Unlock The Formula Card Game Walkthrough

Unlock! The Formula, released this month in the US and Australia by Asmodee and Space Cowboys is a play at home escape room. The game uses cards in a ‘choose your own adventure’ style to lead you through the puzzles and help you ultimately find the exit in 60 minutes.

In order to play you must download the app which is available in both Apple and Android versions. The app works well and adds an extra element to the game play


The Formula Walk Through

Mission #MK-053

SEP 30 1961 / TOP SECRET

The Department is concerned by the lack of recent reports from Dr. Hoffman. This genius chemist is involved in the MK project. In his last report, he claimed that his “truth serum” was close to the required reliability. We want Hoffman and his formula.

The team will be taken to the subway station (CLASSIFIED) and will infiltrate the lab, which opens with the code (CLASSIFIED). You make your way through the maze of New York subway tunnels. In the middle of the tracks, you find a trap door in the ground. It’s open and light shows through it.

Turn over this card

Card 1

“The door closes and you hear a synthesized voice ‘self destruction engaged. 60 minutes”

This card requires you to reveal card E, 37, 19, 71, 27,B, 8 and 42

Card E will require you to reveal cards 12,57,66 and 50

Card 27 will require you to reveal card D

Card 50

You will need this later to help with the puzzle in card F

Card 57

A vase filled with flowers and water

Card 27 and D

‘A small wooden box with a hole in it hangs on the wall’

You will notice the key shown in card D has a cork on it. You can’t reach the key through the hole in the box as its too deep. Take card 57 and apply it to card 27

57+27= reveal card 84

By pouring the water from the vase into the box the cork rises and you now have a key, card 84.

You can now discard cards 27, 57 and D

Card 8

A locked door.

Card 84

Apply the key shown in card 84 to the locked engine room door (card 8), 84+8= card 92

Card 92

Card 92 reveals an engine room. At the back of the room there are a few pieces of furniture. You can now discard card 8 and 84.

Reveal cards F, 2, 11, 13, L and 47

Look closely in the corner of the generator room and you will notice a 7, reveal card number 7

Card 42

Look closely at card 42 and you will notice a small number on the pocket, number 33. Reveal card 33 which shows a key.

You can now discard card 42

Card 33

Apply card 33 to card 47

Card 47

Using card 33 unlock the filing cabinet

47+33= card 80

In the top draw you find a UV lamp. Discard cards 33 and 47

Card 13

Place the projector slide into the projector (card 12)

Card 12

Placing the project slide card 13 into the projector card 12 (13+12) reveals card 25. You can now discard cards 12 and 13.

Card 80

Use the lamp with card 11

Card 11

Apply the lamp (card 80) obtained from the filing cabinet (card 47) to card 11 (80+11) you can now reveal card 91. You can now discard card 11 and 80.

Using the lamp reveals fingerprints on the keypad

Card 91

The numbers 2,5,6 and 8 are shown, along with three arrows pointing right.

Each of the arrows suggests a ‘greater than sign’. Using this formula we can determine the order of the numbers, e.g. 8 is greater than 6, 6 is greater than 5, 5 is greater than 2. And therefore the last number is two.

Type in the code 8652 into the app. You will receive a message stating that an electrical buzzing noise can be heard, take card K

Card K

After solving the puzzle in card 91 you can take card K  which shows the generator has started up and has a value of 15. Discard card 91.

Card 2

Don’t spend too long looking at this card, you will use it later.

Card 7

If you haven’t yet obtained card number 7 look very closely at card 92, the number ‘7’ is printed in the top right corner of the generator room

Place this card into the microscope, card 66

Card 66

Place card 7 into the microscope. 66+7 = card 73. Reveal card 73 which shows a tiny inscription. Discard card 7 and card 66.

Card 73

Use the numbers/colours in card 73 to solve the puzzle on card F

Card F

Obtain card 73 by combining card 66 and 7 (microscope and slide) which will show you a code.

4 marked in red, 3 marked in green and 4 marked in orange.

On the red row find the fourth pin along, +1. On the green row find the third pin along, +7, on the orange row find the 4th pin along, +1

The red number you need is 9

You can now combine cards F and 50 together, 9+50 = card 59.

Card 59

Card 59 shows a +27 and a ‘ring ring’ message. Discard cards 50,73 and F

Card 37

Once you have solved the puzzle on card F you will be rewarded with card 59.

