Spring 2023 is finally here, and with it comes a fresh crop of tabletop games ready to take the world by storm. But there’s one genre that’s been steadily rising in popularity and creativity: puzzle games. From collaborative escape room experiences to head-scratching solo challenges, these games are proving that there’s more to the tabletop world than just rolling dice and moving pieces.
And where better to find these innovative and engaging puzzle games than on Kickstarter? Crowdfunding has become the go-to platform for independent designers and publishers looking to bring their ideas to life. With its passionate community of backers and the ability to fund projects directly, Kickstarter has become a hotbed of creativity in the gaming industry. So let’s dive into some of the most exciting puzzle game Kickstarters we’re looking forward to in Spring 2023!
From Enigmailed (one of our absolute favourite creators) comes a new experience: Escape the Book Nook. A miniature diorama escape room that snugly fits on your bookshelf. Escape the Book Nook is due to launch on Kickstarter some time in May.
Launching at the end of March, Dysturbia is a trio of play-at-home puzzle projects from homunculus SPIEL. Choose from a book, an advent calendar, or a weekly calendar, and unravel the mystery solo or with friends. You can learn more about the games, and this upcoming Kickstarter from their website here.
Missed Tale of Ord? Yeah, us too. But fear not – the original creator of the rare and expensive experience are working on a Remastered edition, called Threads of Fate: A Puzzle Tale. Little is known about this Kickstarter, except that it’ll launch some time in April.
From murder mystery company, A Killing Affair, comes a murder mystery game ‘from beyond the grave’. Unlike a classic murder mystery, Blind Faith will be a tabletop game containing evidence players must sort through and solve to ‘crack the case’. We’re intrigued! Blind Faith launches Tuesday 21st March. Get in early to secure an earlybird bonus.
Not as much is known about the latest Detective Society project, since it was officially announced 6 months ago in October 2022, but we’re excitedly awaiting more news about it soon. The Detective Society are best known for their murder mystery series, and a few smaller, family games launched on Kickstarter in the years that followed.
Have we missed one you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments!
Ashes of Persepolis Review | Travel to Ancient Greece to solve a mystery of Persepolis, the priceless Persian city burned to ashes by Alexander the Great. The hero’s secrets are interwoven into an intricate puzzle guarded by Olympian Gods and an all-seeing Oracle. Only the mightiest can read Oracle’s cards to find out what really happened in Persepolis.
Completion Time: 1hr30 Date Played: February 2023 Party Size: 3 Difficulty: Hard
I have been waiting a very, very long time for a game that’ll pique the interest of my partner. You see: they’re not really into puzzle games. Their idea of a good time is a museum or two with a pub break in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, that sounds excellent, but after our museum and pub trips I love nothing more than sitting down to a puzzle or two. Anyway, there’s a good reason I play a lot of at-home escape rooms solo. That was until the wonderful duo behind Scarlet Envelope announced their latest game: Ashes of Persepolis.
Historical? Yay! Ancient Greece? Woohoo! Absolutely drop dead gorgeous graphics? Check, check, double check.
But why do I bring up my partner? Well, they studied this very topic at university for their Undergraduate and Masters. In short, I had a veritable expert playing next to me, and one just as enthusiastic for a game as I was!
History and Mythology Come to Life
In Ashes of Persepolis, we found ourselves completely immersed in the part-fiction, part-truth world of Ancient Greece. Similarly, the story of Ashes of Persepolis spares no detail. Throughout this game we experienced a captivating tale set in ancient Greece that weaved together myth and history to create a rich and immersive, puzzle filled world. The game is based on the mystery surrounding the burning of Persepolis, the Persian city that was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 BC.
Some Scarlet Envelope chapters are material-light and online-heavy, and others the opposite way around. In this one, there was a perfect balance. The envelope is thick, weighty, and filled with some of the prettiest little things you’ve ever seen. Peculiar, triangular shaped oracle cards, an enormous map of Ancient Greece on one side and stars on the other, and a few other trinkets that come into play as the game progresses. The game spares absolutely no detail, and is so gorgeous looking I’m genuinely considering hanging the map of Ancient Greece on my wall – yes! Really!
This story unfolds not just via the puzzles but also through cinematic content. You see, between each puzzle was a short, well put together video which revealed a little more of our strange quest each time. The videos add a sense of drama and intrigue, and provide a welcome respite between puzzles to sit back and relax. To play this game, we also Googled “Ancient Greek covers of modern songs” and let me tell you there are some fantastic ones out there. In short, the scene was set, candles lit, and we were well and truly immersed.
It’s all Greek to Me…
Once we got stuck in, we particularly enjoyed doing unexpected things with the physicality and unique shapes of the oracle cards – though no spoilers here. You’ll have to play the game if you want to see exactly what I mean! My favourite of the puzzles was probably the one involving the aforementioned map of Ancient Greece, or a particular little delight moment whilst on the Artemis card (unsurprising, as they’re my favourite of the Greek gods). Each puzzle felt like a step forward in uncovering the mystery of Persepolis, and the video segments that followed were a great reward for solving them.
In terms of puzzles, well… This game was hard. Maybe the most difficult of the series yet. We also found the game to be slightly front-weighted in terms of difficulty, with the first few giving us the most difficulty. As the game unfolded, we found our rhythm eventually and it mellowed out from “wait, what?!” to a comforting level of challenging. If I had to give exact reasons why I believe we struggled (and I probably should, given this is a review), I’d say the following:
When ordering your Scarlet Envelope you get to choose between easy or difficult. Though I’ve never confirmed with the creators (I fear their answer might be the opposite of what I expect), I assume I’m getting the difficult edition.
Our third player was brand new to not just Scarlet Envelope, but tabletop puzzle games in general
The lighting was low, and this game has a lot of small finnicky parts
We lost one of the parts
Yes… You read that last one right.
Annoyingly, on the very first playthrough we lost a very important item – the item that would take us to the clues page. Emphasis on: We lost. It’s not impossible to solve without it, but we got very, excruciatingly, frustratingly stuck. We managed to bypass the clues page with a little guesswork and a little help from others, but came up against another issue when something else on that missing item proved to be vital to the gameplay. So we skipped that puzzle to the best that we could, and played on.
It was only a whole three days later when I finally found the missing piece. I can only assume it had fallen out when I first opened the envelope, and been brushed underneath a piece of furniture, because boy did we look at the time. Funnily enough the missing item was a coin. Where did I find it? Nestled against a few actual coins. I think my apartment is a ‘coin sink’ and somehow managed to suck in this pretend coin along with it. Hah.
