This is paper guaranteed to be recycled – as a seasonal puzzle game! What can you do for the loved one in your life who likes solving problems, adores a challenge, or even thinks they are the smartest in the room?
Completion Time: 1 – 2 hours Date Played: November 2022 Party Size: 1 Difficulty: Moderate
Well, my first present is wrapped and waiting to be placed under the Christmas Tree. You know what that means? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know Enigmailed is one of my favourite places for puzzles. From their individual games, wacky Kickstarter campaigns, to consistently fantastic Chocolateral series (puzzles, and chocolate? Um, yes please!). So, when I placed a large order before Christmas, I was surprised to find an extra goodie arrived in the package: A few sheets of wrapping paper.
In typical Enigmailed fashion, this is not ordinary wrapping paper. This wrapping paper is quite literally packed with puzzles. No, no, I don’t think you understand. Literally. Packed.
But with such excellent wrapping paper, I had to wrap equally excellent gifts up in it. So I suppose all those Chocolateral bars I’d just bought should probably now be sent off to friends instead of eating them all myself like a chocolate fiend… Ahh well!
Ho ho hope I can solve all these…
The first thing that struck me with each sheet of wrapping paper is how well the puzzles are laid out. Most wrapping papers print little pictures of snowmen or Christmas trees. This wrapping paper does as well, but hidden within each of those illustrations… A puzzle!
Some of the puzzles are spread out over multiple images hidden around and others are a little more self contained. For such a compact, A2 sheet of wrapping paper, there’s a lot of puzzle for your money. In fact, there are 12 puzzles to solve. They are:
The Hexagon Jigsaw
The Sphere String
The Buried Treasure
The Net Maze
The Tree Gift
The Michael Bauble
The Star Crossed
The Holly Wood
Once solved, each of these puzzles gives a single word answer: A festive word, for a festive wrapping paper.
In terms of difficulty… Listen, I always find Enigmailed games err on the harder side. However, this wrapping paper broke that rule slightly in that I found each individual puzzle fairly straightforward to crack. A few easy wins, and a few which took longer to think through. I didn’t do them all in one go, but I did solve most of them solo – all in all, maybe an hour’s worth of puzzling? Maybe a little longer? It’s a ‘game’ best played dipping in and out of and tackling when you need a break from eating Mince Pies and playing Christmas music.
My favourite of the puzzles was probably “Buried Treasure” or “Poppers”, which were functionally similar to solve – and the two I attempted first! Several others ramp up in difficulty, but as you progress you’ll begin to see patterns and understand how the game flows.
Reuse & Regift this Puzzle Wrapping Paper
The second thing I was struck by is what good quality the wrapping paper is! It arrives neatly folded in a protective sleeve, and each sheet is A2 in size and 115gsm silk paper in quality. The colours are bright and poppy – even more so than I’ve been able to capture in these photos, making it a perfect paper to use with yellow or black ribbon. The first gift I tried to wrap with it (a large board game) the paper came in a little too small. I could have used two sheets, but then I pivoted to something more appropriately sized so I could use the one sheet per gift.
The wrapping paper comes in sheets say, rather than a whole roll, as you’ll need to use the entire sheet to solve the puzzles – some details might be hidden elsewhere on the sheet, so if you cut a sheet in half you risk it becoming unusable. For that reason, pick a gift that uses one sheet in it’s entirety for the best puzzling effect for your recipient!
Then of course, the best thing about this? It’s totally reusable. The paper is such good quality it’s unlikely it’ll tear between gifts, and after wrapping, it folds back down into a neat stack to be popped in a cupboard and used again next year. Whilst I’m giving my sheets away this year, wrapping up a set of lovely puzzley presents for friends… I’m quietly hoping those friends will save the paper and wrap their own gifts up in it next year too. Perhaps the sheets will make their way back to me by this time next year, who knows.
Given the Christmas theme of the puzzles, this wrapping paper is only really good for Christmas – but it’s incredibly good value. For at least one, if not two hours worth of puzzling fun for yourself and for your lucky recipient, it’s well worth elevating a fairly normal gift into something extraordinary. With your order, you receive 3 sheets of high quality, brilliantly reusable A2 wrapping paper. Christmas mornings won’t quite be the same again, not least of all because I’ll be instating the rule “all puzzles must be solved before you can open your gift”. So better get puzzling before you hit the Bucks Fizz this year.
All in all, I am so excited to give gifts wrapped up in this wrapping paper as gifts. In fact, I’m more excited for them to see the wrapping paper than unwrap what is inside. No wrapping paper has ever made me feel that way about gift giving, and honestly? I think this wrapping paper will be a regular feature of my gift giving for years to come.
