The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff is a Coded Chronicles game by Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim, published by The Op. It is for 1 or more players. In this game, players will be taking on the role of the beloved characters from the 1985 film, “The Goonies“. They will need to work together to figure out the many different puzzles and explore the caves on their way to finding One-Eyed Willy’s treasure. They’ll have to be careful though, as those dastardly Fratelli’s will be hot on their heels. In the end, the players that can uncover the secrets and solve the puzzles the best, while avoiding the Fratelli’s, will be declared the winners and will have an awesome ending to their story.
Before I start, let me state that I will do my best in this review to make sure and keep the spoilers of the game to a very bare minimum. That means that I will only reveal things on a need to know basis and only those things that will be discovered in the first few moments of playing. Everything else will be left to discover on your own.
To begin, all of the Journals except for the ones for Chunk and Sloth are equally distributed between all the different players. The Chunk and Sloth ones are not used until Act 2 and may be left in the box until this time. It should be noted that Mikey’s Journal requires the most reading in Act 1, while Chunk’s Journal requires the most in Act 2. The stack of Map tiles should be placed face down near the middle of the play area. The deck of Clue cards should also be placed face down next to the Map tiles. The Doubloon, Treasure Map and Secret Envelopes should be placed where all players may easily access them. Players may look at the outside of the Secret Envelopes but should not open them until instructed to do so while playing the game. The Intermission envelope can remain in the box until needed, as can the Dry Erase pen. When players are ready, the Mikey Journal may be opened and Entry 1000 may be read aloud. Play now begins.
Once the game begins and the story entry is read the game begins to give you puzzles to figure out. The first puzzle involves the Secret Envelopes and the Doubloon. From there, map tiles and other cards will begin to be placed out on the table. Each one will explain where to place them in regards to any previously placed tiles or cards. As you progress you will also be instructed on where to place the characters which will come into the game once you open the first envelope. The Fratellis will also come into the game upon opening the envelope, more on them in a bit. It should be noted whenever a decision must be reached, players should agree on the course of action before preceding.
As you play, you’ll need to use the special abilities of each of the characters to better solve the puzzles that are presented. Mikey can explore, finding new things and hidden secrets. Brand can pick up, meaning that he can grab something that’s laying around. Mouth can decipher, which is very helpful since there will be puzzles to figure out. Andy can use, which means she can take one item and use it on something else, more on this ability in a bit. Stef can explain, which allows her to give players more information to make better and more informed choices. Chunk can explore and pick up, while Sloth can use. Data has all kinds of gadgets that have their own rules and ways to use them. The instructions for these will be presented once Data’s deck of gadget cards makes it’s self available during play. For any of the characters to use their abilities, the players simply take that character’s token and place it next to the begging of the number on the map tile or clue card that they want to use the ability on. Each character has a number on their token which is added to the 3 digit number to create a 4 digit code that the player can then look up in that character’s corresponding Journal. That Journal entry is then read aloud by the player with that character’s Journal. As I mentioned a moment ago, Andy and Sloth’s use ability is a bit different. These characters can not use a pre-existing 3 digit number. Instead they must combine two items together. One will have a 1 digit code and the other must have a 2 digit code. The character’s Journal entry number is created by that character’s number, the 1 digit number and then the 2 digit number. This gives the 4 digit code for the entry.
As you have the characters interact with different elements of the game, there will be times when the players are told to move the Fratelli token forward. Most times this happens only when solving a puzzle. Any time that the Fratelli token moves into a room that a character is standing in and that character can not move forward into another room, then the characters are caught. This does not mean it’s the end of the game. Instead, the players mark a box on the “Caught By The Fratellis Tracker” on the back of the rulebook, or a blank sheet of paper if you choose not to mark on the rulebook. This will affect the players’ score at the end of the game. Once this has been marked, the Fratelli token is moved back to the first space in the previous room, giving the players a little bit of breathing room.
The game continues until the end of one of the 3 Acts or until players have completed the game. The Intermission envelope gives instructions on how to pause and return to the game later. Once the game is completed, players will check the chart on the back of the rulebook. Depending on how many times they were caught by the Fratellis will determine the player’s achievement level, which has a short line of text to complete the adventure.
One last thing should be noted, the last page of the rulebook has a list of hints that may be used during the game. The first hint is free to use but should only be used if player’s are stuck. The second hint will spoil future puzzles and will cause the Fratelli token to move one space forward. All of these hints are read from their corresponding Journal.+
While I won’t be covering every component of the game, due to spoilers, I will do my best to give you some idea of what you can expect. First off what I’ll do is tell you what all you’ll uncover once you open the box. The game comes with 8 Journals. Each one is very colorful and has the character’s name on the front along with their number which is also found on the character token, which players will uncover later. Each Journal is appropriately fitting for the character from the movie and has a thematic look to it. There are 7 map tiles for the game which are large square cards. These should not be explored until told to do so, to save on spoiling the game. The game also has a deck of tarot sized Clue cards. These also should not be explored and should be kept face down until told to reveal a specific card. Each map tile has a letter and each Clue card has a number on it. The Journals and other cards/items will tell you when to uncover a map tile or Clue card by giving the appropriate letter or number. Both the tiles and cards are really well done and have a great look and feel to them. Also inside the box, players will discover 8 Secret Envelopes. These are large parchment style envelopes with sketches of the areas that they represent, along with a 4 digit code. Each one is sealed and contains various items inside. In some cases there are tokens like the character tokens and Fratelli token which are mentioned below. There are various smaller cards and other items that will be useful while playing the game. Needless to say, there’s a lot to uncover so I’ll leave those envelopes for you to discover on your own. Just like in the movie, there’s a large golden pirate doubloon. Of course, this version is only thick cardboard, but it’s still really cool looking. Finally there is the large map, which is dry erase and the dry erase marker for drawing on the map. Most of the time when I’ve gotten these markers inside a game, the marker was useless because it wouldn’t work. It was completely dry. With this one, surprisingly it actually worked. I was very happy about that, especially since it’s needed to play the game. The map is very thematic and looks amazing. I was really happy with how cool it looked. One last thing inside the box is the Intermission envelope. This is used for saving the game between each of the 3 different Acts, in case you want to stop and come back to the game later. Overall, I’m thrilled beyond measure with the look and feel of every piece of this game. Everything looks great and so very thematic. It really helped draw me into the movie and the adventure. Needless to say, I give the components an A+.
