Escape Stations – Humbug Hijinx

escape-stations-humbug-hijinx-review

A point-and-click game for sweet-toothed puzzlers wanting to connect with friends

Date played: 15 February
Team: Jamie & Mairi @ The Escape Roomer
Time to finish: 45 minutes

PLAY HUMBUG HIJINX

Break into the house, scour the place for clues, unlock the safe that contains the secret recipes for the most delicious sweets.

I don’t play enough puzzle games over Zoom with friends, so when The Escape Roomer‘s Mairi suggested teaming up to tackle Escape Stations’ first online multiplayer game, I jumped at the chance.

Bright, vibrant and sweet

As the name implies, Humbug Hijinx is one for those of you with a sweet tooth. The game is beautifully decorated with sets that are bursting with colour and more sweets than you can shake a toothbrush at.

Whoever lived in this candy mansion has eclectic taste – there are hot pink thick pile rugs in the bathroom, animal heads on the walls and candy canes littered throughout the forest.

One or two of the scenes looked a little less polished than the rest, and there were some issues with audio quality in places, but on the whole the game looks great.

After a minor technical hiccup, we were soon on our way. There’s a brief tutorial showing you how to navigate and interact with the game, which I appreciated.

Humbug Hijinx is a simultaneous point-and-click game. If you’ve played the original B.R.U.C.E. Project, you’ll be familiar with the idea. You’re able to see the cursors of all other players in the game, making for a fun and hectic experience. Be warned that if someone clicks on an object, every player will see it, so don’t go too trigger happy on that mouse button!

Great mix of puzzles

I enjoyed the puzzles here – there’s a mix of pattern recognition, sequencing, deciphering and navigation to be done. There was a good sense of flow too – we only got stumped once towards the beginning, but that was due to a lack of observation on our part.

All the puzzles made sense for the theme too – there are also some not-so-subtle nods to a certain well-known chocolate-based book/film, which went down well.

Humbug Hijinx is a game that rewards exploration – you’ll be moving around the mansion quite a bit in your quest for the recipes. Luckily Mairi had the foresight to take screenshots of important information or we’d have been there a bit longer than 45 minutes!

Each room of the game is password locked. One minor niggle was that we had to re-input the password whenever we wanted to revisit any previous rooms – it would have been cool for the game to have remembered which rooms we’d unlocked.

The same applied to any sequence puzzle we’d completed – revisiting a room would mean redoing the sequence to progress to the desired bit within the room.

Winners get money off the next game!

We didn’t use any hints during the game, but looking at the hint system after the fact, I think it could be polished a bit.

The hint system is presented as a walkthrough for each room – I’d have preferred graded hints for each puzzle so I could come around to the solution myself rather than being hand-held.

The icing on the cake (if you’ll pardon the pun) is that when you beat the game you get £15 off Escape Stations’ physical sweet-themed room, Sweet In Tension. I’ll take that!

A great party game

Humbug Hijinx is a fun, light puzzler that’s suitable for anyone to play. I think it needs a little bit of polish in one or two areas, but you’re still in for a good time. I’d recommend this to anyone wanting to connect with friends during lockdown – with up to five simultaneous connections, it’s a great party game.

Humbug Hinijnx
Designed by Thomas Armstrong
Cost
: £15 (with £15 off future rooms when you win)
Duration: 60 minutes
Players: Up to five PCs
Requirements
: Computer / laptop with internet access, video messenger of choice (if playing remotely)

PLAY HUMBUG HIJINX

Disclosure: We were offered a complimentary game for the purposes of writing a fair and honest review. This has not affected our opinion of the game whatsoever. Check out the disclosure policy for more info.