Tricky puzzle pieces, new solution mechanism for the puzzles, and the circle: the Escape Puzzle The Circle Pariscatapults us into the magical world in an old cathedral in Paris. It is part of a new trilogy by Ravensburger and differs from the previous Escape Puzzles in both puzzling and riddling. What is new and how successful is it?
A griffin is enthroned on an ancient column and stares at me haughtily. The view through the binoculars shows me the interior of an old cathedral in Paris, which first has to be put together to form the Puzzle Escape Room. The mission: Find the symbol of Borbeth and crack the riddles hidden in the puzzle with the help of an ingenious turntable.
The new puzzles in The Circle Trilogy are a little different from the Escape puzzles Ravensburger has been offering so far. It starts with unusually shaped puzzle pieces, the puzzle consists of more puzzle pieces and solving the puzzles is done with a new mechanism for which you need a turntable. There is also an ingenious new extra: whoever solves all three parts of The Circle Trilogy gets a final puzzle on top, which consists of the combination of the three mission solutions.
I have already played the Escape Puzzle The Circle Rom – so I already knew quite well what to expect in terms of fundamental “newness”.
In all of Ravensburger’s Escape Puzzles, the first task is to put together the Puzzle Escape Room, find the puzzles hidden in it and solve a final mission. Each Escape Puzzle has a storyline, which is not the main focus, but rather the puzzle, the puzzles and a final solution that consists of a combination of the puzzle solutions and the puzzle.
All previous escape puzzles were primarily jigsaw puzzles with different numbers of puzzle pieces (756 or 368), with a few puzzles and a mission thrown in for good measure. The Escape Puzzles differ from each other in the difficulty of assembly as well as in the puzzles. All escape puzzles include a nice finale with a mission solution that has to be put together.
I have reviewed these Escape Puzzles on Abenteuer Freundschaft.
The biggest innovation immediately jumps out at you: the circle is new! There are circles and curves in the motif, in the turntable and also some of the puzzle pieces are round and form a circle in the centre. So there are different round puzzle pieces that can be twice as big and there are also more puzzle pieces in the box: 919 instead of 756 or 368. The age recommendation for this puzzle is for players from 14 years and adults – the Escape puzzles before were from 12.
Another new feature is the turntable, which is the key to a new solution mechanism for the puzzles. As usual, the individual solutions of the puzzles result in the overall solution.
The Escape Puzzle The Circle Paris is part of a trilogy. Each escape puzzle stands alone and can be solved on its own. If you play all three, you can only solve the overarching mission, which can be read and listened to in a story on a website or via QR code. You’ll find out whether it’s worth it as soon as I’ve played the last part of the trilogy and got to work on the final solution.
Note: Ravensburger kindly sent us a review copy of the Escape Puzzle The Circle: Paris. As always, however, this review is unpaid and reflects our honest opinion.
The puzzle consists of 919 puzzle pieces, the instruction with the story, explanation of the game and QR code to the website, where the 10-minute story can be listened to or read. The website also contains hints and solutions for each puzzle. There are also two envelopes in the game box: one is the familiar sealed envelope with the final solution. The second envelope contains the turntable that is needed to solve the puzzles.
As usual from Ravensburger, the quality of the puzzle pieces is very good.
Important: The frame story is only available online on the website (see link above), in the instructions there is only a short text about the current mission, which you cannot understand without the frame story. The website is therefore part of the game and should definitely be accessed!
While on holiday in the magical green hills of Ireland, we meet the little leprechaun Andjar. Surprisingly, we can see him and learn that this is because the protective crystal Envir has lost its power. For this crystal ensures that the protective wall between the magical and the real world exists.
The crux is that the crystal Envir can only restore the protective wall if the three elemental crystals Sulis, Litha and Amind of the 3 World Mothers are reunited. These element crystals are each guarded in secret places by a guardian, from whom you only receive the crystal if you prove yourself worthy of them.
Clearly, we throw our glove into the ring and offer to get the crystals. In return, we get a kind of magic telescope from the goblin. We look through it and see the interior of an old cathedral in Paris.
Find the rune of Borbeth, the Earth Mother. Use it to convince the arrogant-looking guardian griffin to give you the gem.
