A delicious treat locked up. A set of clues and puzzles to solve. A code to crack to stop the clock and release the treat.
Rating: Deliciously Puzzling!
Completion Time: ~45 minutes
Date Played: 28th February 2021
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: A gift to send a friend!
When I first saw Code Bakers I may just have let out a little scream. My two favourite things: Escape room games AND sweet treats?! Yes, yes, everyone ‘loves’ food, but I take sugary and baked variety very, very seriously. Sadly I’m not much of a baker myself, but I make up for it by being my friend’s go-to cake and cookie tester, lockdown allowing!
The premise behind Code Bake is absolutely magical. A mysterious package arrives in the post from a baker who trusts you well. Their secret recipe is on the verge of being stolen by a nefarious gang of rival bakers, and with nobody to turn to they send their last sample to you to eat it *cough cough* I mean PROTECT the sample at all cost. The baker has also sent it to two of their other close friends: Violet and Basil, but one of them is not to be trusted either, which is why each sample sent is different.
From here, the plot does get a little vague, but I’m not fussed. I came here to kick ass and eat cake. In any case, you’ve a number of steps to follow. Although slightly daunting at first, once you’ve got your head around what you need to do and why it’s fairly straightforward. Your goal is twofold:
- Figure out the 3 digit code to unlock your wrapped treat
- Figure out who can be trusted and who cannot
Lots of the puzzles give you a number, but there’s a little extra stretch at the end (admittedly one I used clues for) to find out what to do with the numbers, for example what order. Then, you’re golden! There’s no huge reveal at the end of the game in terms of plot, but you DO unlock your treat and immediately get to gobble it up… “Wait, what’s that? I was supposed to keep this safe? Oops”
Overall, the idea is super charming. At the time of writing I believe it’s the only thing like it on the market and honestly, it’s the perfect gift for these *gestures at world* troubled times. I’ve mail ordered my fair share of brownies to friends during lockdown but this gift goes the extra mile and it really brightened up an overcast Sunday morning after the postal worker visited. Plus, mine came in the most beautiful bright blue box adorned with yellow washi tape. Exciting, to say the least!
One thing I would highlight is that the puzzles are definitely on the harder side. For me, this is to do with a lack of signposting – it’s not always super clear what you’re supposed to do next. Even after checking the helpful online clues, there was a little bit of “oh! I had no idea we had to do this next” but nothing felt too frustrating or insurmountable.
My favourite puzzle came towards the end, an origami-come-childhood game that was tricky but brought a lot of delight once we finally got it correct! Other puzzles you can expect to tackle include logic puzzles (where’s my pen and paper at?!), ‘say what you see’ puzzles, algebra puzzles. I don’t want to spoil too much, but there’s an enjoyable mix of things to get stuck into.
Oh, and how was the treat? DELICIOUS! Player 2 and me had to fight over who got the biggest piece. He argued that as ‘hand model’ for my photos, he did the most work. But I solved all the puzzles sooo….
When all is said and done Code Bake is a LOVELY idea. I’m quietly hoping they make a sequel, building on what worked best from the first one! …Not that I need an excuse to order more cake! …But in the mean time if that puzzler in your life has a birthday coming up, or if you fancy just bringing a smile to someone’s face, you know where to look! Plus, you’d be supporting a local UK business too which now more than ever is super important.
Code Bake can be purchased for £20 on Code Bakers’ website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.