We’ve created a monster!
There is a journal, an old one, where the fervid Doctor Viktor Frankenstein dutifully noted the steps of creating his greatest work. There are some newer notes scrawled haphazardly along the pages, added at the end of his life on his deathbed. He encoded some sort of a message for his loyal mad assistant, Ygor. I hope it’s the keyword; If it is, I can perform the procedure and save people from the horror that’s about to come.
I know, it sounds crazy, I do. But I’ve SEEN him. Yesterday, deep in the woods. A horrible, deformed shape. Gurgling, digging up old, long forgotten graves. I am terrified. Please, I need your help. I’ve tried so hard to understand the keyword but no matter what I try I just can’t seem to grasp it and we’re running out of time! I’m sending YOU the journal. I hope you can decipher the messages in my place. Otherwise… we might be looking at an unstoppable army of the dead…
There is no doubt about it, The Panic Room are the most prolific company for getting out new escape room content (probably in real life too actually), so it came as no surprise to us when we saw they had just released a number of play-at-home puzzle books.
A puzzle book is like a print-and-play game, only you don’t have to do any printing and it comes in a nicely bound document with quality card used for the covers. Other than that, there is nothing here that will be foreign to you so you can just get straight on with puzzling.
Frankenstein’s Book was the first of the three Panic Room puzzle books that we received so we were interested to see how they would work out for us. Ok, technically we played The Exorcism of Isabelle first, but that was a digital download when we played it so we’re not counting it even though it is now available as a puzzle book (and it would be our first recommendation).
With scissors in hand and brain food at the ready (cake) we sat down to see if we could solve the mysteries of Frankenstein’s Book.
Like I said, a puzzle book is basically a print-at-home game but without needing to print, and this makes them a great option if you want to gift it to someone (or to yourself?). Although it comes all bound and looking pretty, the very first thing we did was to rip each page from its’ binding. It felt wrong and destructive to do this but actually we found it easier to play this way, also with a number of pages needing to be cut up, it was going to get destroyed anyway.
The key words with this game are ‘puzzle’ and ‘book’. It contains a number of puzzles (obviously), but also has a fair amount of reading/text in it. Saying that, there is a digital element to this game where you can have some of the text read to you, which helps make it a bit more immersive.
The problem with print-at-home games is that the quality of the printing is reliant on your printer, and actually having a printer. Because this game is shipped to you in one piece, it means that the quality is perfect throughout, no dodgy ink bleed or blurred text here!
This game is made up of a number of puzzles that will ultimately give you one final code that you need to enter on the website once you have it. Once you enter this code your mission is complete and you can sleep easy knowing that you are a genius.
So many puzzles. To write this review and to remind myself of what was involved, I am throwing pieces of paper all over the place while trying to piece the book back together to see what we had to do.
Once you open this book you’ll find that the puzzles can pretty much be tackled in any order, and this game can handle more than one player (we played as a team of two). We found it easier to rip the book into individual pages and I still think this is the easiest way to play these puzzle book games.
All of the puzzles remained on theme and were suitably challenging, although one or two did make us a bit angry.You’ll find logic, a lot of logic, pattern recognition and generally observation puzzles. One thing we found was that no puzzle, to us at least, would be classed as easy. Do not go into this game thinking you’ll blitz through it in no time, there is plenty to keep you busy.
Often we will get through games and not need to look at the clue system, Frankenstein’s Book was arguably the opposite and we relied on the clues. This could be because we were tired or because the puzzles just didn’t click with us – either way, we needed these clues!
Fortunately the clue system is decent. Each puzzle has its own clues and you can reveal two gradual clues and then finally the answer. Thanks to this clue system we were able to complete the game. Although we did find a lot of the clues told us what we already knew and one or two puzzles we simply had to take the solution without really knowing how it was supposed to be solved as we thought we were doing everything right, but we kept getting the wrong answer.
We had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this game. The idea is great, but we struggled on a few puzzles. Either way, if we’re going away for a break sometime, I could see us taking a couple puzzle books with us.
- Device with an internet connection
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 90 minutes (ish)
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.