The cathedral can be put together quite quickly, but the landscape around it is tricky. The colours are very similar and the puzzle is not put together quickly in a few hours. Compared to the Rome part of the trilogy, I found this motif easier. But that could also be because Rome surprised me and I was already expecting what was in store for me. Respect to anyone who puts the puzzle together without using the cover! I don’t usually need it, but with the Escape Puzzle The Circle Paris I was grateful to look at it from time to time to roughly sort out the pieces. I didn’t do the puzzle in one piece (haha!) but quite comfortably on my own over several enjoyable evenings and unfortunately didn’t always time it. But I will have needed at least 13 hours.
Since we were familiar with the solving mechanism, this time the setting of the turntable was very quick and if you follow the instructions, you will quickly get the hang of it. To solve the puzzle, you place the turntable in the middle of the puzzle and remove the pieces. We found three of the six puzzles difficult and would not have found the solution without a hint. The puzzles themselves are different and fun. You should definitely use a sheet of paper to write down the codes. In any case, you should not solve the puzzles in dim light, because every tiny detail counts and that is difficult or even impossible to see, especially when it falls on a spot where two parts meet. It took us 40 minutes to solve the puzzles and we found them more difficult than in Rome.
Ravensburger gives the difficulty of the puzzles as 3 out of 5, so not very challenging. Even if you consider that Exit Puttle The Circle Paris is for adults or teens over 14, I would subjectively adjust the rating to 4 out of 5.
I still really like the way Ravensburger offers tips for solving the puzzles. Because that is “as usual” with all Escape Puzzles. On the solution website, you can usually get 5 different tips for each puzzle and still have fun even if you get stuck. You can also check the final solution there.
If you get stuck, you can get staggered tips on the solutions website. The concept with several small help points also exists in the previous escape puzzles and it is really well done. This way you can get a little hint before you get frustrated because you get stuck, and the puzzle fun is not dampened. But you can also get the final solution there.
The solution envelope contains only the final solution to the mission without tips and hints. You really only open it when you think you have the rune of the earth mother in your hands and want to check whether it is true. I found the final solution of the escape puzzle The Circle Paris even more difficult than the one in Rome – it is really amazing how difficult it can be to put 6 puzzle pieces together correctly. As a nice finale for the mission, I still find it very successful how Ravensburger implements the solution.
The circular Puzzle Escape Room is of manageable size and atmospherically designed, but without too many details. This also makes the motif difficult to put together, as the colours are very similar and you don’t have many features to orientate yourself. The puzzle pieces are of high quality and can be put together several times (for example when you pass it on). No puzzle pieces are damaged or used up during play.
As with all escape puzzles, the story is not that important and serves more as an accessory and connection between the puzzle and the final solution. However, it does reveal the grand mission of The Circle trilogy and links the individual missions together. The Escape Puzzle The Circle Paris, like each part of the trilogy, also has a self-contained finale with a tactile solution and works on its own. It is a nice extra for frequent players or escape puzzle fans that you get a final mission on top after solving all parts of the trilogy.
Lovers of challenging puzzles who don’t look at the time clock but enjoy putting them together will get their money’s worth. The unusual round pieces and similar colours are just right for advanced players. This escape puzzle is not something you can do in one evening – plan plenty of time for it and take it easy. Good daylight is definitely advisable when it comes to assembling the blue-grey landscape.
The new solution mechanism with the decoding disc works well and is a good renewal to find the final solutions.
The Escape Puzzle The Circle Paris is worthwhile for adults and patient teens, or families who like to do puzzles and who do not get frustrated with a difficult motif with many of the same colours. The lion’s share of the time is spent doing the puzzle – which should be enjoyed. As with the other Escape Puzzles, the new The Circle Trilogy is primarily a puzzle, with a few puzzles thrown in for good measure. For the puzzles in this escape puzzle, it is best to have previous experience of other escape puzzles or escape games for the home, so that there is no frustration in finding the puzzle, understanding the solution and solving it, because you can’t get on alone.
This escape puzzle is not suitable for a games evening, as the puzzle takes at least 13 hours to complete and is not playable in one evening.
Challenging puzzle with 6 puzzles as the completed part of an Escape Puzzle trilogy. The new rounded and similarly coloured puzzle pieces provide a higher level of puzzle difficulty. The new solution mechanism with decoding disc is a good innovation. As an extra for fans, there is a final puzzle of the overall mission when completing all three Trology parts. It is an addition to the Escape Puzzle range of challenging puzzles with riddles!
Playing, having fun – for that you need the right game. For our game nights with friends and for playing with the family, we regularly test new games and write about them in our board game tips. From reviews of new and unknown games to instructions for classic games that only require dice and cards. And if you don’t feel like playing? Then it’s worth browsing through our activities for two, with family and friends.
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