I only mention it as – if it seems like we struggled on this game, it’s probably got more to do with my own losing of a vital piece. But thankfully the support team replied immediately (despite being in a very different time zone) and did their best to help at short notice. But if you’re reading this review and looking for advice before you start playing, my advice is: don’t lose anything.
Sure, but if we struggled so much – why do we still rate this game so highly? Well, its a very good game. What you get for the price with Scarlet Envelope is second to none, and Ashes of Persepolis might be one of their best looking tabletop experiences yet. I admire everything Scarlet Envelope create, and they’ve once again outdone themselves with Ashes of Persepolis. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
In terms of who we’d recommend this for… Probably only for more seasoned puzzlers – it’s better played as a part of the full Scarlet Envelope series, so by the time you get to this chapter you’re familiar with how the games work. Maybe invite your favourite history buff along (it helps, especially with the Greek language in the game), for the best experience.
In all, another solid addition to the Scarlet Envelope series.
Break the Internet Review | Congrats! Your company’s new social media site, Sincere Screen, is about to get a big update! Nothing could go wrong…right?
Date Played: February 2023 Time taken: 30 minutes Number of Players: 4 Difficulty: Medium
Escape SC are easily one of the most unique groups of people out there crating escape games because… Well… They’re a university group! Damn, I wish we’d had something like this when I was at university.
As such, it’s always a little hard to talk about the “Escape SC” style, because it changes year on year when new students join the club, and other graduate (hopefully onto a very successful career in game design themselves). But what the group does do consistently is create one, sometimes two new digital games each year, and if there’s one thread uniting all of them, it’s that they’re really, really good.
Break the Internet
Their latest adventure is called “Break the Internet” and poses you, the player, as an unpaid intern for a website about to launch a big social media campaign. Except, the files are corrupted. Too bad your boss is on holiday and can’t remember her password to the laptop she’s saved all the correct imagery on. It’s up to you to fix everything. Find those photos, fix the issues, or risk your internship. So, no pressure, hey.
The story is light-hearted and contains more than a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour! We’ve all had a dreadful internship like this where your bosses think they can just shunt their problems onto your plate whilst they go off on holiday. I’ve no doubt the students at Escape SC are also creating from the typical student experience of sacrificing a lot to get into university, get the best grades, only to be given the most menial and needlessly stressful job ever. Yeah, I’ve been there too.
Sandwiched between a few other more ARG-like games, my regular team of Escaping the Closet (Al, Ash and Tasha) got together to give Break the Internet a go on a calm Monday evening. I’d just finished up with work moments earlier, and was excited to dive into my second shift internship at Sincere Screen. A call from my new boss? Sitting somewhere sunny and sipping a cocktail. Ugh, the audacity of some people. Haha.
Web-solutely Good Fun
In terms of gameplay and puzzles, Break the Internet differs in earlier games by the team such as Science Splice in that we found it a little bit shorter and a little bit easier – but no less fun. We really enjoy the humour and topics they cover, good puzzles are just the icing on the cake. You start at your boss’s desk trying to crack her password based on a number of clues. Then, once you get into the computer, you’ve got to search around for the files to find what you need.
As you can imagine, many of the puzzles revolve around computers – there’s search and find, there’s mathematical puzzles, and there’s a fun amount of interactive ones too. What can I say, I love drawing on the screen. Hidden among those puzzles were memes and gems from the early internet era, neatly tied in with a very realistic “file hunt” game mechanic we enjoyed a lot.
There’s a logical sense of progression and linearity, but at times that linearity is taken quite far. What I mean is, at any given time all of us were working on the same puzzle at the same time. This is part in the way the game is set up, but also in the way that when one person clicks something it redirects for every player. So all of us were, quite literally, on the same page. Without being able to have different players move around different screens at once, we resorted to using screenshots of information from one area to solve another puzzle, and in more moments than not, one person did the bulk of the clicking, whilst the rest of us watched patiently.
If this isn’t an issue for you, then you won’t be bothered by this – and for us, we were doing this room at a more leisurely pace than we normally would, so though unusual, we still found it fun.
Surfing the Bright and Colourful World Wide Web
One of the things we enjoyed the most about Break the Internet were the visuals. Quite simply, this is a really lovely looking game. There’s a lot of care and effort gone into making it pop, from 3D graphics to illustrations, to a bright and poppy internet interface. As with previous games, Escape SC do a lot with a platform like Telescape, typically used for converting physical escape rooms to a digital format, instead Escape SC take the genre of a play at home escape room and create fictional worlds packed with details. It’s a lot of fun.
The team have also gone to the extra effort of having video portions where you’re introduced to the characters of the game, setting the story and breaking up the puzzle solving chunks.
Break the Internet is a fun game. We completed it quite fast – but we still reckon you get a lot of value for your money with this one – at the time of writing, it costs $7 USD to play Break the Internet, but we were kindly provided with a code for free. It would be best played in a smaller group, perhaps even best played solo. Some of the earlier Escape SC games are no longer available, so whilst I don’t know what the team’s plans are for this one – it’s best to play it sooner than later!
Envelescape Review: You and your party of property investors are eager to view the illustrious Thornbright Mansion that has just gone up for sale, but not everything is as it seems. Strange damages, missing documents, and cryptic notes alert you to something far more sinister inside this home.
Date Played: February 2022 Time Taken: 25 minutes Number of Players: 3 Difficulty: Very Easy
Envelescape is probably best known for running a Kickstarter way back at the start of 2023. Fully funded within one hour, it ended up raising 71 593 CA$ which meant success – the project would be brought to live. Fast forward to a year later, and one of the creators reached out inviting us to play. Though I’d missed the Kickstarter myself (*shakes fist at the universe for always being broke in January*), I was excited to play the game in it’s fully realised, shiny, pop-up form.
Envelescape has done an excellent job of building up a community. From a team of fairly unknown game designers, to hit the big numbers in Kickstarter and be as popular as they have been in the months since, a big round of applause! To say we were excited would be an understatement. And so, on a bright Tuesday afternoon, I invited 2 of my favourite puzzlers round of an evening of ‘envelope’ games – Including Scarlet Envelope, Enigmailed, and Envelescape. For no particular reason, we went with Envelescape first. In hindsight this was the right thing to do, as Envelescape, being vastly easier and quicker to play than the other two, warmed up our brains in a fast paced 25 minutes.