I’d recommend buying the wrapping paper as part of the Chocmas Lucky Dip bundle presently priced at £19.50. In this bundle, you get:
Three sheets of wrapping paper in a protective sleeve
A puzzle-wrapped chocolate bar through the post every month? An idyllic village, ravaged with nefarious mysteries? The chance to vote for future flavours and storylines?
It’s a world’s first, people!
Have you ever been sitting there, eating a bar of chocolate, wishing that your experience was a bit more puzzley? Are you like me and want to include puzzles into all aspects of your life… Especially chocolate consumption? Are you slightly more normal and just want to get a cool gift for that puzzle person in your life? Enigmailed have the answer to all these questions.
Okay so those examples are a little extreme, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that British company Enigmailed have been hard at work these past months creating several new experiences, including my very favourite of which: Chocolateral Bars. Put simply, chocolate bars which contain brilliant little puzzles on the packaging!
At the moment, they have the following chocolate bars on offer:
Both chocolate bars have a mystery to solve – a kind of murder mystery come detective drama. Your job in both is to read the clues and discover a WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW the curious crime was committed. As one of my friends pointed out when I gifted them a bar, “I’m not sure eating chocolate called Fatal Experimint is a good idea”, but I can guarantee, several bars of chocolate later, that they are not poisonous. Just creatively named!
Neither mystery is going to take you any longer than the amount of time it takes to eat the chocolate bar, that’s for sure. But I think that’s part of the beauty of it, making this a fantastic gift for just about anyone in your life – puzzlers and non-puzzlers alike. It’s like playing a sudoku in the morning paper over your cuppa.
Flavour: Honeycomb Milk Completion Time: 10 minutes Date Played: 11th July 2021 Party Size: 1
Both taste and puzzle-wise, Honeycomb Sting was my favourite of the two, but that’s mostly personal preferences as I don’t really like mint all that much. In Honeycomb Sting, you’re introduced to the setting of a palace with a world famous beehive kept on the grounds – but wait, somebody has been stealing all the honey! Eek!
Thankfully, the culprit has left behind clues on the chocolate wrapper. From lightly highlighted letters to curious strings of digits, each separate puzzle points towards a different piece of information, such as the identify of the thief, or where they’ve hidden the honey.
The only question remains whether you’ll catch them before you finish the bar!
Flavour: Mint Dark Completion Time: 15 minutes Date Played: 11th July 2021 Party Size: 1
The harder of the two, Fatal Experimint adds a little extra tension to the game – Dr. Spears, the dentist has been poisoned! But if you can successfully solve the game, you’ll be able to find an antidote to save his life. In this mini mystery, you’re looking to make an arrest, and fast!
The puzzles differ a lot between the two experiences, with Fatal Experimint utilising more numerical puzzles, and a couple of well known beloved ciphers with an Enigmailed twist. Since I played (and ate) this one second, the chocolate might be getting to my head and making it seem tricker, but I’d definitely rate this one as the more challenging of the two.
Flavour: Eton Mess Completion Time: 15 minutes Date Played: 19th September 2021 Party Size: 1
This time, a priceless artefact believed to be the Sword in the Stone has been stolen! Once again it’s your job to figure out who thief is, why it was stolen, where it was last seen and what it is being disguised as. As with the other chocolate bars, there’s also a (very tricky) bonus puzzle, for those who want to go the extra mile: How many millions the sword is insured for!
By the time you’ve played the first two, you’ll get the gist of it by now – all over the packaging many small puzzles are hidden. In Excalibar’s Sword you’ll be looking for any letters that seem out of place, ciphers, and hints in plain sight… Among other things!
Of all the flavours (so far) Eton Mess absolutely has to be my favourite. I’m a huge fan of white chocolate and strawberry, so it’s a double thumbs up from me!
Flavour: Toffee Apple Milk Chocolate Completion Time: 20 minutes Date Played: 30th October 2021 Party Size: 1
This time, there’s mischief afoot at the Longstocking Orchard. Apple wielding ghosts? Or perhaps just a Halloween prank! It’s the player’s role to find out who is disguising themselves as a ghost, how they’re evading security, what their motive is and where they are hiding out.
As a Halloween special, it’s delightful! Of course, Toffear Apple is part of the Chocolateral subscription, but as someone who likes to give Halloween gifts this makes it the perfect treat to give out to guests and adult trick or treaters.
