An opening has come up to become Santa’s chief elf. In order to be considered, Santa himself has set you a series of challenges. Can you solve them successfully and join him at his North Pole workshop?
Completion Time: 20 minutes
Date Played: 2nd December 2020
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: Families, Kids, A brilliant Christmas gift!
A Very Merry Christmas is the latest release by the UK puzzle-making duo Mystery Mail – just in time for Christmas! Earlier this year, I LOVED playing The School of Witchcraft & Wizardry and Catch Me if You Can – so this game couldn’t come soon enough!
It starts with a very mysterious letter through your letterbox. “North Pole Airmail”, and a “Checked by Santa” seal of approval. So exciting! Unless your Secret Santa lets you know in advance, you won’t actually know who sent you the mysterious package until – yep, you’ve guessed it – you solve all the puzzles!
To get started, you head online for a magical introduction video from Santa himself. Santa has a ‘task’ for you – solve the puzzles and prove your worth as an elf in order to win a coveted position in Santa’s workshop. The video and the story are both a brilliant touch and a step up for the whole experience. What then follows are a series of 7 printed puzzles that either give a number, or a word.
As a whole, the puzzles aren’t too tricky! I know Mystery Mail comes in Adult/Teen/Kids versions, but I’d definitely recommend their any of their gifts for a more general audience. You can expect a little bit of maths, some word games, sequence visualising puzzles, and so on. Nothing a hobbyist puzzler couldn’t solve – and why not? If you’re giving this on Christmas morning, unless your recipient is hardcore, they probably want to be able to solve the whole thing in under an hour, find your secret message, then move on eating too many Mince Pies and falling asleep to It’s a Wonderful Life.
Speaking of the secret message, this is a nice touch. As with previous Mystery Mail experiences, on purchase you have the option to record or write a personalised message. The lovely folks at Mystery Mail sent me a video which brought such a smile to my face. I can only imagine how much fun this would be to receive a video message from a loved one on Christmas and, well, since it’s looking like we’ll still be in lockdown – it might just be the perfect socially distanced gift too.
Overall, really good fun. A lovely gift to give or receive, that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your recipient’s face. Rest assured I will now be taking up my position at Head Elf at Santa’s workshop, for successfully completing the game. Bring on Christmas!
A Very Merry Christmas can be purchased for £9.99 on Mystery Mail’s website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.