My wife and I are both big Goonies fans, as well as fans of the Coded Chronicles series of games from The Op, so when we heard there was going to be a Goonies Coded Chronicles game we jumped at the chance to check it out.
The Goonies Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff A Coded Chronicles Game is an escape room in a box style experience that lets you experience the classic 80s movie The Goonies in a totally new way.
Disclosure: Thank you to The Op for sending us a copy of this escape room in a box to check out. Links in this post may be affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this blog and our podcast.
A look at The Goonies Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff
The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game (yes that’s the full name which makes this the game with the longest name in my collection) was designed by Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim (the same team that gave us the other Coded Chronicles games along with other great games like Junk Art and our favourite party game But Wait, There’s More! ) with all original artwork provided by Andy Jewett.
This escape room in a box was published by The Op in late 2021. Any number of players, including just one, can sit down and play through this Goonies game. While it can be played in one long sitting, you can also split the experience over two or three sessions due to a save system.
This cooperative puzzle game has a very reasonable MSRP of $29.99
The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff follows the plot of the original 1985 Spielberg and Columbus classic The Goonies. You don’t need to know the original movie to play this game but there are some Easter Eggs for those that do know the film well. In this game, you control The Goonies who are searching for One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff. You do this by exploring and solving puzzles, using various character skills to interact with the growing map and items you find. Be careful though the Fratellis are hot on your trail so don’t take too long or make too many mistakes.
For a spoiler free look at the stuff you get in the box for this game, I invite you to check out our The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game Unboxing Video on YouTube.
When recording that video I made sure to not open up any of the sealed envelopes so you don’t really get a good look at the components but you can get an idea of how much stuff is in the box. What I will say here is that the component quality is excellent. There’s more physically to this Coded Chronicles game than the past games in the series, including some very neat components.
The card quality is excellent and I really appreciate getting a dry erase map that is not only required for puzzle solving but also doubles as a place to make notes. There are a total of eight different character books in this Coded Chronicles game each of variable thickness.
The books are of varying lengths, some have much less content. It’s not a spoiler to say that each person having their own book will lead to a significant imbalance in how much reading is done. Since there are eight books total, I would think you probably want to limit your player count to eight max, and with any less than that players will be responsible for more than one book (which may be a good thing). Note for reasons I don’t want to get into, but that you may be able to guess if you’ve seen the movie, a cap of six players might be even better.
One final note that I think is important to stress, though our entire play of The Goonies we did not spot any issues. No typos, no spelling errors, no grammatical mistakes, no puzzles that didn’t work or missing entries. Things that, sadly, have been a problem with the previous Coded Chronicles games, that I’m really glad didn’t happen in this one.
How do you play The Goonies a Coded Chronicles Game?
The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game includes a very short Adventure Guide that you read first that introduces the Coded Chronicles system. This guide is short enough that you can read it at the table when you first sit down to play.
Once everyone has an idea of how to play you divvy up the player books and begin by reading the first entry which happens to be in Mikey’s book. This entry sets up the entire scenario and gets you to your first puzzle.
From here on, interacting with the game mainly involves combining the character’s unique skills with the numbers on things in play.
Each character, except Data who instead has gadgets, has at least one skill. For example, Mouth can Decipher, Brand can Pick Up, Andy can Use and Stef can Explain.
Mechanically you are using these skills along with numbers you have found while exploring to create four digit codes. You then look up these codes in the appropriate player book. Once you’ve found the right entry the player with that book reads the entry and the game then progresses which can mean reading more book entries, opening sealed envelopes, adding to the growing map, putting cards in play and more!
A note about the Use skill. This skill works a bit differently as it requires you to combine the numbers on two different things that will then be used together. For example, you may try to use a lighter with some red candles you found. Throughout the game items that can be combined are represented by one or two digit numbers. When these are combined with the number for the Use skill, you end up with a four digit number which you can then use to lookup an entry and read it.
Along with this, you may also find other sources of four digit numbers, plus some of the characters have other interesting ways to interact with things other than just using skills. I don’t think I can say more without spoiling anything.
While exploring, reading and unlocking things you also have to worry about being caught by the Fratellis. Each map card you put in play during the game has one to three circles on it which are spots to hold the Fratellis Token.
The token starts at the edge of the map and advances based on some of the entries in the books as well as moving up if you ever try to look up a four digit code and that entry number isn’t in the book. This represents The Goonies wasting time. Some puzzles may also move the Fratellis up if you get the wrong answer when trying to solve them.
If the Fratellis Token ever moves into a room with any of The Goonies you note this on the back of the Adventure Guide. You then reset the Fratellis token back to the furthest circle of the previous room. When you complete the game these marks on the back of the guide will impact your group’s final score.
One great part of this mechanic is that it doesn’t pressure you to act fast but to act smart. There is no time limit in this game and you are free to take as long as you want to explore and solve puzzles. You are only penalized for making a wrong choice, not for taking too long to make that choice.