But of course, as with all Chocolateral bars, the puzzles are not particularly easy. No sir. I’m very well acquainted with Enigmailed’s hints page by now. But, since you’re always looking for a word (or a few words), players can expect a bounty of exactly that: word based puzzles! In Toffear Apple in particular I enjoyed turning of the bar over and over on the look out for ghosts, apples, and making the words out of the peculiar things on the paper. Spooky fun, and just what I needed to kick off a Halloween celebration!
Flavour: Chilli Dark Chocolate Completion time: approx 30 mins Date Played: 21st November 2021 Party Size: 2
In this edition of Chocolateral, we’re getting festive! But don’t expect tidings of comfort and joy…at least not straight away. There is something afoot, as someone has snatched all of the snacks which had been left out for Santa and his helpers! As usual, it is up to you to peruse the clues hidden in the packaging to solve the seasonal mystery, and there is plenty to sink your teeth into (geddit?!). Yes, not only have you got to figure out who left their footprints in the snow, when they struck, what they’re doing with their bounty of festive treats and how they managed to evade being caught- you’ve also got the chance to go the extra mile (all the way to the north pole maybe?) to figure out which popstar paid for them in the first place!
Picture this: a chilly but clear Sunday afternoon in the lead up to Christmas, eating delicious chocolate, sipping on festive spiced punch and solving puzzles! What better way to get cosy and in the spirit for the next month’s worth of festivities (oh yes, we looove Christmas!). We really enjoyed the level of detail Enigmailed have gone into- the classic Christmassy red, green and white colour scheme; the seasonal imagery of crackers, santas and presents; and the puns- oh how we enjoy a good pun at the best of times, let alone when Christmas is involved. The puzzles are cleverly interspersed into the packaging as usual, which if you’ve played before you will have come to be quite familiar with. We found some of the puzzles quite quick to solve and others took a bit more thought, which we thought would make this a great little activity to do over Christmastime with the whole family- there’s enough to go around in terms of both puzzles and of course CHOCOLATE (if you don’t mind sharing!)
The chilli dark chocolate flavour of the chocolate was lovely; the chilli wasn’t overpowering but provided a nice warming which felt perfect for a Christmassy bar. And we loved the fact that as a dark chocolate bar this month, it is suitable for vegans, so everyone can get on the chocolatey puzzle solving bandwagon, just in time for Christmas! Seasons Eatings was a perfect festive puzzley treat for the lead up to the big day itself!
Flavour: Plain Milk Chocolate Completion time: approx 20 mins Date Played: 6th February 2022 Party Size: 2
What’s the classic Valentine’s Day gift? Chocolate! But, what’s the perfect VDay gift for your escape enthusiast Valentine? Puzzle Chocolate! In this edition of Chocolateral, trouble is afoot at the village Jewellers, Emerald Aisle (yes, we loved that pun) as someone has robbed all their rings, depriving many happy couples of their VDay engagement plans!
While nibbling on our non-engagement related chocolatey Valentine’s treat, we had to figure out the classic W’s- Who, What, Where and Why, oh why, were the rings targeted?! Each time we play we are amazed by Enigmailed’s ability to squeeze in new and different types of puzzle into such a small space and following a consistent format. We enjoyed the variety of puzzles offered and found that each of us had ones that just seemed to click with us instantly. The matter of Why did stump us for a while and we decided to go for a quick look at their handy hint page to help us out with this one and work the puzzle backwards, but we got there in the end! We were also very pleased with ourselves as we also managed to solve the bonus puzzle to find out the name of the owner of the jewellers.
With Valentine Brawl, as with all the Chocolateral bars, we love the feeling that the chocolate is a reward for doing a good job puzzling and, of course, puns-a-plenty is always a bonus to enhance the puzzle solving fun further!
Whether you’re cupid reincarnate, or not so much of a fan of the mushy lovey dovey stuff, Valentine Brawl is a fun option to celebrate or take your mind off the season of love!
Simply the Zest!
Flavour: White Chocolate Lemon Meringue Completion time: approx 20 mins Date Played: 12th April 2022 Party Size: 2
Dun, dun, dun! There’s been a murder, but who dunnit?! It’s the classic soap, a mysterious murder, a woman found dead in her high-rise apartment, the suspicious roast dinner… Hold on, a roast dinner!? We are glad that this did not feature in the chocolate bar flavouring.
Our of all of the bars in this subscription, this one was the most ‘story based’ of the Chocolateral series we have played so far, asking you to find out who has committed the crime, as well as tasking you with identifying those pesky red herrings (ahh yes, enthusiasts will recognise the struggles of red herrings as well!)