I wasn’t sure if 25 minutes was right, since the Kickstarter suggested 60 – 90 minutes, so in true The Escape Roomer form, before writing the review I handed the game to one of my fellow writers here for a more balanced opinion. How long did they take? 15 minutes, solo. So, it’s a quick game. But why? Well, it’s easy – but is it too easy? Maybe yes. Let’s get into why.
Image (c) Envelescape
Welcome to Thornbright Mansion
Envelescape is a fairly non-linear game set in a small ‘pop-up environment’, representing the front hallway of Thornbright mansion. There’s a web-portal with six images on it, representing the six puzzles to be solved in the environment. You can more or less do these in any order, although the solutions for some of them may help with later ones. But in all, the flow of the game was straightforward. We looked at the 6 images, found where they were in the house, solved the puzzle, inputted our answer, and then opened an envelope. Inside each, a scrap of paper such as a letter, or a receipt. Some of these papers were puzzles in themselves, but most were narrative – carrying the story along. Rinse and repeat until you’ve solved all 6.
Of the six puzzles, we found most of them self contained, and very easy. For example – light spoilers incoming – one of the puzzles was a riddle written on the floor. This riddle wasn’t well hidden, in fact, due to the way we opened the game, it was actually visible to us from the beginning. It was also a well known riddle we’d seen countless times before. Before we read the introduction, one of our party had already solved the riddle, citing that they’d seen it on one of those Facebook “Can you solve this brainteaser” posts earlier that same week. What you see is what you get. In this specific case, the whole puzzle was contained within the one riddle, and this rule held more or less the same for the remaining 5. No secret step 2, and no hidden layers.
At the 10 second mark of the game, we were 1/6th of the way through the game… That’s got to be a record, right?
“But what about the story, the materials, the fun factor?” I hear you ask!
Paper Ghosts, or Something Scarier?
Since we solved all the puzzles quickly, the bulk of our gameplay was spent reading the materials. Between the three of us, we took turns reading each of the materials in silly voices, putting on affectations of the characters in the house. The house was full of curious characters, and we loved bringing them to life. For sure, there isn’t a huge amount of reading. There’s an introduction, and then the additional information supplied by the materials in the envelopes… But despite the few materials in this game, the creators managed to communicate the story quite well! A certain aura of the creepy, the mysterious, and a touch of the macabre. A mysterious old house, and you – a team of property investors coming to investigate. But with documents missing, and strange scratches in the wall… What is going on?!
Well… I don’t know.
Unfortunately this is the first chapter, so we were left with more questions than answers by the end. A cliff hanger? Gasp!
I have a theory about what is really going on in the house, and if I’m right, I have to congratulate the authors on seeding little clues in this first chapter. But until that time, we’re left wondering.
Image (c) Envelescape
A Physical, Tactile Experience
So how does Envelescape look? How does it feel? Well, it’s a small tactile pop-up room that fits down into a small envelope. It’s made from a sturdy card stock and glossy laminate. Our particular copy of the game had to travel a really long distance from Canada to the UK. It had some slight damage on arrival – bent card, and the envelopes inside looked like they’d jostled around a little too much. But I can’t fault the creators for that since that’s outside of their control.
In terms of illustrations… Envelescape is super bright and visually very fun! The illustrator did a really lovely job of bringing a spooky old house to life, with a blocky, cell-shaded cartoon-like veneer. It’s really pretty. I love pop-up games, and I doubley love them when you can tell the creators have put a lot of love into making them visually impressive.
However, if you want to really enjoy and take in the lovely illustrations, you’ll have to be quick. There was no mechanic in the game to keep the pop-up scene open, and so one of us always had to keep their hands on the game holding it open manually whilst the other two people solved. We tried using our mobile devices and pins to keep it open, but the process was a little clunky, and the game didn’t feel built for anything other than holding it open with your hand. In the end, taking some photographs and viewing them from our mobile device rather than try to wield the pop-up scene worked best for us. For a pop-up game, this was a little disappointing and felt like a big oversight. For such an impressive and good looking game – I want to show it off! It would look beautiful open on my board game shelf, and it should really stay open on its own. Perhaps there’s an opportunity in the future for the company to sell a stand and pushpins to use to keep their game open?
But that brings me to the second thought our team had, and that was: Why pop-up?
Don’t get me wrong, I love pop-up games, but we definitely felt that besides looking ‘behind’ objects, there wasn’t anything in the game that particularly lent itself to pop-up mechanics, and the pop-ups themselves were fairly basic. A pop-up flight of stairs, and two cupboards. The rest was a flat illustration. According to the Kickstarter, the game was designed to recreate the physical feeling of being in an escape room, but we thought that besides one moment in the game (a moment we accidentally bypassed anyway) the game didn’t need to be pop-up at all. It would have worked just as well on a single, printed piece of paper, or as a digital point and click game.
If that sounds like a criticism, it isn’t meant to be. I love that they had a cool idea and decided to render it in something that (at the time) not a lot of companies were doing, it makes Envelescape unique and marketable. But pop-up environments are meant to be immersive. They’re unique and rich with opportunities for really creative puzzles that don’t fit into other mediums. I would love to see Envelescape take better advantage of this and create puzzles that only work in this environment.
This game has a lot of good points, and an equal number of areas we felt slightly disappointed in. I think we all thought the game had more potential, however any company’s first game is always going to be a bit of test run (I would probably die of embarrassment if someone wrote a review today of the first few games I designed and published) . With this first chapter of what I hope is a long and successful series, the creative team probably knows what works and what doesn’t work, and I’ve no doubt they’ll carry the learnings well into the next. I’m actually really excited to see what Envelescape do in the future. It’s clear the company has fantastic ideas, a dedicated and talented team, their first game was fun – it just needed more. And players wanting ‘more’ of a game is an excellent problem to have!
As a final note to this whole review, as someone who is a game designer who works on pop-up puzzle games myself, I thought long and hard about asking one of my co-writers to lead on this review instead. But after weighing up the pros and cons (and since all of us who played broadly agree on the verdict), I decided that actually my background gives me a good experience, perspective and a certain authority to talk about pop-up puzzle games as a medium. What works, what doesn’t work – and what has big potential. I recognise the hard work Envelescape have put into Thornbright Mansion (god knows it’s hard making a game like this) and I would applaud them for it. I’m excited to see what they come up with next.
