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  • Andrew Davidson

Once Upon a Time in Udexia

Updated: Sep 21

Introduction


Those of you who keep up with the As Per My Ability blog are well aware that I am no stranger to the myriad of interactive escape room books on the market. In the past, I’ve created YouTube and blog reviews of Journal 29 and Enigma. Somehow, among the seemingly endless online content devoted to board and card games, my content caught the eye of the designers behind Udexia, another interactive escape room book. Like many content creators, I always provide full disclosure whenever I review a product: I was provided, at no cost, with a copy of Udexia for review. As always, free products are encouraged, but never alter my steadfast moral compass during a review. Sound good? Okay. Let’s dive deep into the world of Udexia


Once Upon a Time in Udexia


Udexia is a self-published escape room book designed by a team only referred to as RIDL—which is incredibly admirable because, personally, if I put hours upon hours of hard work into designing an escape room book, I’d have my name slathered all over that son-of-a-gun. True story. Udexia comes with 52 exciting puzzles to solve. It follows the same format as previously released products in the same genre: Each puzzle corresponds with a UPC code that players scan with a smartphone to enter their answers. Okay cool, nothing new here. But wait!

Ever since I first laid eyes on Journal 29—many, many years ago—one of the first disappointments I experienced was the lack of any coherent narrative within the game. Sure, they provide you with a theme like, “you’re stuck in a dungeon and have to escape before the evil dragon consumes you” or “you’re trying to escape a space station before it self-destructs” but let’s be honest, these products are lacking the page-to-page, puzzle-to-puzzle narrative within the framework. I am pleased to announce that Udexia is the first escape room book (that this author has played) that fills in the gap between puzzles and story; where you are someone within a developing world. Oh, Udexia, where have you been all of my life? Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning: the puzzles...



Udexia: The Puzzles

As previously mentioned, Udexia offers 52 puzzles, which is less than other products on the market but well worth the trade-off. Hands down, the puzzles included are absolutely fantastic; they transform the banal substitution codes and dismal number sequencing puzzles into some very fresh and innovative challenges. Typically, the puzzles interact with a photo drawing or require a symbol or numerical conversion; others, use abstract thinking along with imagery and iconography. Boy howdy! For someone who is not naturally drawn to these types of products, Udexia is the most fun I’ve had playing an escape room book. The puzzles are tough but the presentation—artwork, and narrative—keep the experience exciting. In fact, while marketed as a solo experience, Udexia brings people together. Whenever I got stuck with a puzzle, I’d bring the book to work and leave it in the break room for colleagues to congregate around. Coworkers looked forward to the next time I would get stuck. Soon, it became one of the high points of work. Udexia transformed into something more than a game, but an exciting shared experience. There was friendly competition, trash-talking, the whole nine yards. It brought some coworkers closer together. In others, it brought out their competitive nature. It was awesome. Okay, enough of the anecdotal stuff, let’s get to the narrative aspect.


Udexia: The Story (Spoiler Free)


In the story of Udexia, you take on the role of a magician’s apprentice. Without spoiling too much, you end up in magic school—reminiscent of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. The real magic is how the puzzles correspond to the narrative: fighting monsters, navigating a forest, taking on a dragon; every challenge fits the type of puzzle. To discourage cheating, some answers were prerequisites to solving others. The back section of Udexia contains The Grimoire of Magic, a collection of graphs and tables to assist the player on their journey through magic school. The presentation is great, the puzzles are awesome, the photo drawing artwork compliments the product, the narrative is engaging (especially for fans of Harry Potter), and the experience is top-notch; one for the magic books. At the end of the day, if you enjoy figuring out puzzles with a splash of narrative, then Udexia is a must-have! You won't be disappointed.



Udexia is available on www.amazon.com



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