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Unlock! and Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow to receive escape room style gamebook adaptations

Escaping from the box to the page.

Two board games in Asmodee’s stable of titles will be adapted into gamebooks as part of a newly announced collaboration with French companies Mango Éditions and Werewolves of Miller's Hollow and characters from the Unlock! Series, according to a press release from the publisher.

Both gamebooks are currently slated to release in the second half of 2022, and more may follow depending on their success. Authors Mélanie Vives, Rémi Prieur and Benjamin Bouwyn have been tapped as the creative team. The trio wrote the first Escape Game book in 2016, starting what has become a long running series that has sold over 500,000 copies globally.

“Through our books, we want players to feel the same sensations as in a real escape room: urgency, playing around with objects, digging for clues and reflection,” they said in the press release. “We can't wait to see the players immerse themselves in the adventures we're going to create under Asmodee’s benevolent eye.”

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Gamebooks such as those produced by the two French companies evoke the feeling of attending an in-person escape room by layering the narrative prose with puzzles, cyphers, mazes and other mental challenges. For example, a murder mystery gamebook might include images and descriptions of the fictional crime scene, along with a Cluedo-esque breakdown of the suspects. Readers will need to gather evidence hidden among the pages and behind elaborate, multi-step riddles to reach the end within the suggested time limit.

Adapting characters like Professor Noside from the Unlock! titles makes sense, given the subject matter of the Space Cowboys published source material. Their entries are meant to be challenging for groups but balance that difficulty with charming aesthetics and characters. Dicebreaker listed the deep Unlock! catalogue on its list of best escape room board games.

Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow is a social deduction title that first released in 2001 that has all the hallmarks of its ilk - hidden lycanthropes stalking a village and picking off residents one by one, specialized hidden roles that can aid in protecting the innocents, and the capacity to host large groups. It’s not hard to imagine a gamebook wherein the reader is tasked with uncovering the secret threats before it’s their turn in the jaws of the supernatural predator.

Unlock The Formula escape room game artwork

“We here at Asmodee are delighted to begin our cooperation with the renowned escape gamebook specialists at Mango. With these upcoming books, fans of Unlock!, and the quirky and lovable Professor Noside, and Werewolves’ thrilling mysteries will be able to dive into new adventures anywhere – be it on a bus, a plane or on the sofa at home,” said Asmodee’s Alexander Thieme.

The publisher also said that more details about what these gamebooks will look like, along with price and shipping information likely won’t be available until summer of 2022.

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