Case Closed Review | Max Sinclair, private investigator, has been found dead in his own office. Foul play? Tough times? Or just plain old bad luck? The other cops call it an open and shut case… You’re not like other cops.
Completion Time: 75 minutes Date Played: 12th February 2023 Party Size: 4 Difficulty: Moderate
Okay, stop the press!
Case Closed is without a doubt my new favourite room in Edinburgh. No- favourite in Scotland. And for that matter, a strong contender for my favourite in the UK. If I don’t see Case Closed listed on the 2023 TERPECA nominations for the UK, I’ll be very surprised indeed.
So what does Case Closed have that makes it so special? It’s a 90 minute room in the heart of Edinburgh. So far, fairly normal. There’s no “escape”, and your currency is information: instead of unlocking doors and running away, you succeed by filling out reports to your superintendent, and if your information is correct you may proceed. It’s about as realistic as it gets to solving a real case – think blood spatter analysis, forensics, and guns. Furthermore, there are no leader boards or ‘escape times’, no, you’re supposed to take your time and enjoy it rather than worry about beating a score. It has a spectacular ending which I’m still buzzing about days later. It’s also designed and crated by an enthusiast, who was also our GM for the day. You can tell the difference between an escape room for profit, and escape room born out of absolute passion and love. Case Closed is the latter.
In all, Case Closed has all the ingredients to being a perfect room. We went in with no expectations and came out very pleasantly surprised.
The Case is Not Closed
On arrival, we headed into the building marked “Black Axe Throwing Co” – an impressive axe throwing venue sporting one of the city’s only “zero alcohol” bars (well, axe throwing and alcohol don’t mix). From there, we waited at the sign marked Case Closed and within a few minutes were greeted enthusiastically by our host Ronan. Ronan took us upstairs into a noir-esque office space with a thematically flickering light in the corner, the whole place marked with “crime scene do not cross” tape.
After a short briefing, we were given roles and asked to choose our detective names. I went for Mairi Two-Guns, and a suitable role of “ballistics expert”. Of the other three players in my team, we had Superintendant Ouagadulu, Detective Moose, and Spins. Between the four of us, we represented very different types of escape room players – one of us with over 300 rooms played, one with around 100, one with under 10, and one with 0. For us, it was the perfect mix. Expectations out the door, just there to have a laugh and see how well we worked together as a team of detectives.
Whilst I could make a case that your room begins outside of the entrance, from that moment on we were in the game.
Now, Case Closed is a room best played without any expectations, so we’re going to keep spoilers here to an absolute minimum. The basic principle of the room is that you have the solve the case. But it’s not quite so simple. In true bureaucratic style, you solve the case by correctly filling out various case files. You collect evidence, you present your findings, and proceed. To present your evidence, at any time you could submit a case report to the superintendent (the real one, not the friend in the room with us). If the superintendent is happy with your findings, you might receive a thumbs up or the next piece in the puzzle and the case progresses.
To find all the information we needed, we well and truly had to think like a detective. We had to analyse every bit of information available to us, in the room and in the crime scene. Think fingerprints, shoe sizes, ballistics analysis, blood spatter, notebooks, recordings. It’s safe to say this room will make you feel well and truly like a detective. And, between you and me (as someone who did an internship with the Metropolitan Police right out of university), it’s actually pretty accurate too.
The puzzles themselves were a perfect mix of logic, deduction, and critical thinking, making us feel like real detectives as we worked together to crack the case. It’s non-linear, so at times we broke off into groups to solve a different thing, and often came back together to work on a trickier puzzle. The flow of the game was flawless. Since we had a whole 90 minutes, it wasn’t a case of racing through everything but taking your time, understanding and logically solving everything. Like a really, really good boxed murder mystery, but played out in a large physical space.
And that ending?! Don’t get me started on the ending. It was brilliant. But that’s all we’ll say about that for now.
Detective Work at it’s Finest
One of the things that made Case Closed so special to me was that attention to detail, love and care. Case Closed is an escape room created by two enthusiasts and veterans of the theatre and escape room industry. They had a brilliant idea for an escape room, saved up, found a location, and brought the whole thing to life themselves. As I mentioned earlier in the review, you can really tell when an escape room is being built by a faceless corporation to spin a profit, versus created by someone who just loves it, and Case Closed was the latter. We were fortunate enough that one of the creators, Ronan, was also our Games Master, and they took the time to take us through all the details of the experience after.
My first question: “Okay but when are you making another room?!”
Because we’ll be first in line to book it, that’s for sure.
In all, I give Case Closed the highest commendation possible. In all the rooms I’ve done, it’s up there as one of my absolute favourites. This was a surprise for a drizzly, rainy Sunday morning in a city not especially known for it’s escape rooms (though I hope that’ll change). I would almost go so far as to say Case Closed is more than an escape room. It’s immersive theatre. It’s murder mystery. It’s “Escape Room Plus”. To me, that’s very cool.
As a result, we’ve decided to award Case Closed with a special badge – the “Badge of Honour”.
BADGE OF HONOUR The highest award of them all! The Badge of Honour is the best badge The Escape Roomer team can bestow upon a game. These games were incredible!!
In terms of who I’d recommend it for – given it’s more of a mature theme of ‘murder’, the company have a 16+ age rating. In honesty, I think it would be fine for a younger audience since there’s nothing too upsetting or graphic, however this may have more to do with the venue itself (Black Axe Throwing) being a 16+ venue. In terms of “is this for an enthusiast or a newbie?” I’d say both. It’s brilliant when you find a room you can seamlessly take players of all experiences and just know they’re going to have a great time, but Case Closed is one of those places.
After our room, we went round the corner for a drink and a bite to eat at O’Connor’s – which was well priced, delicious and a welcome break from the grey skies. Black Axe Throwing Co also has an excellent bar on premises for that post-game celebratory drink (zero alcohol, of course). And, if you didn’t quite catch the killer, the axe throwing is great to get rid of some pent up anger.
Prophecies Quest Review | As the last hope for the magical world you must collect The Prophecies and use them before it’s too late. The Dark Lord has hidden The Prophesies so you must find them in The Department Of Mysteries before using them to defeat him. You need to hurry, The Dark Lord is on his way and only you can stop him.