We got stuck into this bar quickly (the puzzles we mean…of course…) and found ourselves with 4 of the 5 puzzles solved relatively quickly. They were all logical and had strong sign-posting, something which always impresses us as Enigmailed managed to squeeze this so much onto such a small chocolate bar wrapper!
The final, trickier puzzles left us scratching our heads though. We could not figure out the WHEN of our murder mystery. In this case, finding out the ‘when’ was the the bonus puzzle of this chocolate bar, so the answer is not on the website. So, dear readers, if anyone knows the WHEN – please do get in touch and let us know! We promise we will pay you in chocolate (if there is any left…)
All in all, another great entry into the Chocolateral series, and we cannot wait to see what fantastical flavours and puzzles the creator dreams up next.
Flavour: Banoffee Milk Chocolate Completion time: approx 20 mins Date Played: 4th April 2022 Party Size: 2
So, we definitely should have played this on April Fool’s Day – we missed a trick there! But alas, we sat down to see whether we would be made fools of, or whether we could work out who was clowning around trying to set up poor Uncle Fumble? We are currently playing the month-long puzzle offered by Enigmailed – also named “Fool’s Errand” – so it was felt apt to tackle this game to check our puzzling skills were ready to challenge the enigmatic “Leaderboard”! Also, after playing one of the more recent games, we realised we could have used our chocolate bar to complete one of the challenges…double Fool’s Errand (can we have a shout out on the leader board if we manage to link the puzzles?!)
We found this bar one of the more challenging ones. We couldn’t seem to click with the puzzles in the same way as some of the others. However, we think this may be a good way to showcase how different each of the bars manage to be. Some we find we can solve in ten minutes, others we keep coming back to over a series of days to see if we can finally get that a-ha moment (and steal a piece of chocolate as a reward hehe). In this way, you can savour the puzzles in the same way you can savour the chocolate (well, if you want to…). There was one stand out puzzle on this bar though that we did click with (after the hype around a particular word based game which we play religiously every day) – it must be all that practice. It was a really clever way of translating the puzzle concept onto paper, and we appreciated the effort that had been made to showcase a new puzzle type.
If you’ve not checked out the month long puzzle that Enigmailed are running, definitely pop onto their website! It’s a great way to get your puzzling in, whilst providing that competitive edge so many of us puzzlers enjoy. You can find lots of fun challenges, and plenty of ways to work up an appetite (although who needs to work up anything to eat a delicious banoffee flavoured treat – banana, toffee, chocolate…it’s a dream combo!).
Flavour: Creme Caramel Milk Chocolate Completion time: approx 20 mins Date Played: 7th May 2022 Party Size: 2
Uh oh! There’s been a robbery! Lizzy (very aptly named) has had her most fabulous lizards stolen, and it is up to you to find out the WHO, the WHEN, and the WHY. Oh, and to add to the mix, one of the lizards suffers from a skin condition, and you need to figure out which one so you can get the lotion to them ASAP (an excellent way of adding a bit of pressure). We went for a pic of our lovely pet here (any excuse to put in a pic of Tilly – she was not helpful in solving Lizzy’s predicament).
As we play more of Engimailed’s wonderful Chocolateral series, we are beginning to learn a bit about the different puzzling styles featured on the bars. We are getting better at seeing patterns, and playing these games regularly is definitely helping to give our puzzling skills ticking over. However, that definitely does not mean that we are now finding these easy – there was one puzzle in particular on this game that we found especially challenging – and brought a wonderful A-HA moment when we finally solved it. We clicked with this bar better than the previous one and managed to get through all the puzzles without looking for a hint (although, when we did go to check the answers, we got stumped trying to find those (wink wink!)).
We were stoked to also manage to solve the extra challenge of finding out HOW MANY lizards were taken. It would be creme-inal not to mention the excellent pun use in this bar. We are so here for some fun word-play and always enjoy Enigmailed’s humorous blurbs and storylines.
We shared this chocolate bar with Ash’s mum to spread the love (and also because we had recently ordered a huge amount of reduced Easter chocolate oops). We’ve had some excellent feedback from her on the taste “very creamy, very caramel, perfect for a sweet tooth” so I think we may have another Enigmailed fan on our hands! These bars would certainly make such a good gift for anyone you know who likes chocolate (and who doesn’t?!), and enjoys a bit of puzzling.
Tilly Enjoying Crime Caramel Chocolateral
Flavour: Lime and Chilli Dark Chocolate Completion time: approx 30 mins Date Played: 25th June 2022 Party Size: 4
With this edition of Chocolateral, we had been tasked with solving a crime from a slightly different perspective… For once we know WHO the criminals are and we know WHAT they’ve done.
