Not all puzzles are created equal – this is especially true for a brand new puzzle variant from Ravensburger: the Escape Puzzle. What is it all about and is the new Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen?
Solving puzzles, combining, finding the right pieces until the solution jumps in your face – Escape Games and puzzles fit together perfectly. As in the Escape Game, the exit room of the puzzle – the motif of the witch’s kitchen – is full of secret clues, riddles, tasks and a big mission. So after the puzzle comes another bang for the buck: because then it’s down to puzzling and guessing. The Witches’ Kitchen is a puzzle from the new Escape Puzzle series by Ravensburger.
From the point of view of an experienced Live Escape Gamer who has already played several Escape Games at home, you can find my evaluation with pros and cons in the conclusion.
How (well) is the Escape Game implemented as a puzzle in the Witches’ Kitchen and how challenging, well thought-out and good are the puzzles in this Escape Puzzle?
Is it worthwhile for puzzle fans to buy Escape Puzzles instead of classic puzzles in the future? If so, why? And for whom is it particularly worthwhile?
What are Escape Games, including Exit Rooms once again? Room Escape Games are a young leisure trend that has conquered Germany in recent years. Briefly explained: 1 team, 1 mission, 60 minutes – a small team is usually locked in a room and has 60 minutes to find clues and solve puzzles and tasks to complete the mission.
And each Escape Room has a storyline and a theme. We have already played at least 20 Escape Rooms in Berlin and have been world saviours, agents, dream characters in Alice in Smartland, parents, detectives, hipsters and even escaped the Illuminati.
Note: Ravensburger kindly provided us with a review copy of the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen. However, this post is unpaid and reflects our own opinion.
The Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen consists of 759 puzzle pieces measuring 70 cm x 50 cm, an envelope with the final solution and a quick guide with story and mission as well as a QR code with hints on the puzzles to be solved.
The motif of the puzzle shows a witch’s kitchen full of bits and pieces and is of adult difficulty level, so not super easy. It took two of me about 5 hours to complete the puzzle. Most of the time spent on the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen is spent doing the puzzle – the puzzles afterwards take about 30-60 minutes.
The story: You are a hobby cook picking mushrooms and nibble a small, fateful piece of a tempting mushroom. Then you get dizzy, realise you’ve poisoned yourself and before you know it you’re falling and find yourself in the witch’s kitchen.
The mission: Find the right cure in the witch’s kitchen!
When other puzzles are finished, the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen really gets going. After all, the puzzle is the preliminary stage for the great puzzle fun. Because the puzzled motif differs from the motif on the box in many ways – this increases the difficulty of the puzzle. There are strange numbers and signs, hidden codes and numbers and lots of clues.
There are a total of 8 puzzles hidden in the puzzle, which you first have to find and recognise. Then it’s time to solve them, which means you have to think around corners and look very carefully. Suddenly the witch’s kitchen looks completely different from the one on the box, you discover all kinds of little details and deviations. There are strange words and numbers on the spines of the books and some things become important that you didn’t notice when you were doing the puzzle.
Since there are no other accessories to the puzzle, everything you need to escape is really in the Puzzle Escape Room.
The puzzles as a whole are all easily solvable, but mastering the mission on your own without any clues is challenging! The difficulty level is nevertheless appropriate for beginners and challenged us without overwhelming us: with clues easy – without medium difficult.
Just like in a real Escape Game, there are tips and hints if you need them. You can get them by simply scanning the QR code in the accompanying booklet. The final solution is then in a sealed envelope and comes with the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen.
Every adult and teenager who likes puzzles and solving good puzzles will have great fun with the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen. I myself played the Escape Puzzle with two people from the first piece of the puzzle to the end and can only say: when puzzling, riddling and combining together, many things are reminiscent of a Live Escape and it is a great alternative to an Escape Game at home.
It’s also great for families – but you have to bear in mind that the puzzles take some time to solve and only then does the fun begin. It is therefore a programme that fills several evenings and not an Escape Game played in one go as has been the case up to now. It’s a great gift for Christmas and the holidays that follow.
If you don’t like doing puzzles, you should leave it alone, because an Escape Puzzle is first and foremost a puzzle – this is made clear by the time frame of 5-7 hours for doing the puzzle and 30-60 minutes for doing the riddles.
The Witch’s Kitchen is a puzzle that offers even more after the puzzle is completed: More occupation with a beautiful motif, searching and finding puzzles, puzzling, combining and an “aha” with the really well-done final puzzle. And the puzzles, which tend to be solitary, are joined by the interactive part with the puzzles: just like in the Live Escape Game, it’s a lot of fun to solve them together.
As a starting hint, you are only told at the beginning that there are 8 puzzles in the witch’s kitchen that need to be solved and that the edge will help. So there is little guidance – but there is no need for it, because one of the attractions of the Exit Puzzle is that you have to look closely and find the puzzles yourself. After all, that’s exactly how it is in a Live Escape Room.
The puzzles are varied and experienced exit gamers meet old acquaintances again: symbol puzzles, logic puzzles and codes that have to be deciphered. The solution to each individual puzzle – which sometimes consists of several steps – points to the solution of the mission. I really liked the fact that this creates a dynamic while puzzling and that there was also a final puzzle that was very well done.
In the Ravensburger shop, the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen costs € 13.49 – a reasonable price for what you get, because the puzzle is of high quality and, what’s more, you can’t play it only once like other Escape Games for the home, because no game material is used up!
The Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Witch’s Kitchen is first and foremost a puzzle, but it also offers riddles, puzzles and an aha effect at the finale. Transferring the concept of the Escape Game for the home to the puzzle works excellently and is the ideal purchase or probably the most original gift at the moment for all Escape Game fans and puzzle enthusiasts who like to do puzzles!
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