The puzzles in this Goonies board game run the gamut from logic and math puzzles to some interesting physical puzzles requiring you to manipulate objects you will unlock while hunting for the Rich Stuff. Many of these puzzles are straight forward but some will require some creative thinking in order to solve. Thankfully, if you ever get stuck on a puzzle there is a hint table in the Adventure Guide.
This is important to know — using the first hint on the table for any puzzle isn’t a bad thing and you don’t get penalized for it.
The initial hints given on the table (which you then lookup in one of the books and read) are there to make sure you understand what the game is asking you to do. It makes sure you have the right tools on hand and that you are looking at the right things in the right way to solve the puzzle.
I strongly encourage folks to use these first hints as soon as you get at all stuck. There is no penalty, and it can help you avoid frustration and keep your group on the right track. After you’ve read the first clues your group will have the choice to read more clues, leading eventually, if necessary, to the final solution to the puzzle you are stuck on. Going beyond that first clue does impact your final score.
The story in The Goonies Escape with One-eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff is broken into three acts. There is an envelope included in the box that you can use at any of these break points to save your game so that you don’t have to play through the entire thing in one long sitting. This is what we did and I suggest anyone playing this game do the same. By splitting the game over three different sessions we were better able to savour and enjoy the game, getting a more fulfilling experience.
Once you’ve finished the adventure and read about The Inferno sailing off into the distance, you check the back of the Adventure book to see your final score. We ended up with “Hey You Guys! Are awesome!”
If you end up playing through The Goonies yourself, I would love to hear how your score compared to ours.
How does this Goonies game tie into the movie?
The one question I’m sure most of you are wondering is how does this Goonies game tie into the movie?
To start you don’t need to know The Goonies movie at all to play this game. The game will walk you through the entire plot and everything should make sense without any outside references needed. Most importantly you don’t need any outside knowledge to solve any of the puzzles in this game.
That said, knowing the movie will definitely give you a bit of help with a couple of the puzzles but definitely not all of them. For true fans of the movie, there are a couple of in-game bonuses that someone who doesn’t know the movie probably won’t discover. While these do give a bit of extra content and do give you a slight advantage over a group that misses them, they aren’t integral to the story or to solving the game.
As for following the plot of The Goonies movie, this game does that pretty much exactly. The adventure here starts once the kids are in the caverns under The Lighthouse Lounge but it does explain all of the events leading up to that point through its narrative. Once you start playing, the game recreates many of the classic movie scenes and players will be reading off lines of dialogue right from the movie.
Even with so closely following the plot of the movie, there is a ton of original Goonies content here. The game deviates from the move in two notable ways.
First off, the puzzles you expect to see from the movie aren’t just transposed into the game. Yes, the key scenes are there as you would expect them to be but what you will be doing isn’t just recreating what they did on screen.
Second, this game also interjects some additional scenes. The designers brilliantly read between the lines of the movie and present you with some new areas and new challenges to overcome. All of this new content fits in perfectly with the existing Goonies canon, none of it felt out of place.
One final note before I get to our thoughts on this new Coded Chronicles game. While playing The Goonies Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff, you don’t have to destroy, rip, fold or permanently mark anything. Unlike some escape room style games (like the EXIT Games I’ve reviewed in the past) you can reset this game, either to play again or pass it on to another Goonies fan.
Who will like The Goonies Escape with One Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff ?
First, I feel I should share a bit of my personal experiences in regards to this series of games. The Goonies Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff is the third Coded Chronicles game we’ve played and reviewed. The first Coded Chronicles game released, and the first we played, was the Scooby-Doo themed one which you can read about in my Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion review. The second Coded Chronicles game is based on The Shining movie and you can read all about that one in my The Shining Escape from the Overlook Hotel review.
As you can read in those reviews, we had some mixed experiences with the previous Coded Chronicles games. Overall Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion was fantastic. I can honestly say that the most fun we have had sitting at a table playing games with our kids is while playing that first Coded Chronicles game. However, while we did have a lot of fun it wasn’t a perfect experience, due to some editing issues that had us completely stuck for a good amount of time.
While I appreciate that this style of game does have a lot of text in it with a lot of things going on and multiple parts having to link together, our experience was definitely tarnished by the small mistake we happened to run into.
As for The Shining, I’m sorry to say that was a bit of a disaster. There were significant flaws in the game, including a missing entry in one of the books. It was bad enough that I ended up having to flip through every book passage by passage just to figure out what should have been doing.
On a positive note, later printings of The Shining now come with a separate pack meant to fix these issues, including replacement cards, journals and an envelope. There is also an official The Shining errata PDF out there as well.
One of the best things about this new Coded Chronicles game is that we didn’t find any of these types of problems while playing through The Goonies.
While there was one puzzle that was a bit fiddly, everything was there, didn’t have any errors, and worked as intended. This is the most polished Coded Chronicles game so far and that gives me high hopes for the future of the system. It’s a system that I really enjoy and I really hope they continue to release more games in this series.