‘So… why are you here?’ I hear you ask. Well this time we’re on the case to work out a few of the finer details of the case. Two lovers on the run but caught at the first hurdle. But can we help track down the clues to work out what both the lovers’ jobs were, where they were hoping to escape to, what caused the police to get on their trail, what crucial mistake they made and last, but by no means least, what was their attempted getaway vehicle? Think Bonnie & Clyde (but with truffles)
Given that we had all that to work out, we cracked on with nibbling away at the chocolate and the clues. We enjoyed the variety of puzzles yet again within this edition, particularly the cryptic combination of flags with what appeared to be binary code. Once again, Chocolateral gets you to think outside the chocolate box, with a few helpful nudges tucked away under the opening flaps to get you onto the right tracks. The mix of puzzles were perfect for the group of us with Alice’s parents solving it, as there was something that everyone excelled at, and all of us got the ‘A-HA’ moment for at least one puzzle each, which felt like a very fair share This was our first bar in a while which we didn’t need to check any hints for, so we were very proud of ourselves for clicking with this one so well.
And the flavour? Slightly warming, but not too spicy. A great mix of the fresh lime and warming chilli, which pairs perfectly with the richness of dark chocolate. As a dark bar, it’s also dairy-free so perfect for vegans and those less tolerant to the lactose. All in all a great bar once again!
Sea No Evil
Flavour: Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Completion Time: 30 minutes Date Played: 3rd December 2022 Party Size: 1
As with all Chocolateral bars, there’s drama and mystery afoot. This time, the peculiar case of a cage left overnight at the zoo and in it’s wake, not one but three missing monkeys. My mission was simple: Find the monkeys, find their stash of bananas, and find the name of the staff member who forgot to lock their cage the night before.
In typical Enigmailed fashion, I’d have my work cut out, and in typical me-fashion, I refused to let myself eat the chocolate until I’d cracked the codes. With my “zoo hat” on, it was time to get down to business. No time for monkeying around!
With Sea No Evil, the best tactic is to examine the bar front to back. Take stock of what you see and wait for the patterns to emerge. There are around four self-contained puzzles total. There’s also (I believe) a secret 5th puzzle which I didn’t solve. Within this boundary, plenty to discover. In particular there was one symbol-based puzzle that I definitely overthought, and so having an extra pair of eyes on hand in my case proved useful. I turned to my partner and said “what do you think?“, to which they spotted the solution immediately. It just goes to show… Chocolate is best shared!
Once past the symbol puzzle, the others varied in difficulty from “Got it!“, to “I know what this is and how to solve it I just need to do it“, to “Lets just have a cheeky clue or two“.
Finally, the flavour? Absolutely delicious! Sea salt is a personal favourite of mine and Enigmailed did not disappoint. It’s perfectly salty (perhaps slightly saltier than the average ‘sea salt milk chocolate’), but for fans of the flavour the balance between sweet and savoury beautifully hit the spot. I’ll be back to reorder this specific Chocolateral flavour in a heart-beat.
Fight for Your White
Flavour: White Chocolate Completion Time: 30 minutes Date Played: 3rd December 2022 Party Size: 1
What do you get when you cross delicious chocolates, tricky puzzles, with a cow-theme? A Chocolateral bar that’s absolutely packed with a-moo-sing cow puns!
Now, white chocolate isn’t usually my thing but I decided to pair it into a puzzling morning as I also took on my very favourite flavour: Sea Salt Milk Chocolate! All in all, a successful time cracking the codes of both games in one sitting. After successfully finding the monkeys, I turned my sights to another animal: The Cow. This time, an illegal rave took place in the old dairy barn in town. My mission was simple: Find out who organised it, what music they were playing, how did they keep an eye on the path, and where tickets were being sold.
On balance, Fight for your White was probably a slight bit harder than Sea No Evil, but they’re otherwise not totally comparable. Different puzzles, different styles, different taste of course. But in the same way as it’s salty counterpart, I relied on a second pair of eyes to crack some of the trickier codes here. Now, my regular Player 2 doesn’t usually engage with puzzle solving, he’s the bemused witness to the endless puzzle packages I receive in the post. However with Chocolateral comes the promise of chocolate once I correctly solve it – so he’s eager to hop in when I need help. More help means a larger share of the bar, right?
So puzzles aside, onto the taste. Again, perfection. The sustainably sourced cocoa is produced in Cornwall, so it hasn’t travelled far from my plate and retains all it’s delicious creaminess – fitting, for a bar of chocolate about cows!