Completion Time: 32 minutes (out of a possible 50) Date Played: January 2023 Party Size: 4 Difficulty: Easy
Having moved to Edinburgh a little over 6 months ago, you’d have thought I’d have played all of the rooms here by now? Well, not quite. There are a few that have been on my radar that I’ve been saving for a special occasion. Department of Magic was just one of those places, and the occasion of two of our loveliest escape room friends from home in London coming up for a weekend to visit was just the ticket to finally book it.
Sandwiched between the potion mixing cocktail experience at the bar portion of Department of Magic, and a trip round the corner to Cocktail Geeks (currently running a Lord of the Rings themed experience), we had an hour to spend. Without haste, we got ourselves booked into to play the more popular of the two games at this hidden wizard-themed speakeasy: Prophecies Quest.
Wands at the ready, witches and wizards…
Let the Magic Begin!
If you think of Edinburgh escape rooms, the chances are Department of Magic isn’t on your radar. But let me tell you why it should be. Located a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle is a mysterious little black door located at the bottom of a little rickety iron staircase. Behind this door is a tavern lifted straight of a storybook. The walls are lined with peculiar magic trinkets, and on each table is a gaggle of magicians brewing the most brightly coloured, bubbling, fizzing and smoking potions- I mean, cocktails.
This is the Department of Magic. It’s best known for it’s ‘pub’ portion. With advance booking, you can grab a table for normal drinks, or one of their special brew-your-own potions, which are fairly reasonably priced for how exciting they ended up being. We did book ourselves into one of their sessions in advance, but it ended up being about the same price as if we’d have just booked for a normal table and ordered off the menu. But in truth, we weren’t really here for the cocktails… We were here foe the escape room out the back.
When your game session begins, a mysterious wizard in a long dark cloak approaches you and asks if you’re the chosen ones here to save the world.
“Yessir!” we exclaimed, before following her through the door in the back and into the briefing area.
Fortune Favours the… Wise!
Before entering the escape room, we allocated a captain, and that captain looked at four great wizarding traits – Wisdom, Bravery, Cunning, and… Well, I forgot the fourth one, as people often do. We chose wisdom, and were given a special item for it, which would come into use later.
Them, in a flurry of magic, the bookcase swung open and we were off to a flying start!
Prophecies Quest is an unusual escape room for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a multi-room experience, but you have full run of the area. You don’t need to complete any particular room in order. Secondly, there are no locks. Everything is done with magic. Impressive – but probably a lot of work for our games master listening out for us saying the exact correct spell, or performing the exact correct action!
Beyond those two details, the room was your standard magical room. Players can expect potions, spell casting, dragons, dark wizards, the whole shebang. Just like in a pirate room I hope to see treasure maps and chests and the odd skull here and there, by now we’re familiar with rooms set in the wizarding world, and Prophecies Quest was a classic, well executed example. Notably, one that took good care not to tread too heavily on any particular well known IP. Kudos to them!
A celebratory drink for afterwards!
A Spellbinding Escape?
The room’s uniqueness was also it’s strength. We were very, very fast out of the room (almost record breaking in fact, there were just a few seconds in it), but I think on reflection it wasn’t really a room designed for competitive folk trying to break a record. It was a room all about fun. And on that note, it succeeded.
I absolutely love rooms that make you hop around on one foot and hum your favourite song, or make you flap around like chickens and crouch down on all fours. I love rooms that make you roleplay what you’re actually doing, so that you live and breathe and feel what you’re doing. Prophecies Quest did that really well, and it’s a shame it’s an 18+ room (well, the whole venue is) because this would be an excellent one for families.
Ultimately, this escape room is best played between a round of cocktails. I would expect 99% of players to go into this room having just come from the bar, so none of the puzzles are incredibly puzzling. Many of them require physical actions and working together in a silly way. So whilst it won’t necessarily challenge the most hardcore escapers, it will encourage you to have fun, and that’s a double thumbs up from me.
Well worth visiting! I’m surprised Department of Magic isn’t more popular. Not that it isn’t, just that I hadn’t heard any other enthusiasts recommend it on a visit to Edinburgh – but I want to change that right here and now. Add Department of Magic onto your trip, and for extra fun, book yourself in for their cocktail brewing experience for a perfect, photo finish to your evening.
Finally, a shout out to our host for the escape room, who was the fantastic Hannah. She let us know that she usually runs their other room (which we’ll definitely be returning to play), but today she ran our room instead and never once broke character, providing fantastic help, encouragement, and a thorough brief and debrief after. Escape rooms can sink or swim by their team’s hosting ability, and Hannah did a superb job!
Dinner With Anonymous Review | “First course – peanut stew, main course – your dirty lies with a tahini dressing.” Five honourable guests have been blackmailed to dine with Anonymous, a charming psycho claiming to know everyone’s dark secrets. In a twisted turn of events, you find yourself in Anonymous’ basement, kidnapped and challenged to answer two questions: “Who is Anonymous? And what have these five people done to piss them off?”
Completion Time: ~60 minutes Date Played: January 2023 Party Size: 2 Difficulty: Hard
It has been a long, long time since I’ve last played a Scarlet Envelope game and I have to say – I’ve missed it! Scarlet Envelope are one of those monthly subscription types I used to save up and play with my good friend Bianca. However since moving to Edinburgh, I hadn’t had the chance to pick up and play with anyone new. That is, until today. Apparently, if you can believe this, it’s been a whole year since I played the last in the series: Screaming Venice Art Heist. A lot can happen in a year, but it’s nice to have that feeling of returning home when you pick up a puzzle game that is both exciting in its newness and familiar in it’s reliability.
A Collaboration between Scarlet Envelope & Keith, of USB Escape
The first, and most exciting thing about Dinner with Anonymous is that this is the first (but hopefully not the last) collaboration between Scarlet Envelope and Keith Dozois of USB Escape… And it shows! You can see the metaphorical fingerprints of both creators all over this game. There’s the physical, tactile experience of Scarlet Envelope combined with the horror themes of USB escape, married together with fantastic audio visuals which I’ve come to expect from both creators.
On a personal level, it was a lot of fun watching the two creators collaborate, their partnership unfolding over Instagram, and creating funny gems like this one 👇
But onto the actual game, how did it play?
You Have Been Kidnapped…
Dinner with Anonymous starts with the startling news that you have been kidnapped! Notorious serial killer with their eyes set on 5 unique victims has you in their clutches, but you have one shot at escaping. If you can figure out the name of the killer and exactly why everyone is being picked off one by one, they’ll let you go. If not, it looks like you’ll be on the menu next… So no pressure!
