Location: Your Home!
Players: We recommend 1-4
Price: $30 per box
From The Conundrum Box website:
FROM SCHEHERAZADE TO ALADDIN, EXPLORE THE 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS TO DEFEAT THE EVIL VIZIER OMAR
You have been transported within the world of the 1001 Arabian Nights, your mission is to retrieve four genie lamps in order to get back home. Meanwhile, a despicable tyrant, the Vizier Omar, has taken control across all the realm. He has imprisoned the princess Scheherazade and seeks to gain control of the lamps for himself. Travel through two legs of the journey, meeting many of the characters, heroes, and villains of the tales of The 1001 Arabian Nights.
Box One: Aladdin’s Lamp – As you get your feet wet (dry?) in this new world, you will strive to obtain the first two genie lamps. You will learn some of the secrets of this realm, and perhaps be recruited to help bring down its ultimate evil.
I love the 1001 Arabian Nights and the tales of Scheherazade, so it wasn’t difficult for me to get excited about this new series from The Conundrum Box! However, my heart has been broken before, so I had tempered my expectations to prevent another disappointment. Luckily, this experience was a vast improvement over the debacle that was Unlock’s previous failure!
In short, The Storyteller was a fantastic experience! We had an excellent time with this box and were impressed with all facets of the adventure. In long, we should start by talking about the incredibly smooth game flow. The Storyteller benefits from a linear set up, allowing for the gatekeeping to remain tight between puzzles and preventing the box from devolving into chaos by presenting players with too many items too quickly. I definitely find that story centric experiences tend to benefit from a mostly linear set up as it keeps the narrative more easily on track, and I think that is certainly the case here. It was much simpler to keep track of everything that is going on, puzzle and story wise, and this box is really elevated because of this mechanical choice. The story is also somewhat more concise, paring down slightly from the long swaths of text we’ve previously seen in some Conundrum Box entries. Every puzzle within the game provided a fun, intuitive solve, and was set up within an extremely well paced difficulty curve. Clues were subtle, but pointed, and presented a challenge that never dipped into the territory of logical leaps. Rather, the game remained intuitively challenging and elegantly approachable throughout. Some puzzles contained more complex rules for solving, and others took a longer time to work through, but at no point did they become arduous or a tedious procedural process. Even some interactions that I generally don’t enjoy became some of my favorite moments, a testament to how well this box is crafted.
Presentation of The Storyteller is amazing, including quality materials and convincing props. Some earlier boxes could overload the player with paper and items, but I feel this entry absolutely has streamlined things, allowing for tighter gameplay and better focus. This box is highly interactive, and props from this, and optionally, one previous game are used to great effect, drawing the player into the world tactilely. The late game presented my two favorites of the experience, placement puzzles that were filled with awesome moments of revelation and some of the most satisfying solves so far. As far as the extras, the included Spotify playlists were excellently curated, adding a nice underlying soundtrack to the whole adventure, and the included recipes seemed delicious, though we haven’t yet gotten to try them.
Just a small selection of the many puzzles within!
We really had trouble coming up with anything we didn’t like about this box! I will say that even though there are no mountains of text to read through like the Sleepy Hollow series, some spots are still quite long. We found a screen reader immensely helpful in these instances, especially as I was sick while we played through this one, and we usually like reading story entries aloud to each other. There was also an initial puzzle in which some of the color identification was somewhat difficult as the prop became a little worn in transit. Other than that, we really found little fault with this box.
Finally! A 1001 Arabian Nights focused experience I can love! It’s not a frequently used theme, so I’m very glad that The Conundrum Box pulled off such a great experience with part one of The Storyteller. I definitely have a new favorite Conundrum Box in this entry, and cannot wait to see what happens in part two! I heartily recommend this one, as players of all skill levels will enjoy the experience. Subscribe to The Conundrum Box here! You can get $5 off your first box with our Promo Code ERA5OFF!
Full Disclosure: The Conundrum Box provided a complementary review copy.