About the Chocolate
The chocolate manufacturer is Kernow Chocolate, created and hand-packed in Cornwall, UK. If you need any evidence of all the love and care gone into creating this chocolate, just look at the list of ingredients! I’ve never seen a shorter ingredient list in my life – it’s all totally natural, not a chemical in sight.
Even without the puzzles, I already find myself browsing the manufacturer’s website to see what else they sell. It was that tasty, and I feel great about supporting a local UK business.
You can purchase a Chocolateral Bar over on Enigmailed’s website here, and also use the promocode MAIL10 for 10% off an order of Undeliverable!
It’s an exciting day for puzzle enthusiasts across the country!
The long awaited Puzzle Bundle UK is now available for sale at eight online puzzle stores. In this special Christmas exclusive, eight British puzzle game creators have come together to create a unique puzzle bundle hamper… Just in time for Christmas!
Included within the bundle are a range of puzzles lasting between 30 minutes to well over an hour each. All the puzzles are self contained, and the best part? There’s a mix of completely original puzzles to the bundle and some well-loved favourites at a discounted rate too!
The bundle comes priced at £60 GBP with UK shipping included, or £65 with international shipping. You an find it on any of the providers websites and channels for the same price.
Limited to 100 Puzzle Bundles, for 7 Days Only!
Whether buying a treat for yourself to play over the festive season, or picking up 8 fantastic presents for the puzzle enthusiast in your life – you’d better hurry! To begin with, there will only be 100 Puzzle Bundles up for sale and, once the 7 day sale period ends, the bundle won’t be on sale again.
You an find it on any of the providers websites and channels below for the same price. The bundle altogether costs £60 including postage within the UK, and £65 outside the UK.
What is included in your Puzzle Bundle UK?
Show me the Puzzles!
The Puzzle Bundle UK contains a mix of completely unique puzzles and a few existing puzzle games you may recognise from your favourite British creators!
Enigmailed: Season’s Eatings
A delicious chocolate bar with themed puzzle wrapper.
The White Tent Company: The Snowflake Snatcher Advent Mystery
Jack Frosts magical snowflake staff has been stolen. Without it there will be no snow this winter. Uncover a clue a day to crack the case before Christmas is cancelled!
Wales-based The White Tent Company is a company specialising in live, immersive murder mysteries. They also have a range of at-home mysteries for armchair detectives to solve from the comfort of their own home.
Have you ever felt your delivery company are playing a puzzle game with you, holding your parcels and packages hostage? Well, now you can play this game in real life!
Undeliverable is another first of it’s kind from the UK-based puzzle makers Enigmailed. The best way to describe Enigmailed is probably ‘purveyors of puzzle gifts’, or perhaps ‘creators of puzzle games that absolutely defy categorisation’. I didn’t think it were possible to be as impressed as I was with Chocolateral but here I am again, sitting on the floor next to my letterbox with Undeliverable in my hand thinking “woah this is cool!”
How does Undeliverable work?
Remember back to the last time you were expecting an important parcel… You were so excited you checked your letterbox every day, and when you knew the postal worker would be on their route perhaps you even waited by the window. Until one day you turn your back to pour a cup of tea and hear the disappointing noise of a card through your letterbox:
“Sorry, we just missed you!”
Undeliverable is like this. Except rather than disappointing it’s a little more “Oh, I didn’t order anything… how exciting!”. It’s a series of cards through your letterbox that you weren’t expecting from a company you’ve never heard of. The most exciting part? It’s a puzzle game!
You are getting a delivery!
The first card I received was an inconspicuous looking card through my letterbox from Atraso letting my know they had my parcel at the Main Depot. Great! Except… I don’t remember ordering anything. Come to think of it, the closer I look the more peculiar this delivery notice seems. Not wo worry, I’m sure it’s legit.
A week or so later, another arrives. Hooray! My parcel is now at the Sorting Office. Plus there’s now a handy guide on the front showing the logistics of this mysterious Atraso shipping company, just in case I needed some more information. Very curious indeed.
A week later, it’s in the area hub! Oh so exciting – I can see the depot on a little map provided. My mysterious package must be close now, right?
Finally, the dreaded “Argh! We just missed you!” Typical!
Peculiar Parcel Puzzles
Each of the four cards in Undeliverable comes with a link to track your parcel – but it’s not as simple as this. To track your parcel the shipping company Atraso require your reference number, an additional digit, and three further (increasingly bizarre) pieces of information such as “A distressing call” or “An animal”.
To find this information, you need to look closely at the cards. Sometimes a puzzle jumps out immediately, other times it takes a little longer to realise that something isn’t quite right.
