Designer: Adam Carlson, Josh J Carlson
Artists: Josh J. Carlson
Publisher: Chip Theory Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 1-2
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes
Lock picking is the art of manipulating the components of a lock without a key to unlock the lock. Though this might be associated with criminal intent, it is essential for the legitimate profession of locksmithing and is often pursued by those who see it as a useful skill to learn. Rogues are very keen in their profession and knew a good deal about lock picking long before locksmiths discussed it among themselves. If you're a rogue, a locksmith, or just trying to improve your skills, show off your talents by solving the Master Lock.
Rules and Setup:
You are competing to be the first player to solve the Master Lock, done by being the first to complete five diagrams or by earning ten points. Setup is fast and easy. Begin by placing the mat out, taking the chips, and making a "sandwiches" with the mechanism chips in the middle of the failsafe chips. Each player starts with a diagram card and will need to figure out which diagram to pursue, placing the card according to the one they choose. Players will each choose a character and place their character card and a skill bead nearby.
During gameplay, you can use a skill, take an action, and/or attempt to complete one of your diagrams. These can be done in any order, and you'll find yourself having to decide the best order each turn. Using a skill consists of placing your bead on different paths or moving it up on the path until you get to the end and receive its benefit. Depending on the track you choose, you will either gain two points or roll an action die. Alternatively, you can choose to reset instead, causing your opponent to move their bead off their track to the reset position and start over. Each character also has their own skill available for them to use.
Actions consist of rolling two action dice and performing the action shown; alternatively, you can sacrifice both die results and choose any one action. These actions consist of the following: peeking at two mechanisms and the top failsafe; flipping the mechanism stack; swapping two stacks, disarming a failsafe and drawing a new diagram; peeking at the mechanism in the hidden lock area with the top failsafe and then rotating all four mechanisms stacks; and, revealing, concealing, or altering any lock diagram, including your opponent's.
The rulebook does a great job of explaining the game mechanics so that you can perform actions exactly how they are meant to be used. It's also very well-organized and includes information on competitive, cooperative, and solo play.
Theme and Mechanics:
In New London, four different people have caught attention for their lock picking skills. They all have been summoned by a mysterious lock box with a time and location inscribed on the bottom. It's time to dive into the deeper secrets of the Royal Company or show off your talents against the others who think they can outwit you. It's all up to you to solve the Master Lock.
Triplock has various paths to victory, as you can win two different ways. It's an abstract memory game using different mechanics like pattern recognition, set collection, hand management, and variable player powers. This game takes many different mechanics and combines them into a system that works very well together and causes your brain to think about five different things at once.
Artwork and Components:
The artwork is done professionally and matches the theme beautifully. However, the colors are somewhat dark, which can make it hard to see some things in the game.
The components are excellent, the highlight being the amazing mechanism and failsafe chips. Top-notch components like this are what Chip Theory Games pride themselves on. The cards and other components are all good quality, as well. The game also uses a neoprene mat that fits the mechanics and theme perfectly.
This is one of the best two-player games I have played. The gameplay keeps your brain thinking as you constantly reevaluate your tactics. The game doesn't drag on, but it also doesn't end abruptly, as you're constantly aware of your opponent's score and progression. In many of our games, a player who lost had been only one or two moves behind, with each player using different strategies.
The icons can get a little confusing, but after playing a game or two, your memory will kick in and help. Also, at the beginning, it gets a little confusing between the mechanism chips and the failsafe chips and the significance between the two. Sometimes, a player can luck out and be able to fulfill some mechanisms easier because of how they're placed on the lock.
This game is perfect for solo play and doesn't lose the challenge. The game is deceptively heavier than you might think. This might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you are looking for.
Players Who Like:
This game somehow reminds me a little bit of Splendor. If you enjoy Splendor and want to use more brainpower when playing, this is a great game to try. I would recommend this to those who play two-player games or solo games. If you were looking for a fast two-player game to play but wanted something a bit heavier than most, this is the game for you!
I am giving Triplock an 8.5 out of 10 super meeples.
See more of Brody's reviews at http://www.everythingboardgames.com/p/reviews.html