9 out of 10
Like my review, the rulebook gives only the bare minimum of instructions needed to understand how to play the game. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even call itself a rulebook, instead it is an Adventure Guide. The guide doesn’t go into a lot of detail, which is fine since so much of the game’s rules are learned as you play from the various cards and tiles that are uncovered later. Basically what the guide does is give you the framework for using the tiles, cards, characters and their Journals. It also explains how the Fratelli token works. There are plenty of great pictures in the book with lots of examples. The best thing is that these examples are shown in such a way that there’s no spoilers given. As noted earlier, the last page contains a list of hints for when players get stuck while playing the game. For some players I think it’s great to have that added to the book but I don’t actually remember any time that we needed to use them. That could be due to the numerous times that my wife and I have watched the movie throughout our lives. The back page of the book has the, “Caught By The Fratellis Tracker”, which is just a series of bubbles that can be marked to show how many times players were too slow or incorrectly solved a puzzle. What this translates to is the End Game Score, which is a box on the back of the book with a list of numbers of times you were caught and an achievement level for each. Needless to say, if you get caught 6 or more times, you’re not going to get a happy ending. The less your caught, the better your ending. Overall I think that the material that’s presented here is done in an exceedingly amazing way. I like that there aren’t spoilers, unless you want to really pay attention to those hints. I think that the rules that are given are explained in such a way that anyone can easily understand how to play the game. The guide doesn’t take that long to read which means that players can get to playing the game fairly quickly. Overall, I really enjoy the way that this was done and I think everything here looks great.
9 out of 10
Oh my, what can I say? I have played several different escape room style games from several different companies. For the most part, these have been fairly mind numbing and boring. About the only thing that I liked was opening the envelopes and finding new materials to manipulate. Needless to say, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the gameplay of them. This game, however, was the absolute complete opposite of all of those. Maybe it was my love for the source material or simply the way that everything was presented, but I absolutely enjoyed myself with it. While it did have that puzzly escape room feel, it also felt like a Choose Your Own Adventure game had been merged with it. Maybe it was the story and all the reading that this game presented, I’m not sure. What I did like was that each individual character had it’s own voice, it’s own story and it’s own unique feel, just like in the movie. It simply felt like I was right there bumping around in those caves with those character myself. I absolutely got drawn into this game. It felt like I was living the movie. Every new puzzle was a way of moving forward and staying a step ahead of the Fratellis. As you progress through the game, new rooms will be discovered, as will new items and puzzles to solve. Figuring out the best character to deal with each one is key. I will say that there were a few times that I found myself scratching my head, trying to determine who to use, what to do and how to do it. It can be a little bit of a brain burner at times, but having several players working together to figure these things out can be a big help. I like that this is a game that can be played solo or with other players. I played through a little bit of the game by myself, just to get a feel for it, before unleashing it on my family. That helped me to better instruct them and for all of us to work our way through the adventure together. Of course I kept my prior knowledge of what worked and what didn’t work to myself. Needless to say, we had a great time with this game. It has been a true adventure. The likes of which I haven’t enjoyed in a long time. This one is family friendly but it’s aimed at pre-teens and higher. I think the complexity of the puzzles and the amount of reading that is needed makes that age group feel about right. Fans of the movie will absolutely love this game, as they’re able to play as their favorite characters. Escape room gamers will also find the puzzles and adventure of this one to be top notch. About the only thing that concerns me is that having played the game already, I’m afraid that there will be no replayabilty for it, as we’ll already know how to solve all the puzzles. Might have to give it a couple of months and then revisit it to see if that still holds true. I guess for now, it’s something to be aware of. In any event, this is one that I highly recommend. For a non-escape room gamer, I loved it as did my family.
9 out of 10
The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff is an escape room style game that can be played in the comfort of your own home. It is one of Coded Chronicles styles games available from The Op. The game can take a bit of time depending on how long you want to play and how many Acts that you want to explore. Most play sessions last around an hour to an hour and a half for each Act. The components look amazing and are very thematic. Each piece really helps draw you into the story of the game. The rulebook is quite well designed and gives you just what you need to know to play the game without any spoilers. The game itself is an amazing experience that will draw you right into the movie. I have had so much fun playing this. There are lots of puzzles to solve and clues to uncover. For fans of the movie, there is definitely a lot to love. I think them and escape room gamers will really enjoy this one. It is family friendly but a little too complex for some younger players. Overall my family and I enjoyed our time with this one. It’s sure to keep you talking about what worked and what could have possibly worked better. Needless to say, I highly recommend it. I just hope that it will be as much fun when I try to replay it in the future. Till then, I can’t wait.
9 out of 10
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