I think the basic system of all of the Coded Chronicles games is brilliant. The mechanic of combining character skills with things in play in order to get numbers to look up in books works so well. It recreates the feel of a point and click adventure game but in board game form.
What I really enjoyed in The Goonies, over the previous Coded Chronicles games, is that you have way more characters and skills than ever before. This means there are more ways to interact with the game world than before. Combined with the fact that The Goonies encourages you to play around and explore and doesn’t punish you for trying to use the various skills in less than logical ways, this makes for rather engaging and somewhat sandbox-style gameplay.
Another way that this new Coded Chronicles game sticks out from the previous games is the component quality and quantity. The puzzles in this set are more physical and include some cool 3D elements. The entire game is actually presented from a different perspective than the previous games. Those were all top down whereas this one presents the map from the side. This is the reason the character tokens aren’t standees. By laying flat they look like they could be part of the scenes you create during play.
The puzzles in The Goonies Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff are all rather clever. Some of the puzzles we got almost instantly while others that took us quite some time to figure out. It was a good mix.
There was one puzzle that we solved in a way that wasn’t expected by the game which was interesting. Since we ended up with the right result that didn’t really cause any problems. There was one other puzzle where we had difficulty physically manipulating the components as intended. Our first solution ended up being incorrect, not because we had the wrong solution but because we didn’t manipulate things in quite the right way. For that puzzle, we just ignored the penalty for failure as we had figured out what we should have been doing and were doing the right thing.
In regards to the puzzles, there is something I want to reiterate, don’t be afraid to use the hints the game provides. There is no reason not to use the first penalty-free hint for any puzzle if you get even a tiny bit stuck. You are going to have more fun knowing you are on the right track, versus wasting time getting frustrated or thinking about something in completely the wrong way.
As for our family and hints, there was one puzzle where we went on to use the second hint. While I’m pretty sure we would have figured out that puzzle eventually, taking the small score hit was worth not wasting far too much time and having everyone get frustrated during what, up until that point had been a fun time. Using that one hint was the only reason we didn’t get a perfect score.
Another aspect of play that has changed in this third Coded Chronicles game is playtime. The Goonies is a much more involved, longer escape room experience than the previous games. This is something we appreciated as it gave us more time to explore and enjoy the game. More bang for your buck if you will. Along with the longer playtime, we also took advantage of the three act split to spread our game over three different sessions and I’m very glad we did. I strongly recommend breaking the game into multiple sessions. Take your time and savour it.
Be aware of one thing when planning your time with The Goonies. The second act of this game is much shorter than the other two, and the last act is significantly longer than the first two. If you do consider splitting your Goonies experience into only two nights, I suggest doing the first two acts at once and saving the third for another day. Seeing how long overall the game took us, I can’t see wanting to do the entire thing in one sitting, unless maybe as part of some kind of Con event or gaming marathon like Extra Life. The save function in this game works great, so take advantage of it.
Another tip that I will share about this game is that it can be quite the table hog. The map grows rather large horizontally, left to right. This is something I wish we had known going in as we ended up having to shift the map around quite a few times to get things to fit. You want your map to align with the longest side of your table.
Overall The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game was a great experience. While it wasn’t as whimsical or laugh filled as the Scooby-Doo Coded Chronicles game it was more engaging and overall more rewarding. This makes sense to me as this game is obviously targeted at older audiences who have a fondness for The Goonies movie. I will admit our kids still think Scooby-Doo was better, but they did enjoy The Goonies a lot. However, my wife and I both preferred the newer Goonies game.
If you are a die hard Goonies fan you owe it to yourself to pick this one up and play through it. It will let you experience one of your favourite movies in a way you never could before. To best enjoy it gather a group of other Goonies fans so you can split up the roles and all the reading.
If you are a fan of the Coded Chronicles system, this is the best designed Coded Chronicles game to date. This is something that gives me hope for the future of this game line. The Coded Chronicles system is brilliant and I look forward to many more games using it in the future.
If you dig cooperative puzzles, escape room in a box style games or point and click digital adventures you will find a lot to like in this box whether you know the movie well or not. While you are definitely going to get more out of it if you are a Goonies fan, that’s not required to enjoy this experience.
Let me finish off with a few pictures that feature spoilers for those of you curious about seeing some more of The Goonies Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff. Even with these pictures, I tried to make sure to not spoil anything in the fact they aren’t going to solve any puzzles for you, but you will see things that aren’t unlocked at the start of the game.
CLICK FOR SOME SPOILER FILLED IMAGES:
One of the best parts about The Goonies Escape With One Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff is how well polished it is. It gives me high hopes for many more Coded Chronicles games to come in the future.
During our last podcast recording, Sean and I started talking about which licenses we would love to see in a Coded Chronicles game including the A-Team and the Breakfast Club. Check out our Easter AMA episode for that discussion.
What license would you love to see made into a game like this? Tell us all about it in the comment below!