We spilled out all the contents of the envelope onto our table and got stuck in. At first glance, Dinner with Anonymous was a much lighter envelope than some of the others. The reason for this is because most of the game takes place online and that’s the first puzzle – how to get to the homepage to get started. With a slightly rocky start trying a few ‘hidden’ websites and deciphering details we found a little too early, we eventually made our way to the correct landing page and the game begun.
With a fantastic cinematic quality, the game begins by you being greeted by the serial killer themselves. An individual with a large TV on their head, cooking a horrific looking dish, blood splattered everywhere, and threatening you next. Hehe… Well, I did say it was a horror game, didn’t I?
There are 8 videos in total over the course of the game, so even if it does seem on the lighter side, it’s no less meaty (no pun intended) than any of the previous in the series. In fact, the web portal and video portions were some of my favourite in the whole game. They played brilliantly, added a level of tension, elevated the otherwise already satisfying tabletop puzzle game into something extra special.
Once we’d figured out what to do, we were off to a flying start. The gameplay that follows is fairly linear. The first puzzle gives you a clue to the next puzzle, then the next, and so on. Each one uses both the TV and the physical ephemera in the envelope to be solved. Then of course there is also a meta puzzle that uses secret details you found throughout the game and comes together for the big finale.
Scarlet Envelope, But Make it Difficult
When ordering from Scarlet Envelope you get to choose the difficulty level of your game:
Since I don’t remember specifying which difficulty I’m on, I assume I’m getting the latter. Because, well, these games are tricky and it saves a little pride if I assume they’re tricky because it’s “Experienced” and I’m not just losing my puzzle solving marbles.
Dinner with Anonymous was no exception, and after spilling out the contents of the envelope over Rebecca’s table, we weren’t sure where to begin. I would go so far as to say it might be the trickiest of the games in this series I’ve played so far. For each individual puzzle we used at least one clue, and in a few cases we even ended up revealing the solution.
In terms of those puzzles, there was a fun mix of them. My favourite by far was one that involved a certain recipe. Can I say the puzzle made me feel physically sick? And in all the best ways possible! However that was also the one we used the most hints on to get to the correct solution in the end. This game also benefitted from a few details hidden in plain sight… Without wanting to give any spoilers, I love it when something you’ve been holding in your hand suddenly turns out to conceal something brilliant, in a place you’d never have thought to look.
If I had only one criticism of the game it would probably be that – it was a little tricky, and the signposting of where to begin at the start felt less than I’d had on previous games. But overall, despite finding it trickier than usual, we had an absolute blast playing through.
Michelin Star, or Food Fail?
Overall, I really enjoyed Dinner with Anonymous. It’s up there as one of my favourites of Scarlet Envelope – and that’s saying a lot from me since I don’t enjoy horror at all. I went in with an open mind and a horror-enthusiast, expecting a fun little game and instead getting something far more atmospheric and mysterious. The combination of two powerhouse Canadian creators mean that this game is something quite unique, and I hope this means there’ll be more collaborations on the horizon for Scarlet Envelope in the future.
In terms of who I’d recommend this for… I’ll start by saying who I don’t recommend this for: Kids. It’s creepy, very creepy. Some kids will probably be fine with that, but I’m a bit of a wimp myself and it certainly sent shivers down my spine. For any horror enthusiasts, Dinner with Anonymous is a must-play and a standout game in the genre. It would be good as a standalone, or as part of the full Scarlet Envelope series. In short, a big thumbs up from me.
As I write this, next to me on my desk I have the next instalment: Ashes of Persepolis ready to go. After spending a whole year without playing a single Scarlet Envelope game, my appetite is once again truly whet and I can’t wait to get cracking on the next.
Fred Jackson Jr., the co-owner of Do Not Not Donut was killed behind the counter while opening up the shop. You will assume the role of a deputized detective trying to finish the work of ace investigator, Detective Frage. Along the way, you’ll put the pieces together to reveal the crime scene, answer the lingering questions in the Detective’s Notebook, and choose the right pieces from the Answer Board to fill in the blanks and solve the case.
Completion Time: 4 hours Date Played: November 2022 Party Size: 2 Difficulty: Moderate
Fun fact about me: I love jigsaw puzzles!
Although, having been in the escape room industry for some time, I’m beginning to think that’s not so uncommon around here. Entering into the great unknown, hunting through a large amount of information, following your unique method for success, ‘competing’ as a team and ultimately solving the ‘puzzle’? It can sound a lot like what happens inside an escape room and I am here for it.
So when Hunt a Killer reached out about their new murder mystery jigsaw puzzle, I was intrigued. The concept wasn’t new, but I’d never tried one myself. Jigsaw puzzles AND solving puzzles?! Sign me up.
What is an Escape Room Jigsaw Puzzle?
In Whodonut, the gameplay officially begins when you open the box and spill out all the jigsaw pieces onto your table.
The jigsaw part, for me at least, was 99% of the gameplay, and took me several hours over a couple of days. Made extra difficult due to the fact you have no reference picture, your only knowledge was that it was a scene from within a donut shop moments after a horrific crime had taken place. By piecing together the puzzle, the clues would slowly reveal themselves and you’d be able to crack the case.
Except, on successful completion of the game, we realised some of the pieces were blacked out. Oh no! Vital information missing. This was where our detective notebook came into play. In Whodonut, the detective’s notebook explains the case and, at the end of each section, asks a question. The answer to the question could be found in the jigsaw we’d constructed, and gave us a single letter answer: A, B, C, D and so on. This then corresponded with an additional section hidden in the jigsaw box with push-in windows. For behind each of those doors were those missing pieces.
The goal is therefore quite simple: Answer the questions to get a letter, to push open a door, to get the missing piece. Rinse and repeat.
For sure, it’s not as puzzle-y as say, Ravensburger’s Jigsaw Puzzles (which, after playing this one I immediately rushed out to purchase as I wanted to experience more of this kind of puzzle and jigsaw cross-over), but it does provide many hours of satisfying gameplay. If you’re a fan of puzzles anyway, why not add a little murder mystery into the mix to make the whole thing more exciting?
Cracking the Case, One Piece at a Time
As mentioned, the gameplay split was around 99% of the time spent constructing the jigsaw and 1% of the time solving the case. For the first half, my player two flitted in and out of the game, occasionally helping to construct. As such, it’s a game best played solo or in a couple who have the time to dedicate over a couple of days. In short, just like a real jigsaw is.
