break Free is as much a solo game/toy as it is a competitive multiplayer game. This makes Break Free a great game/toy for just about anyone. The premise is that you and the other players are spies and you’ve all been handcuffed to each other. You’ll have to use your lock picking skills to break free and save the day. The main mode of play is to use the included numbered tokens. The fastest player to unlock their handcuff takes the highest numbered token that corresponds to the colored maze-lock that was used. The player that finishes next takes the remaining highest numbered token and so on. After all the players have completed the current color maze-lock, the game resets with the next set of maze-locks. After all the different colors of maze-locks have been used, the players total up the points on their tokens and the player with the highest total wins.
The rulebook includes several alternate methods of play, but kids quickly make up their own rules or simply play without them. It is fun to pick the locks without keeping score and it is also fun to see who can break out of the cuffs the fastest without associating points to the process. Can you break free if both your hands are cuffed together and also chained to cuffs around your ankles? What if your hands are chained around a table leg? Who can pick all four locks the fastest if the cuffs are all locked together?
The number of ways to play Break Free is almost endless and your child(ren) will enjoy finding all the different things they can lock up. From a parent’s perspective, Break Free presents a challenging and imaginative toy that will keep your child(ren) busy for hours. It is good, clean fun that engages their brain in logical and creative ways. Also, there is quick release feature built into the locks that instantly opens the cuffs so there is no need to worry about being trapped for real. With the amount of time my kid has already spent with Break Free, I really couldn’t ask for a better bang for my buck.
The appeal of Break Free to a child seems almost endless as their imagination really expands game play to levels not found in the box. However, there is plenty in the box to keep you and your little ones busy for quite some time.
Break Free comes with four handcuffs, each with a chain (which includes a clasp) and quick release mechanism. Four lock picks (or keys) are included with each handcuff. All four keys and handcuffs are made out of plastic and are all the exact same. This means you won’t have to match up a particular key to a specific handcuff.
Four maze-locks in three different colors, for a total of twelve maze-locks, are also included. These are placed inside the handcuffs to set the difficulty (green for easy, yellow for intermediate, and red for hard). For the main mode of play, everyone will start with the same color maze-lock. Each maze-lock is unique. I’m not exactly certain how I feel about this. On one hand, 12 unique maze-locks certainly expands gameplay, but part of me kind of wishes each player had to work on the same maze-lock at the same time. I know all of the maze-locks of the same color have the same difficulty rating, but maybe it would be more of an even challenge if everyone had to work on the exact same maze-lock at the same time? Having all of the maze-locks unique helps keep everyone on their toes though, which is a good thing.
Twelve cardboard victory point tokens are also included. We’ve played by the rules a few times and used the included point tokens, but mostly we play without them and don’t keep score. Trying to unlock the handcuffs is fun enough for us that points aren’t really needed.
The storage solution for Break Free is lacking. This is typical of toys but modern games usually provide a way for everything to be tidied up, placed back in the box, and stored out of the way. You certainly could place everything back in the Break Free box, but there aren’t any dividers, baggies, or other storage options to make things convenient. Chances are though, if you are a board gamer, you’ll have lots of extra little baggies lying around that can be used to store the tokens. And if not, a regular Ziploc baggie will work fine.
Break Free is a fun and challenging game for people of all ages. My kid sometimes picks his lock faster than my wife can pick hers, so being older doesn’t necessarily provide an advantage. Break Free has been played, in some capacity, on a daily basis since it entered our home. It certainly sparks imagination and I enjoy seeing my child use the handcuffs in creative ways. If you have kids, definitely check out Break Free as you’ll be glad you did.