B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 13.04.2021

Review for B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas on PC

B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas is a browser-based multiplayer escape room experience from Bewilder Box - the designers of The Official Peaky Blinders Escape Room in Birmingham and Flight 338: The World's First Escape Plane in London. So, it's pretty clear they have a decent pedigree when it comes to this genre of interactive experiences. Of course, COVID-19 has wiped out any chance of visiting those attractions and when Christmas celebrations were curtailed by the pandemic, it seemed like a logical step to bring that same escape room fun to the virtual world. Allowing two to six friends or family members to play simultaneously together, this £19.99 game relies on good teamwork and communication to uncover the identity of a mysterious turkey-masked villain who has kidnapped Santa. Cubed3 got a socially distanced party together and took on this important mission.

Santa has been kidnapped by an evil masked turkey and it is up to a group of players controlling B.R.U.C.E. to save him, by working out who the masked assailant is from a list of suspicious characters. B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas is not the most complex escape room out there, but this hour-long Christmas tale of puzzle-solving and deduction is an ideal way to drum up some festive spirit.

Firstly, a high-powered PC is not required, instead simply running on a Google Chrome browser. It means it is ideal for family or friends who may be less tech-savvy by enabling everyone to jump into the experience with ease. After the cinematic cutscenes, including some fabulously over-the-top acting, the team jumps into a series of bright and colourful 2D Christmas scenes with various interactive objects and points of interest.

Operating like a point-and-click adventure title, there is also an object bar at the bottom to collect various useful items. So what does the gameplay actually entail? Well, the various puzzles involve everything from the basics - like fitting shapes together, finding items to place into objects (such as a fuse box), and playing appropriately Christmas musical tunes on bells - to the much more complicated, like mathematical puzzles and using codecs to work out a hidden message.

Screenshot for B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas on PC

The brilliant thing about every one of the puzzles is that they all absolutely require multiple people to direct each other. For example, when using a claw-grab machine, someone will direct the person using it as they are unable to see the screen at that moment. Or, there is a great puzzle involving navigating around a map, where teammates must direct one player through a list of instructions in order to advance.

When it comes to the harder puzzles, this cooperative fun can lead to all sorts of hilarious arguments and questions, as the timer at the top of the screen constantly ticks down and adds an air of tension to the proceedings. Add a few tipples during a family Zoom session and this will definitely be a hit not only during the festive season but also throughout the year for those craving an injection of Christmas cheer.

At the end of every scene, after having collected all the available evidence, it then comes time to eliminate potential suspects until eventually only one remains. Working it out at the end after eliminating everyone based on the ever-increasing bundles of evidence against them is a very satisfying feeling. There's even a leaderboard for the teams to compare themselves against other teams around the world on how fast they got through the adventure. In fact, it was actually a bit of a shame that the experience was over at that point and it definitely feels like there is scope for a slightly longer adventure with more things to do, especially given the not-insignificant price of £19.99.

Screenshot for B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Despite the relatively short run-time, B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas is an entertaining family friendly adventure that everyone can get involved in. The simplicity of running it plays in its favour in a big way as it will avoid those less tech-savvy getting flustered when trying to join the fun. Puzzles can be tough, but never too difficult to be massively frustrating, and the addition of a hint system should alleviate getting stuck at any point. While it would have been nice to have a few more rooms to explore and solve puzzles in, it's a great social means of playing games together from a distance.

Developer

Bewilder Box

Publisher

Bewilder Box

Genre

Party

Players

6

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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