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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Escape: The Curse of the Temple (2012) is a cooperative traversal game where teams try and escape an ancient temple before it collapses. You repeatedly roll dice to move from room to room, adding new tiles to the catacombs as you go. Play is against the clock-soundtrack that provides atmosphere and structure to how long you have to explore before rushing back to the safe inner chamber. It's a fantastically tense and skilful game for family groups.

Play starts with everyone in the central chamber. The soundtrack-timer begins and everybody repeatedly rolls their five dice to match the symbols on the door and moves through it. They then add a room tile and move into that room. This repeats in real-time as players frantically explore the temple looking for gems and collecting them by rolling to match the required symbols.

One of the dice faces displays a black mask which means you can't use that dice until you roll a key on the other dice. It means that although you can repeatedly roll as often as you like if you're not careful you can end up with all your dice locked. This is made worse by the need to return to the central chamber every couple of minutes as indicated by the soundtrack. If you don't you lose a dice in the next round.

This risk-reward leans into the cooperative aspect of play. If all your dice are locked, another player needs to move into your room (by rolling the required dice) to roll the golden mask to unlock you. You can also team up with other players to roll the required number of symbols to collect a higher number of gems.

After two rounds you have a final chance to get to the exit of the temple, which has hopefully been revealed by then. Once you are at the exit you need to roll enough keys to match the number of gems remaining to be found.

Although the standard game is complex enough for many families, there are some excellent expansions you can purchase:
  • Treasure chamber tiles offer bonus treasures.
  • Cursed chambers apply in-game limitations to dice or the player's physical ability.
  • Quest chambers provide additional missions to complete before you can leave.
  • Trap chambers hinder movement.
  • Time chambers slow you down.
  • Character tiles offer additional abilities to help you escape.
  • Queenie modules add more special tiles and features.

The result is a really unusual and enjoyable game. The real-time frantic dice rolling is in itself a lot of fun. Then there is the teamwork required to progress together and look after all the players. Finally, there is the risk-reward of needing to push your luck to get enough gems to make the final rolls at the exit not insurmountable.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Escape: The Curse of the Temple 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
There are lots of games similar to Escape: The Curse of the Temple. Here are some we picked for you:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Race and Traversal game with Action, Strategy and World Building elements. You can play with 1 to 5 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 15 minutes to learn. It's quite quick to learn, although the teamwork aspect becomes more apparent as you play and fail a few times.

The first time you play, this makes learning easier:
  • Use this soundtrack-timer YouTube video as it provides a visual countdown and instructions on rounds.
  • Play practice rooms where you all try and roll to move to the next tile.
  • Play a practice room where one player has locked dice.
  • You can play a practice round without a timer.
  • You can make it easier for early attempts by reducing the number of gems you have to collect.
  • Ensure you place your colour indicator token in front of you as this is important to quickly see who is which character in the tomb.

Play Time: This game will take around 10 minutes to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Very young players may need more time to practice before starting the pressured-timed round. The frantic real-time nature of play requires quick thinking (and honesty about when dice are locked).

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 7+ years-olds. There are themes of being locked in a tomb. The soundtrack has a spooky voice that aims to make things feel tense.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2012, updated in 2020

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1-5

Genres: Race, Traversal (Action, Strategy and World Building)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Cards, Dice, Figures and Tokens

Developer: Queen Games US (@QueenGamesUS)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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