During the Second World War, several escapes from POW camps in Germany were made by the extremely hazardous creation of tunnels below the camps – and below the noses of the ever-alert guards. Back in 1963, an much loved and admired film was made about these exploits.

The Great Escape is another newcomer to the solitaire game scene from designer John Grills – appearing in 2021.
It’s not at all easy to get back home. John reminded me that only seventy six men actually got out through tunnel “Harry”, of whom just three made it home.

The solo player simply (?) goes through a three stage process, using the characterful cards: with such as Spud and Porky.
The first stage is tunnel digging, which is awash with dangers from guards and a sneaky spy: if they appear, a tunnel is lost! For this stage, that central area of the escapee cards is used.

If any tunnels get completed, and if anybody gets out, we move to stage two. Understandably, the guards are now on full alert and are actively seeking escapees. Character by character, card by card, those who tunneled out break into the open, until such time as a guard turns up! All those who have shown their heads above ground are captured!

So, some may have tunneled out, and some may have escaped early capture. Now, how many will make it past the network of highly organised surveillance, and get home?

Which takes us to phase three. With a fine mesh, nets are dropped on travellers, and escapees must avoid being caught unprepared, lest they are detected.
So, if the determined enemy is laying barriers of barbed wire all over the place, it doesn’t pay to be without wire cutters: he’s got none, so Porky would be for the chop!
His disguise, as he travels northwards, wouldn’t be of any help to him!


Winning
– how’s it done? Is it done?

 ► Escaping is an excruciatingly precarious affair.
  ► The chances of getting home are slim in the extreme.
   ► It’s extremely hard to stay alive!

Even casual players perhaps don’t expect to break out every time, but they may need to taste some commendation for their efforts.

Especially if you are a casual, you might like to use our score-record sheet. You can print it off and keep an eye on progress for many a dig !

  • 48 small, good-feel cards: play anywhere
  • comes with a set of small explanation cards
  • a lot of luck is involved … as in all solitaire games … some bad luck too
  • don’t let the guards get you down 🙂

dare to dig in?