Quest Pyramid, Orbital Box & Fort Knox Review: An exciting adventure awaits you! You must solve all the puzzles to get to the secret compartment. Carefully inspect it from all sides and find special symbols. It is they who will help you solve all the puzzles in order to open Quest Pyramid.
Completion Time: 2-3 hours each
Date Played: October 2022
Party Size: 1
I am probably one of the few escape enthusiasts to have never completed a “puzzle box”, although I have always been intrigued. I, therefore, jumped at the opportunity to sample a few of Escape Welt’s boxes.
When they arrived they were wonderfully packaged in a branded box, with excellent protective packaging. I also really liked the little ‘Player Passport’ that came with them, which guided me through each game, as well as having additional puzzles within and a little story about each puzzle.
It’s important to acknowledge that I’ve never done one of these boxes before, and as some of these are rated quite hard I struggled more than an experienced player have done.
The first thing to note is that these were not wood, but instead plastic. This made them feel a little less homemade (as some ‘wood’ ones sometimes look), and I liked how each had a different colour. They all felt quite weighty, and didn’t appear to have been damaged in transit.
The first box I faced was the ‘Quest Pyramid’. This had a difficulty level of 4/5, but also had the most thorough walk-through/hints of all the boxes. The passport guides you to start with the base, where an array of symbols and numbers deftly guide you through the order of puzzles. There were a few leaps of logic in places, but overall I found it quite fun to hunt out different facets of the puzzle box and some of the puzzles were satisfying to solve. Where I struggled the handy online guide did a good job of guiding me through each step with an initial hint before revealing the solution. I felt quite satisfied when I got to the end, and there was a nice surprise inside the pyramid.
This was the second box I did, and probably my least favourite. Although it has an easier challenge rating than the pyramid, I actually found it harder. There wasn’t as much guidance about where to start, and I did feel like some of the ‘answers’ required quite a bit of assumption and leaps in logic. Despite this, I would say the opening was probably my favourite of the boxes and it was the most spacious inside. There were also some fun mechanisms in this and felt more like a traditional box.
House of the Dragon
This was probably my favourite, although I wasn’t able to complete it. The design was beautiful, and I got pretty far without needing hints, even though it is 4/5 difficulty. I felt there were slightly fewer leaps in logic for this one, but still had some surprises and some nice mechanisms. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete it as, after being stuck for quite some time, it turned out I had been doing the right thing but the mechanism apparently wasn’t working, and as much as I tried to make it work it didn’t budge, breaking the box instead. Until then I was having a great time and this is the one I would probably recommend over the others.
This was the final box I attempted, and I think I was both more prepared and also more frustrated by my previous issue. I found the puzzles on this box were probably the clearest labeled of all the boxes, and I managed to figure out the first few myself. However, I hit a point when I wasn’t sure what to do next, and although I attempted to follow the hints and various videos they seemed unclear and required some logical leaps. There were also some elements where it was unclear whether they were broken or not. Ultimately I had to give up when none of the hints seemed to work and I could no longer follow the logic.
Overall these each felt like solidy made pieces, which would look good on any shelf. The (artistic) designs were nicely thought out, with some really satisfying mechanical/tactile elements. I liked that there were quite a few smaller elements that required searching for, and they definitely felt rewarding. The presence of the online hints were also reassuring, although the usefulness was debatable.
Unfortunately, I felt they all shared some common issues. Firstly, as nice as the plastic looked it made it hard to read a lot of the puzzles and I think quite a bit of the detail was lost when compared to their wooden counterparts.
I am also not sure if the plastic made it less reliable, or if it was a failure of the design, but there were often times when I wasn’t sure if something wasn’t working due to design, or if the mechanism was broken. There were also times when something fell out when it wasn’t meant to yet, or didn’t come out when it should. This lack of clear distinction between accidental and purposeful design made for a lot of frustration. I also ended up breaking the first two boxes, and the last two I think may have been broken anyway as I wasn’t able to do what the online hints were telling me to.
I personally found these fairly frustrating to play, partly due to the puzzles and partly due to the design. The puzzle part is on me – by the time I was onto ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘Fort Knoxx’ I was more into the flow of the puzzles and enjoyed them more, but even so, found that quite a few of them were fairly convoluted. However, I think I would’ve persisted more if it wasn’t for the previously mentioned issues of not knowing whether something wasn’t working because I was wrong or the mechanism was broken.
Overall I probably wouldn’t recommend these to any new players, such as myself, or any children, but I can imagine they would be fun for those more used to this style of puzzle (and probably more used to the types of puzzles).
These boxes, and many more, can we ordered from the Escape Welt website
Please Note: We received this experience for free in exchange for an honest review.