Once the jigsaw was constructed, the game was over in a matter of 30 minutes or less. The reason for this was a combination of it being a fairly straightforward case, and having just spent so much time staring at the pieces, most of the questions we were able to figure out quite quickly from noticing small details.
We had a little back and forth, trying to decipher some nuance with exact wording in the notebook, but nothing overly challenging. Searching through the completed image was also a fun experience, as the scene is rendered in a beautiful visual illustration complete with delicious looking donuts… And a lot of blood!
The real question: Was Whodonut fun? Absolutely yes. I really enjoy jigsaws, and I doubly enjoy jigsaws when I don’t have a reference image, and I triply enjoy jigsaws when theres a final step after the final piece is placed in.
Hunt a Killer’s Whodonut was a delightful surprise that offered a lot of fun over a couple of days. They add their own unique twist to the “escape room jigsaw” genre and show off their strengths in creating a fun murder mystery that is also accessible to relative newbies to the genre.
Given the nature of this being a ‘murder’ mystery I wouldn’t recommend it to younger folks. There are some dark themes and even darker images that might just put people off their donuts for a while.
But overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another and give it as a gift to either the jigsaw lovers or puzzle enthusiasts in my life. Hunt a Killer have done an excellent job and I look forward to what else they make in the future!
“Hey, what would you like for Christmas?” my friends, partner and family asks me. “Oh I dunno, just escape room stuff!” I reply.
So how on earth do you shop for that escape room fan in your life? Here’s my definitive guide to what’s new on the UK (and further afield!) market this year, everything and anything Christmas themed, and the down low on what your escape room playing friend really wants in their stocking*
*Santa if you’re reading this, you know what to do.
Escape Room Gifts
My first category is “Escape Room Gifts”, this covers just about anything that isn’t an actual, playable escape room! Advent Calendars, stocking fillers and more!
An Escape Room Advent Calendar | £15 – £20
This year there are plenty of escape room advent calendars to choose from. I myself am enjoying the newest “Exit” calendar, but here are a few more you may wish to check out:
Escape Game Achievements – A2 Scratch Off Poster | £10 – £15
Okay, I have seen SO MUCH buzz about this on various escape room forums about the A2 Scratch Off Poster. That’s why I’m so excited to put this on my list this year! Where the video game world meets the escape room world, this poster gives you a series of unlockable achievements… For the real world! The perfect gift for escape room veterans and ‘just getting started’ players alike!
Genius? Or fiendishly cruel? You decide. If a fancy bottle of wine is your go-to Christmas gift, why not take the experience up a notch buy encasing it in a wooden puzzle. Kubiya games also have a selection of mini games, boxes, and even one of these for beer bottles!
This entry is inspired by an item of jewellery I own myself – its a little gold padlock necklace. A declaration of love, or a declaration of “I really enjoy escape rooms” it serves both purposes well. I’ve listed Scream Pretty, but plenty of local shops and Etsy sellers make similar, custom pieces.
It’s not Christmas until you eat a large quantity of chocolate and pass out on the sofa in front of Home Alone 2. Give the gift of chocolate this year – there’s no puzzle in this delicious box, so your lucky recipient can tuck in immediately. The Chocolate Workshop also do a range of other chocolate sculptures. I bought my mum a pair of chocolate scissors one year. Why not?
The last few years have been next level apocalyptic – but thankfully, as a result of not being able to leave your home and travel to see friends, the concept of “puzzles by post” has grown in popularity.
The concept is simple – your friend receives a mysterious envelope filled with puzzles to solve. When they do, they’ll get a code to log into a secret portal and find the message you’ve left for them! Write, record or snap something fun for your recipient to find. It’s something a little different for Christmas Day! Here are a few companies that do this, or something similar to this really, really well:
Curious Correspondence Club | £20
Curious Correspondence Club are a 24-part puzzle game told over a number of chapters. They place an emphasis on storytelling, supported by challenging puzzles to advance a narrative over two seasons. Handmade and delivered from Toronto, Canada if your gift won’t arrive in time they’ll send you a printable puzzle to let you recipient know their gift is on it’s way.
There are many escape room books out there. Here are a list of some (hopefully!) surprising books you may wish to consider for the escape room fan out there.
Journal 29 | £10 – £15
A classic! Ask any escape room fan out there, it deserves all the praise in the world too. Journal29 has over 63 riddles and puzzles contained within it’s pages, and each one is solved by inputting the answer into their website. You can write, draw, search, fold pages, combine different methods and try to get those riddles right. But did you know they also have a brand new book The Cypher Files out too? That’s Christmas morning sorted!
Often called “the world’s strangest book”, this is an Encyclopedia of an imaginary world written in an imaginary language. True, there are no puzzles to be solved. But it’s gorgeous, mysterious and excites all my “I must try and decipher this” senses. Whilst you’re at it, you might want to purchase a copy of the Voynich Manuscript too.
What even is Christmas if not a time for getting together with your loved ones and playing silly games? Whether you’re a fan of board games or videogames, giving one as a gift is something you can enjoy too! Whenever I’m showing up at my parent’s house for Christmas, I’m bringing a game for us to play.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes | £10 – £15
All you need to play this one is a printer and a console (yes, your mobile phone counts!). In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, one players is the ‘bomb disposal’ person, and the rest of the players have an elaborate defusal manual. Print ahead and pack this one in your overnight bag for Christmas, it’s an absolute crowd pleaser!
Okay, yes. I did just write a review and said “don’t play this drunk”, but I’m suggesting this one as a gift, not necessarily a party game over the mulled wine. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games easily give the player over 20 hours of play time, and they’re packed with puzzles and cerebral challenges that even the great Sherlock himself would be challenged by. It’s a great gift for the price!
This is it! This is the ultimate escape room style board game and I will die on this hill if anyone disagrees! Two teams go head to head to decipher the other team’s code. Fastest wins. It’s really that simple, but oh so much fun. If your escape room friend doesn’t already own this game, immediately buy it for them. They need it. In fact, I’ve just put 3 in my shopping basket now.
I’ve never seen a board game get such glowing reviews from escape room fans, so you bet it’s on this year’s gift list! One player plays the role of the ghost, the others take the role of mediums, as you work together to reconstruct a murder. It’s exciting, engaging, and whats more a great game to play after Christmas dinner with those escape room fans in your life!