Use card 59 with card 37, 27+37 = card 64. This card states “you have a message, enter your security code”

Discard cards 37 and 59.

Card L

Look closely at card L, what do you see. Its a picture of a WING. You will need to use this later with card 64.

Card 64

Using the information from card L, the WING

Find WING on the telephone dial, and note the corresponding numbers. W=9, I=4, N=6, G=4

Enter 9464 into the app and take card Y, discard card L and 64.

Card Y

Card Y is obtained by solving the puzzle on card 64 using card L

“This is Hoffman,

I confess I’m running away, I can no longer cope with my terrible discovery. However, I value human life and I can’t let you die here. You can only get out with the formula. Then I’ll leave you to decide the fate of humanity. To access my lab you must first turn on the generator. Next, turn the lever on the right completely to the right, press 4 times on the black button and then, twice on the red. Good luck”.

Card B

Make sure you have obtained card Y.

Apply card K (+15) to card B. In order to get a red number you must follow the instructions on card Y, turn the lever on the right (+2) press 4 times on the black button (+4) and twice on the red (+10). Giving you a number of 16.

Combine 15 from card K and 16 from card B to reveal card 31.

Card 31

By solving the puzzle on card B you will reveal card 31 which states ‘It works, you hear a click nearby +31’. Discard cards B, Y and K

Card 25

Once you have solved the puzzle on card B (using cards K and Y) you can combine card 31 with 25. Reveal card 56. You can now discard cards 25,31 and E

Card 56

Reveal cards 90,28,74,3,20

Reveal card W, this will show a padlock

Card 20

A record player. This will come in handy later

Card 3

Shows a periodic table, this will help you solve card W

Card 28

On card 28 you will notice a picture of the MONA LISA. Draw card W.

Card W

Using the table on card 3 find the numbers that correspond to the letters MONA LISA

MO=5, NA=3, LI=2, SA=7.

Enter 5327 into the app. The padlock opens take card M. You can now discard cards 3,28,W.

Card M

Card M reveals card 23 and 93

Card 23

Apply the LP record (card 23) to the record player (card 20) which reveals card 43. Discard cards 20 and 23.


Card 43

After you combine the LP record (card 23) and record player (card 20) together you are given card 43 which contains the following message

“Enter the code 1234 into the app”

A recording will play, but it sounds like it is backward.

Enter code 4321 into the app.

A recording will play that states “to open the safe add 11”

Card 74

Once you have ‘listened’ to the LP recording using card 43 you are told ‘to open the safe add 11’.

Add 11 to 74 and reveal card 85. Discard cards 43 and 74.

Card 85

After opening the safe in card 74 you are shown a filing draw with the letters E, M, P, J, M, S, V, U and ?

Using the planets in the poster on card 2 you can see

E = earth, M = Mars, P = Pluto, J = Jupiter, M = Mercury, S = Saturn, V = Venus, U = Uranus

One planet is missing ‘Neptune’. The letter is N. Reveal card N and discard 2 and 85.

You have it. The formula. You need to get out quickly now

Card N

Look closely at card N. There are four numbers in different colours. 6 (red), 5 (blue), 8 (grey) 3 (green).

These colours correspond to the colour wheel at the bottom of the keypad in card 19. But what is the correct order

Card 93 and Card 90

Across the two cards add together the number of different coloured vials

Grey = 1, Blue = 2, Red = 3, Green =4,

Card 71

The locked exit. Solve the puzzle on card 19 to open it.

Card 19

The final keypad. In order to solve the keypad you must have identified the clue in card N and solved the puzzle across card 93 and 90.

Knowing that grey is 1 the first digit for the code is 8, blue is 2 and the second digit is 5, red is 3 and the third digit is 6, green is 4 and the fourth digit is 3.

(If you cant see how this is worked out go back to card N and look at the colour of the numbers, using the number of vials in card 93+90 you can work out the order of the digits.

Enter code 8563

Well done, take card C

Card C

Its the right code. The door opens and you run out with the formula. Will you hand it over to the authorities or will you destroy it? This choice is now up to you. Lost in thought you get out into the open air. Well done

Penalty cards



  • Michael Pendergast says:

    Where the f*!k do you find the slide (card 7)? There are no cards that find it and it’s not on any cards!

    • Andrew McGiffert says:

      Hi Mike, we struggled with this one at first as well! Took a couple of rounds to work it out. Look very closely at the card for the generator room (card 92)! The number ‘7’ is hidden in the top right corner of the room.

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