Saturday, August 15, 2020

Boardgame - Cluebox: Schrödinger’s cat - iDventure

The cat's out of the... box?

Picture from the official website

Almost no text (Hints available in German & English)
# of Players:
14+ (because of the box's fragility? I'd say 9+)
60 min (45 min for a better challenge)

Game Design & Mechanics

Animation from the official website

  • I'm sure you've seen a "puzzle box" at some point. You might even have seen some for sale at an Escape Room venue. (Heck, you might have encountered one inside a room, lucky you. 😏) In general, they're boxes with hidden mechanism that you need to figure out, in order to open them. As a general rule, the first trick will be well-hidden, and once you get past it, you'll be able to perform a new operation, then another, and so on.
  • This box officially plays the "escape room in a box" angle by suggesting a time limit, but also by having a few "gating points" where you'll have to examine what you have, solve a puzzle, then "enter the right code".
  • Unfortunately, I can't say much else about the box itself, without spoiling things. Let's just point out that the box is made of laser-cut birch pieces, and assembled by hand.
  • Not too big and good-looking, the box can easily become a conversation piece in your living room, or a nice addition to an escape room lobby.
  • The box offers a good mix of "escape-room style" puzzles and "classic puzzle box" ones.
  • It can be used to hide a small reward, like a shiny coin for a kid, or even an engagement ring, perhaps?
  • The term "Escape Room in a Box" is definitely an exaggeration. This remains a puzzle box, although the lock-style puzzles are nice.
  • The box can feel a bit fragile - possibly more than it actually is.
    Funny side note: I needed more time to open the box than my kids did, and while it might just be because I'm dumb 😛, I believe that I lost time because I wasn't trustworthy of the box's initial state. What if something's stuck? Was if this isn't supposed to happen? Those fears were unfounded, and my children were able to tackle the box with the prior knowledge that I had managed to open it.

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