Just for Fun
Still stuck? How about this:
A Rubix Cube | £10 – £15
If you’ve read this far and haven’t already rushed off to buy your Christmas gifts – I can’t help you! But hey, this last item on the list might actually be the perfect stocking filler? And why not? It’s a classic since the 1970s. Why improve on perfection?
If you’re still in doubt – why not buy a voucher for their local escape room? The escape room industry has suffered A LOT in 2020, so supporting them with vouchers is more important than ever! Plus, your friend will enjoy having something to look forward to in 2021.
I haven’t got a list for this particular category, as it will completely depend on where your gift recipient lives in the world. But likely has it they’ve got their eyes on their next escape room just as soon as lockdown eases. Why not ask them where they’re headed and pick up a voucher for an experience?
Trust me on this one! It’s a win-win gift.
Did I miss something? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your top gifts and we’ll add them in!
Edinburgh Treasure Hunts Review | Professor M has arranged for you a day of creature-hunting. It’s all about using your special map wisely and keeping your eyes peeled. There’s so many secrets hidden in the beautiful Old Town.
Completion Time: ~2 hours Date Played: 17th July 2022 Party Size: 2 Location: Edinburgh Old Town Difficulty: Moderate
I (Mairi) have just moved to Edinburgh from London and I wholeheartedly insist that the very best way to explore a new city is to immediately book yourself in for an outdoor treasure trail. What’s not to love?! New sights, hidden alleyways, history, and most importantly… Puzzles!
One of the most, if not THE most loved treasure hunt company in Edinburgh is the aptly named “Edinburgh Treasure Hunts“. A solo-run and operated business by your incredibly awesome host Sabi who, as a part-time tour guide, is an expert in all things Edinburgh. The company is also one of the first to start running games of this kind with many of their trails being well over 5 years old and host to thousands and thousands of players over the years.
In particular, Edinburgh Treasure Hunts is a hugely popular game to play during the Edinburgh Fringe. They take you right past many of the largest and most popular venues as well as plenty of popular landmarks on lesser trodden streets. Being self guided, there’s also no need to hurry. You can take the trail at your own leisurely speed (well, within reason!), so breaks to see the fun sights of the city are encouraged.
Over our very first weekend in the city, Rebecca and myself decided to book ourselves into two of the trails: Fantastic Creatures, and Sherlock. Let me just say, we were not disappointed! Let’s get into why…
Fantastic Creatures (and Where to Find Them in Edinburgh!)
If you’re into witches, wizards and magical places, then the Fantastic Creatures trail will be your cup of tea. At the Chamber arches on the Royal Mile, we met up with Sabi- or should I say, the Professor’s Assistant Sabi who set us off on our lesson in magical creatures around the city. We were first sorted into a magical house (House of the Haggis, if you were wondering what our team went for), then given a tote bag filled with curious objects including a bestiary, an old locked box, and a map of the city with carefully labelled locations.
Our ultimate goal was to find the fabled Unicorn, a rare creature from history with mythical properties. We had a sub-goal of finding (and I suppose, rescuing) our teacher, the Professor, who had a terrible accident. Our tertiary goal was to have a lovely day out and enjoy ourselves puzzle solving. Tick, tick, tick all round.
Unlike Sherlock, Fantastic Creatures had a web-app counterpart we could load on our phones. The broad structure of the game was that we followed a physical map around the city and at each marked point we had a challenge to complete – locate a particular mythical creature in the environment from our bestiary, read about it, and answer a location-based question. The experience was challenging on a few levels. Firstly, we had to find the actual location designated a single letter on the map. A task easier explained than done for a team of players new to the city, who aren’t yet familiar with it’s little hidden alleys. Then, we had to look very closely at our surroundings, taking care to stand exactly on the right spot, before we could answer the questions.
…And listen, this game was surprisingly educational! Yes, yes, the creatures are fantastical. Yet I learned a lot about their myths, legends, relationship with Edinburgh and more. It was very well done!
Unlike Sherlock, we finished Fantastic Creatures in a comfortable amount of time – around 2 hours. However despite it being on the easier side, more appropriate for family groups, we still managed to get a lot of questions incorrect. So some advice from us: read the question very carefully to figure out what it’s asking before wasting guesses (and points) on incorrect tries.
Any team that manages to score 25 points or above will win a special bonus prize. I say bonus as we were delighted to find that on discovering the final location for our trip a little treat waiting for us behind a lock. But then, as our host scootered over to collect our bags from us we were presented with a further prize for scoring a coveted 29 points!
Edinburgh, City of Hills
One of the things we loved the most about Fantastic Creatures was the trail itself. Although, ‘trail’ is a strong word as it’s largely self-guided and with just a map to guide you, you can take any route you like. On the one hand, at times we were worried we’d taken a wrong turn. On the other, we were glad to not be wedded to a specific route around the city, as it gave us a chance to stop off for a snack, a drink, and an ice cream cone. Which, if you’re interested, we recommend lunch at the tiny, family run Olly Bongos and ice cream at Alandas Gelato, both en-route around the trail.
Edinburgh truly is a really beautiful city though. No matter which specific road on the map you choose to take, you’re sure to discover a new hidden gem, or a beautiful sight around a corner at the top of a hill. In fact, the trail starts right up near Edinburgh Castle, which is the perfect tourist spot for snapping lovely photos of the surrounding area. It ‘ends’ nearer Underbelly, making it again, an excellent place to springboard you into an Edinburgh Fringe show, or to round off the day after one.
The only thing that we felt could have been improved about the route was that occasionally we doubled back on ourselves. Not because we’d answered anything incorrectly, but because the route required us to. Towards the end, you find yourself in an area of town, and are sent back to the start of your route. Only to walk back up the long street and need to turn right back around to head even further in the other direction. It was a curious choice! It didn’t bother us too much as, being new to the city, find every little alleyway delightful, but we definitely saw the same few streets multiple times over.
We really enjoyed Fantastic Creatures. After playing Sherlock’s Secret Challenge the day before we had high hopes and once again Sabi and her company absolutely outdid our expectations. For sure, there were some minor bits that didn’t completely click with us – a few difficult puzzles we struggled to get the answer for for example. But overall we had a fantastic experience once again. Edinburgh Treasure Hunts is a super hidden gem in the city and will be the first place I recommend folks new to the city book themselves into.