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New puzzle form, new solution mechanism with a turntable for the puzzles and an extra mission: the Escape Puzzle The Circle London is part of the new “The Circle” trilogy and beams us into a London country estate. As usual, there are puzzles hidden in the Escape Puzzle that need to be cracked. What’s new and is the Escape Puzzle worth it?
A mighty dragon crouches lurking on a coat of arms and stares at me with its fiery eyes. Through the magical telescope I see the guardian of the gemstone, which I have to get hold of in this Puzzle Escape Room Mission. As with all Escape Puzzles, the first thing is to put the escape room together. And in the new The Circle Escape Puzzles, this is anything but what you were used to! Ravensburger has made the circle the theme here and so tricky round puzzle pieces and a round turntable that fits into the centre of the puzzle as a tool for the solution mechanism for the puzzles can be found as a novelty in the box. I was particularly excited about another extra: if you have solved all the parts of The Circle Trilogy, then we Escape Puzzle fans can expect a mission finale as a treat, for which you need the mission solutions of all three parts. Since I am concluding the trilogy with the Escape Puzzle The Circle London, I won’t spoil too much, but I will reveal in the conclusion whether this extra is really worth it.
The game principle is the same for all Escape Puzzles from Ravensburger: first you have to puzzle the Puzzle Escape room, discover the puzzles in the motif, solve them and complete the mission with a nice finale. For each Escape Puzzle, there is a story for the mission, which, however, mainly serves as a framework to connect the puzzle, the puzzle and the final solution.
There are Escape Puzzles for adults and kids with different numbers of puzzle pieces (756 or 368) and puzzles in different levels of difficulty – both in terms of the puzzles and how they are put together. Some are suitable for beginners, others more for advanced puzzlers and then there are the particularly crunchy nuts that experienced Escape Puzzlers will enjoy the most.
I reviewed these Escape Puzzles on Abenteuer Freundschaft:
A really successful innovation is the new solution mechanism with the turntable. The first time you play, it takes a while to understand how the solution works and you have to follow the instructions in the enclosed manual until you get the hang of it. But then it works out fine. As with most other Escape Puzzles, there are 6 puzzles hidden in the Escape Puzzle The Circle London, the individual solutions of which can be combined to form a nice final solution to the mission.
Each part of “The Circle” trilogy stands on its own, can be played alone and has a completed mission with a finale. If you play all three missions, as I did, you can solve the overarching story mission as an extra and save the magical world.
Note: Ravensburger sent us a review copy of the Escape Puzzle The Circle: London. However, as always, this review is unpaid and reflects our honest opinion.
In the game box there are 919 puzzle pieces, a booklet with the instructions and the short story excerpt about the mission, game explanation and the QR code to the website with the story and solutions. In addition, two envelopes are included – one contains the turntable for solving the puzzles, the other with key imprint is sealed and contains the final solution.
The quality of the puzzle pieces is very good, as usual from Ravensburger, and they can be put together several times without the puzzle wearing out.
Important: Be sure to visit the website! Only there is the frame story available as an audio play to listen to or text to read yourself. In the instructions there are only a few sentences about the respective mission, which leaves you with a question mark if you don’t know the frame story. A few clicks further on, you will also find hints and the solutions.
On holiday in the lush green hills of Ireland, we meet the leprechaun Andjar. Completely perplexed that we can see him, we learn that the reason for this is that the protective wall between the magical and the real world no longer exists. The protective crystal Envir, which creates it, has lost its power.
The overarching story mission is to restore Envir’s power. To do this, we must reunite the three element crystals of the three world mothers, Borbeth, Ambeth and Wilbeth. Each of these three crystals is hidden in a different place – in London, Paris and Rome – and is guarded by a guardian who will only release them if you prove yourself worthy of them by solving the riddles.
It’s clear – we are the hero who throws our hat into the ring to save the magical world and get the crystals. In return, leprechaun Andjar gives us a magic telescope through which we can see the library of a London country house.
Find the rune of Wilbeth, the Sun Mother, and use it to earn one of the three gems from the Dragon Guardian.
The library consists of many shades of brown, but it can be puzzled together quite quickly. The landscape outside with its many similar brown and pastel shades is more time-consuming. Compared to the other two parts of the trilogy, I found the motif the easiest to put together. Of course, I now knew what to expect. This time I didn’t use the cover to help me and I didn’t put the puzzle together in one piece but rather in several relaxed sessions. It took me about 11-12 hours.