If you’re reading this review looking for answers, my best piece of advice is to say that everything is on the cards is there for a reason. Not a single bit of space is wasted and it helps to look really, really closely! If something feels out of place, it is.
On my first playthrough as part of an early play test I scored 69% (ayyy, no jokes). But the funny part is, I’m quite proud of that that score. Undeliverable is difficult! With no answers available (only a few clues), if you’re truly stuck your option is to submit your best guess and keep your fingers crossed.
Honestly? I had such a love / hate relationship with this little game when I played it. When I saw my friend Nick at Kent Escape Room Reviews playing it I was immensely jealous. He sent me a message one morning asking for a second opinion on how to solve a particular puzzle. Neither of us could crack it and then – a few days later – I received my own first card in the post and discovered that this one puzzle I’d been mulling over was just the tip of the difficult ice berg.
But difficult does not equal bad. Actually, Undeliverable is far from it. It’s brilliant and anyone playing it will immediately see how much love and effort has gone into making this a truly unique experience. There’s nothing quite like it on the market and whether you purchase it as a gift or just a treat for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
Undeliverable can be purchased for £11 on Enigmailed’s website here and for a limited time you can also use the promocode MAIL10 for 10% off.
Siena Sudlow hits upon her dream when a music producer spots her at an open mic night and asks her on tour with her favourite band. The dream doesn’t last long as she becomes embroiled in the scandalous activities of the lead singer, and the bands dispute with their management. Siena lives the high life for a wild week of photo shoots, award ceremonies and launch parties before the hearsay and gossip gets too much, the paparazzi is surrounding the hotel and she needs out. She stashes your message in an online vault and leaves a series of clues to reveal the passcode.
Rating: Challenging! Completion Time: 52 minutes Date Played: 8th May 2021 Party Size: 1 Recommended For: Music fans, puzzle aficionados!
What are rainy mornings for, if not puzzling? I received Puzzle Post in the post and waited the whole week for a ‘sunny day’ to play it on and take some lovely photos. But you bet it rained the whole week! So I took a hint from the universe, made a huge mug of hot chocolate, and got stuck into the The Split early on a windswept Saturday morning.
…And, actually this was just the ticket! Puzzle Post is set in an ‘alternate reality’ where the pandemic didn’t happen (I think). I say that because the dates on the puzzles in the game are March 2021 and the location is London. I was definitely here in London in March 2021 and things were still shut *sobs*, but being able to play this reminded me of the vibrant music scene in neighbourhoods like Soho…. Which is actually where I used to live! Woah! Small world. It was almost like the world was back to normal for the hour I played this… Almost!
How Puzzle Post Works
The Split is one of Puzzle Post’s harder games in their series, but the idea is the same as The Missed Flight: You purchase a copy and hide a hidden message in the game. This might be a video, or a plaintext message. Your message is then stored behind a login and a password, the latter for which is hidden in the game. So, when your recipient receives a mysterious envelope, they must first crack the code before they can access the message. So cool!
For this reason you should probably purchase a copy as a gift for a friend, rather than for yourself. But if you’re itching to play it, no judgement for ordering one for yourself, haha!
The story in The Split centres around the young Siena Sudlow, a musician invited to play with a band on tour – her dream job! But what she didn’t count on were all the paparazzi! She had intended to deliver a message from a mutual friend to you, but she’s trapped in her hotel, unable to go out without having cameras shoved in her face. Instead she stashes the message for you in a digital locker and, using the items around her, concocts a puzzle for you to gain access to the message.
After all, you wouldn’t want the message falling into the hands of any prying journalists, huh? Who knows if her email has been hacked. This way is much safer. It’s a good job I’m up to the challenge of solving puzzles. The funny thing is, my brother and I frequently snail mail secret codes to each other- mostly talking about our favourite type of cheeses. This feels a little bit similar. It’s unique, it’s a little old fashioned, and heck we can all agree its 100000% more fun to receive something in the post than an email anyway.
*partner disagreeing with me next to me on the sofa*
If you’re familiar with Puzzle Post, you’ll probably know the drill by now! All of their puzzle experiences follow a similar route. It’s been a while since I last played one, so I have to admit I’m out of practice, but after using a clue to get me started on ‘where to begin’, I was off to a flying start!
Besides the introduction letter setting the scene, there’s no ‘instructions’ in the traditional sense of the word. These too, are a puzzle to be solved. The first big step is to find out the correct order. In this game there is one item in the pack that clearly suggests an order the others follow in.
