The Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory is an Escape Game for the home, for which the rule is: puzzle first, then riddle! The mission: Find the magic relic in the dragon lab and deactivate it!
Dragon heads, dragon eggs, skulls and bones – where is the magic relic hiding in the Exit Puzzle Dragon Lab? Diffuse light reigns in the Escape Room and thanks to the various objects in bright colours, the puzzle goes quickly. And as soon as the last piece of the Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory fits, it’s time to start puzzling. There are 6 puzzles hidden in the dragon lab and some of them are quite challenging!
Ravensburger brought out the Escape Puzzles in 2018 as a special kind of Escape Games for the home: Each puzzle box contains a story, puzzles and a mission to be successfully mastered after the Escape Room has been puzzled together. Escape Puzzles are a variant from the game manufacturer Ravensburger to bring the trend of Room Escape Games home. In classic Escape Games, a team of players enters a room equipped with props in a location that is full of clues and puzzles and must solve a mission in a maximum of 60 minutes to successfully play or escape from the room. Want to find out more? At Abenteuer Freundschaft you can find reports on various Escape Rooms in Berlin.
Ravensburger currently offers 11 Escape, which are based on the same game principle, but differ in the difficulty of the puzzles. The mission and the solution are also quite different and those who like puzzles and riddles will find a new challenge in each Escape Puzzle. Here you can find more information about the Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen, the Escape Puzzle Space Observatory and the Escape Puzzle Ankor Wat. My experiences from these three escape puzzles are included in the pros and cons in the conclusion.
Note: Ravensburger kindly sent us a review copy of the Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory. However, this review is unpaid and reflects our honest opinion.
The Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory consists of 759 puzzle pieces and measures 70 cm x 50 cm when fully assembled. The game box contains a sealed envelope with the final solution and a quick guide with story, mission and the access code to an app with solution hints for the puzzles.
The puzzle motif is a dimly lit dragon lab with a spiral staircase full of gems, gold coins and dragon bones lying around. The motif is different from the cover: some dragons are also hiding in the puzzle and some are quite different. This increases the difficulty a little compared to a conventional puzzle and while doing the puzzle you always discover surprising details. Because of the different colours and objects, I didn’t find it difficult to puzzle, it takes about 5 – 6 hours. Only those who want to puzzle the edge first will have difficulties with this puzzle, because it is hardly different in colour.
For discovering and solving the puzzles one should plan about 30 – 60 minutes.
The story: You are a dragon fan and when you find out that a relative owns a dragon laboratory, it’s time to go. But there you only find a letter from your relative, because he has activated the magical powers of a relic. Before you know it, you are facing the hissing, scaled guardian of the artefact in the lab and must find the relic as quickly as possible and break the spell!
The mission: Find the artefact and deactivate it!
Already while doing the puzzle, you stumble upon the first strange signs, symbols and deviations from the cover. Objects have disappeared, dragons appear out of nowhere…. These are all clues to the puzzles hidden there in the Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory. Pay attention to whether deviations occur more than once, for example, where similar signs are hidden everywhere that could belong to the same code. It is best to write down the solution to each puzzle on a notepad.
There are a total of 6 riddles hidden in the Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory, all of which must be solved correctly in order to complete the mission. There are no clues as to where they are hidden, so you have to discover them yourself and work out what belongs together in a puzzle. In the booklet there is a QR code that leads to an app with solution tips. However, these are very specific and you should only use them if you can’t go on alone!
There are different types of puzzles hidden in the Dragon Lab and the puzzles are also differently complex and challenging. There are picture puzzles, but also symbol puzzles and combination puzzles, where you have to combine several clues and follow trains of thought to arrive at the solution. It is advisable to study the motif carefully to find the puzzles in the differences from the cover motif. I found some of the puzzles excellent, as I liked the way of solving and the solution very much. It is not done with looking closely and recognising numbers, but you have to think your way into it. However, I did not manage to solve all the puzzles without help.
If you get stuck, the scan of the QR code in the booklet helps. However, the App for the Escape Puzzle immediately reveals the position of the individual puzzles and the solution. You have to find the solution yourself. The final solution is in the envelope: I don’t want to reveal anything about this in order not to spoil the fun, but it should be revealed that the solution is a special one, just like in the other escape puzzles.
Puzzle with subsequent puzzle fun: what excites me about Ravensburger’s Escape Puzzles is that you really get to grips with the motif and mentally beam yourself into the puzzle. This makes an Escape Puzzle more than just a beautiful motif: it allows us to immerse ourselves in the drawn world.
With the Escape Puzzle, you don’t use up any materials while playing, as with other Escape Games for the home, and you can replay and borrow it as often as you like.
Puzzle with story, puzzles and a grand final mission: with all Escape Puzzles from Ravensburger, there is more than one puzzle in the box. The motif of the Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory is beautifully detailed and atmospherically designed. The different colours make the puzzle not difficult to puzzle and the difficulty level is comparable with the Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen. All the edge pieces are punched the same way and are dark in colour, so you shouldn’t put the edge together first.
After completing the puzzle, you deal with the motif and have to find the puzzles yourself. The only help is provided by the instructions, which give the important tip to pay attention to the border pieces (and you should take this to heart ;-)). All in all, I found the puzzles very varied, but some not as round and logical as in the Witch’s Kitchen and the Space Observatory. This was mainly due to the fact that in one puzzle I didn’t get the idea of how to combine the different clues and even had a hard time with the solution, retrospectively understanding the connections. As with the other escape puzzles, looking closely is the key to success and the final solution offers a nice aha effect, especially if it is the first escape puzzle.
Overall, the puzzles were all different and not without their challenges. If you have already played other Escape Puzzles, you will meet some puzzle types again that you recognise and will still not be underchallenged. The app offers the possibility of getting two hints if you don’t come up with the solution on your own and then retracing the solution path. I needed this help because I couldn’t figure out the solution to a puzzle on my own. All solutions culminate in the final solution of the mission, which, as always with the escape puzzles, offers a fitting implementation of the exit room theme with the puzzle principle.
The Escape Puzzle Dragon Laboratory is aimed at adults who like puzzles and riddles. You can play it alone, but it’s especially good with a partner or family. The puzzle is not difficult to put together, but the puzzles are quite challenging. You spend most of the time doing the puzzle, and the subsequent puzzle solving takes up only about 1/6 or less of the total time. Exit Puzzle Im Dachenlabor is therefore primarily a puzzle game, with the search and find game of the puzzles, the puzzling and the solving of the final mission on top of it. Exit Puzzle takes about 6 – 8 hours to play, so it is a game that fills several evenings.
If you are looking for a thinking and puzzle game of the Escape Games type for your home (e.g. Deckscape games or the Exit games from Kosmos), you would be better off with a different game, as the puzzles take up most of the time.
For newcomers to the world of Escape Puzzles, I recommend playing Space Observatory or Witch’s Kitchen first to make the puzzles easier.
Beautiful, atmospheric theme that isn’t too hard to puzzle together into an Escape Room. The riddles hidden in the dragon lab are varied and challenging, so that even experienced puzzle solvers will get their money’s worth. Puzzle and riddle combine to form an Escape Game with a mission that culminates in a finale that wonderfully matches the subject of the puzzle!
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