The puzzles themselves are of different types and there were easy ones and ones where you had to think around the corner. Overall, it is helpful if you have already played Escape Puzzle and know the puzzle types, as the puzzles of all Escape Puzzles are similar. I enjoyed some of the puzzles, but I found them quite challenging and would say they are aimed at advanced players. It took us about 50 minutes to complete the puzzles because we were often stuck.
The difficulty rating of 3 out of 5, which Ravensburger itself gives, I would rather classify as 4 or even 5 out of 5. The puzzles are quite demanding and not very intuitive – in short, anyone who solves them easily without any hints is definitely an expert.
Ravensburger offers hints on their Escape Game website that guide you step by step to the solution. They are usually graded in 5 hints until the final solution is revealed and explained. For us, this site was a lifesaver, as it sometimes is, because we still had fun with the puzzles, even though we had a hard time this time. You can also find the final solutions there.
By the way, on this website you can find hints and solutions to all Escape Puzzles – so this is nothing new with the Escape Puzzle The Circle London.
Those who do not want to look at the website to check the final solution are offered an even nicer option: simply open the solution envelope enclosed with the puzzle as the final chord. Inside is only the mission solution. So you should really only open the envelope when you are sure that you have found the rune of the sun mother Wilbeth.
The Escape Puzzle The Circle London is part of The Circle Trilogy, together with “Paris” and “Rome” whose individual mission solutions fulfil the overall mission and have a common frame story.
The motif of the Escape Room with the round view is explained by the story. The puzzles are centred in the middle. The motif as a whole is less detailed than most Escape Puzzles (for example, the Witch’s Kitchen). The landscape around the look-through is, as in the other two parts of the trilogy, kept in similar colours as in the Escape Puzzle The Circle London, without any special landmarks, which makes the puzzle as a whole more difficult. I cannot share the criticism of the quality of the puzzle pieces that I have read in parts. The puzzle was complete and the puzzle pieces were well made. It is clear that you have to be careful with the knobs when removing a puzzle piece so that no layers of cardboard come loose.
The frame story connects the three parts of the trilogy and is needed to understand the motif of looking through binoculars and the short story text for each “The Circle” puzzle. It describes the overall “The Circle” mission, which consists of three completed individual missions from the Escape Puzzle The Circle London, Paris and Rome.
I love the new puzzle pieces, which are sometimes twice as big, sometimes unusually shaped or round. In general, some pieces fit in several places, the colours are similar, especially in the landscape, and the puzzle is really fun. It’s important to remember that this Escape Puzzle is not a race against time, like many escape games for the home, and that it can’t be completed in one evening.
There are a total of 6 puzzles hidden in the Escape Puzzle, all of which are easy to discover. However, it is not always easy to find out what belongs to which puzzle. That was one of the reasons why we often had to resort to a hint. As is the case with this kind of puzzle, the fun of the puzzle depends on whether you find an approach to it and to the solution. We found it very difficult this time, even though we are not newbies. I would be surprised if you find the solutions without ever having done an Escape Puzzle before and find everything totally logical and clear. However, the puzzles themselves are all different and varied and there were nice solutions with a clever solution.
The solution mechanism for which you need the new decoding disc is only complicated at the first attempt and works well.
This Escape Puzzle is worthwhile for adults who like to do puzzles and love the challenge of putting together a puzzle with many similar colours and an increased level of difficulty. You can do the puzzle well alone or in pairs. Solving the puzzle together is much more fun than alone, in twos or threes it is perfect.
Like all three “The Circle” puzzles, the Escape Puzzle The Circle London is best suited for adults and teenagers with previous experience. If you are already familiar with the types of puzzles and typical ways of solving them, it is much easier and there is no frustration of getting stuck without clues.
Since the Escape Puzzle is not playable in one evening or day, it is not suitable for a game night.
A challenging Escape Puzzle with 6 puzzles, which can hardly all be solved without solution tips. The puzzle is made even more difficult by the similar colours and unusual shapes of some of the puzzle pieces. The new solution mechanism is a good innovation. The Escape Puzzle The Circle is an addition to the Escape Puzzle range for adults with a challenging puzzle with demanding puzzles.
Puzzle, play, have fun – whether at a game night, as a couple or with the family. On Adventure Friendship we regularly test game discoveries and new games, you can find them in our board game tips. And if gaming isn’t your thing, you’re sure to find inspiration for fun activities for two, with family and friends.
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