Is this the real life?
Alvar Korhonen is a reputable Finnish Art Dealer who has been negotiating art deals at the Helsinki Art Fest for years. Only this year he’s unwittingly brokered a deal that isn’t all that it seems and is putting his life and that of his children at risk…
He was supposed to deliver your message but has had to leave the city and go into hiding. He was scared the message would be intercepted by those after him, and so has stashed it in our online vault and put 7 puzzles together from his last few days in Helsinki.
We first heard about Puzzle Post back in July 2020 when we played their first game, ‘The Missed Flight’, a game we thoroughly enjoyed. Since then we have seen many other versions of ‘puzzles by post’ but for us at least, Puzzle Post will always be the original and we have been eagerly waiting for them to release a new game. Finally, that wait was over when they released their new game, ‘The Dupe’.
I must admit, I was very confused when I received The Dupe through the post. I couldn’t remember what I could have ordered and was even more confused when I opened it and saw something from a fine art dealer. After getting over that initial confusion I remembered that we were expecting to receive a Puzzle Post in the mail – mystery solved. That is the great thing about Puzzle Post, everything they send looks totally genuine and is very believable.
After a few days we set aside a little time to sit down and play The Dupe, then prepared to solve the puzzles and get our secret message that our mystery sender had left for us.
The concept behind Puzzle Post is simple, yet clever. Someone you know has sent you a message, a message which can be text, image, or video, and you have to solve seven puzzles in order to see the message. In a world where real-life contact is limited, sending a video message is a lovely way to reconnect with friends or family, but why not make them work for it?
When we played The Missed Flight, we weren’t sure if the items contained in the game were made specifically for the game, or if they were genuine ‘real-world’ items, and that uncertainty continued with The Dupe. Puzzle Post obviously put in a lot of time creating every little detail for this game, and it shows.
Puzzle Post have put together a world that is more than just the physical documents that are in front of you, the recipient needs to engage with websites and piece together the story while working out what is needed, and what isn’t.
I don’t imagine that Puzzle Post’s games are designed to keep hardcore puzzlers entertained for very long, we managed to solve The Dupe in less than 30 minutes, and others will likely be quicker. Saying that, if you’re just looking for an exciting way to send a message to someone, then you don’t want it to be too hard that they quit early on, so in that regard we think the difficulty level is probably set just about right.
The main idea of the game is to solve seven puzzles, where each puzzle will reveal a number that you then need to piece together to get the code to release your message. Of these puzzles, some are very quick and obvious while others may take a little longer to get to the bottom of.
Puzzle Post have also strayed a bit further from just paper products in this game and it has something else that perhaps helps it feel more like a party?
If you’re sending a lovely and thoughtful message to someone the last thing you want is for them to not be able to get it and then to resent for you making them feel stupid. Fortunately Puzzle Post include a hint system that is designed to get them back on track in no time at all.
The letter from the art dealer includes a link to the clue system that the recipient can use should they need to. If they visit the clue page they will find a tool for checking each entry in their passcode, which is useful to see exactly which puzzle they have got wrong, or they can choose which puzzle they are stuck on and see a gradual ‘three-hint’ system culminating in the solution. Simple, but effective.
We love the concept of Puzzle Post and really enjoyed playing this game. As soon as we have a reason for sending this to someone, Puzzle Post will be our first choice. It’s on the easier side, but that doesn’t detract from the fun.
- Pen and paper for note taking
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 25 mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.