Escape From the Hidden Castle
Overall Rating: 5/10
GLAM Age Range: 6-Adult
Number of Players: 2-8
Playing Time: 20 min
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: We love the original version of this game, Midnight Party. It's a blast. Move your people into rooms before the ghost captures them and places them into the dungeon. Easy to learn, quick to play, feels very exciting but there's no time pressure. An 8/10 for a group game. They rebooted it and tried to make it into a longer, more strategic family game. That's included in this version of the game along with the classic board and game. The new version takes a lot longer to play.
How to Play:
Original Version: Your goal is to end the game with the most points. Everyone takes turns placing their color of castle guests on spots around the board. The Phantom is placed at the very bottom of the Dungeon steps. Once everyone has placed their guests, you take turns rolling the die. You may move your guests the number of spots you roll on the die, but you can't move them into the safety of a room until the Phantom has moved out of the Dungeon. The Phantom moves three spaces every time his image is rolled on the die. Once he has moved out of the basement and onto the main playing board, guests are allowed to flee into rooms for safety. If your guest does not make it into a room in time and the Phantom lands on them, they are placed in the Dungeon. The Dungeon spots have different point values, it's -10 points for the first person who is placed in the Dungeon and then less for each subsequent step which is where the following guests are placed when captured. You play until no one can move anymore, they are all either safe in a room or trapped in the Dungeon. At this point you tally up the score which is weirdly going to be negative so whoever has the final score closest to zero has the highest score and is the winner. There are a few bonus points to be found in rooms to take into account as well.
New Version: You can now be booted out of rooms by other players entering and you can escape from the Dungeon once captured. You keep your score on the outer edge of the board and tally it up as you move along. Now the score is going to be positive but whoever gets to 46 points first is the loser. The game runs a lot longer and can easily take 40 minutes to an hour as opposed to the 10-20 minute play time of the original.
Variations: We love the original version of this game and had high hopes for the updated version but it's just not worth the time and frustration to play with the new rules. The ability to boot people out of rooms is fun but getting out of the dungeon is terrible and takes forever. This is a great game if you stick with the original version and take a sharpie to the turquoise castle guests so you can tell them apart from the blue ones.