From here, each puzzle solved will give a single or double digit code that when strung together makes a password. This part is important! It means you’re always looking for a simple, numerical solution. Don’t overcomplicate it – or maybe do overcomplicate it!
The Split is supposedly the hardest of the Puzzle Post series so far – I’d definitely recommended for someone who is familiar with the ‘play at home escape room’ genre, or at least is fairly quick at picking these sorts of things up. However, even though it is the hardest, it’s not insurmountable. I used around 3 clues throughout the whole experience just to nudge me along in the right direction, and only got one of the numbers incorrect – something quickly rectified by going back and actually reading the puzzle properly! Oops!
A lot of the puzzles in this experience revolve around reading through things and properly understanding what is happening and what you’re looking for. For example I spent a long time looking through the magazine on completely the wrong page wondering whether something looked like Morse Code, only to realise I wasn’t thinking about the plot of the game. I’d missed the ‘real’ puzzle!
As it’s a physical game, a few of the puzzles relied in manipulating the materials you’re giving. A very clever jigsaw style puzzle gave one code, whilst overlaying items on top of each other gave me another code, and so on. In some parts, in an exciting twist, I got to venture out onto the internet in search of… Well, music, really! I thought that was a super cool touch and the puzzle that followed was definitely my favourite (and the one I got wrong the first time round! Haha!).
In short, there’s a lot to do. Even though there’s an order, you could follow this game fairly non-linearly. I played as a solo player, but I’d have enjoyed it just as much in a small team of 2, or even 3. There’s enough puzzles to keep people busy, and enough delightful “aha” moments to make the whole game exciting.
I enjoyed it a lot! I’m a big fan of Puzzle Post and they’re one of the few companies I keep seeing “out in the wild”. A friend recently received a copy of Missed Flight for her birthday and loved it so much she went on to order one for her friend, that friend enjoyed it so much that at dinner the other week we couldn’t stop chatting about it! It’s really cool and it shows that the word of mouth that surrounds Puzzle Post is excellent too!
Whenever one of my puzzle friends’ birthdays come up I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to order an envelope (or 2, or 3), and the company even have a special kids game which my brother adored. The Split lived up to the hype and as ever, I’m so excited to see what Puzzle Post do in the future.
Agent Jones needs help! She’s the chief spy in the Secret Service and she’s discovered a series of clues to unlock a secret message, but she can’t crack the code on her own. Have your secret message stashed in Agent Jones’ vault, and the lucky child will need to work through the puzzles in order to uncover it.
Rating: Great Fun! Completion Time: 40 minutes Date Played: 5th October 2020 Party Size: 2 Recommended For: Kids
It’s here! The clever people behind The Missed Flight (one of my top play at home games) have a brand new Puzzle Post – this time for kids. As such, this is a little bit of a tricky review to write, as I actually gifted it to my brother for his 11th birthday. My part in the gameplay was snapping photos and offering helpful hints! What are big sisters for if not embarrassing you with photos?
The Secret Service is a fun concept. Your designated child (your own, somebody else’s, or no judgement if you buy one for yourself!) receives a mysterious and very shiny letter in the post. It’s from Agent Jones at the Secret Service and she needs help to crack a code! Waiting at the end of the game is a secret vault to log into where they’ll receive a custom message from the true recipient of the letter. It’s the perfect place to stash a “Happy Birthday!” message, or tickets, or even a video.
Puzzle Post recommends The Secret Service for kids aged 7 – 10. We played it together as a 24 and 11 year old and honestly had no problem solving the puzzles – in a good way! If you’ve got a kid in your life you’ll know they often don’t have buckets of attention span, so for an 11 year old it was the perfect length of time and difficulty level: Complex enough to spark some real thought about each puzzle, but easy enough not to be frustrating at any point.
The puzzles have a wide range too – no two are the same. There are a few that involving cutting and assembling, one that’s a folding puzzle, a few are direct ciphers, some “spot the difference” style ones and a really, really brilliant use of UV lighting too. Yes, that UV light pen was a huge hit here!
Player Two: “Can I write all my answers in invisible ink so the enemy can’t read it.” Me: “Um, sure. Great idea!”
I wouldn’t be surprised if my thank you note gets written in invisible ink now too – lets hope the postman who delivers it has a spare UV light 😉
In a nutshell, this game is fun! I am as ever super impressed with Puzzle Post. From the absolutely wonderful interactions I have with them each time (great customer service!), to the care and quality that goes into every one of their letters – I just love it! They’re my favourite letter/gift puzzle service (is that the correct terminology? I’m not sure) here in the UK and if you’re ever stuck on what to get someone for a gift, you can’t go wrong here.