Escape rooms are a big deal these days, especially now that pandemic restrictions are being eased; it seems that just about everyone is coming out of lockdowns and getting themselves locked down in rooms for fun instead.
This has also translated to the tabletop, with vast arrays of escape room type experiences to try either alone or with friends, all in the safety and comfort of your own home. Puzzle Post offer one of the most innovative home escape room experiences I’ve come across, with their games being slender enough that they pack into an envelope – which you can send on to an unwitting recipient, while also customising the reward at the end of the game.
That’s a really important and clever distinction too; opening the online vault by finding the game’s solution will trigger either a generic message or a pre-uploaded text, voice or video file that the game’s buyer can secretly upload to be found by the person – or people – playing through the game. It makes the Puzzle Post games brilliantly personal and gives them a very bespoke feel, which I don’t believe is something that any other escape room tabletop game truly offers.
The one I tried – The Dupe – is a story of an art deal gone wrong, with clues laid out across a number of objects and documents, with a little online-based hunting to do too. There’s not much else I can say about the story without spoiling it, but there were only a few times I was completely stumped and had to be nudged in the right direction by the clever online clue system, which offers tips on how to progress – and even gives you a puzzle’s answer outright if you really get stuck. Thankfully, I didn’t ever have to resort to just looking at the answer – which is a testament to how nicely designed the game’s puzzles are as well as how helpful the nudges are if you do need a hand.
With seven numbers between 1-99 to find in order to solve the puzzle, once you get into your stride it shouldn’t take long to get the vault opened. However, it’s a genuinely fun and involving ride, that’s been cleverly designed to make you feel like a detective piecing together clues in a real case – even to the extent of there being a convincing online component to one of the puzzles.
Though usually best with a group so that you can pool your mental faculties and consider things from different angles, there’s no reason why you couldn’t attempt to make your way through the experience on your own. It’s well worth a go in any case – and it’s not badly priced either. The ability to use a custom message is also really well done and simple to set up; it’s a unique selling point that really does set the Puzzle Post range apart from similar experiences.
You can check out the full range of Puzzle Post titles at their website here.
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Fortysomething gamer with a lifelong interest in many geeky pursuits - including, but not limited to, video games, board games, comic books and movies.