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.
The initial box we received in the The Storyteller series, Aladdin’s Lamp, was easily the best game The Conundrum Box has put out. Filled with excellent puzzles, and amazing game flow, and, true to its namesake, a well woven story, it easily became one of my favorite at home experiences recently. With the sequel soon to be at our doorstep, I was ecstatic to see what would come next!
Part two of The Storyteller Series absolutely nails it with the amount of creatively implemented puzzles, including a incredibly smooth difficulty curve, and a run of highly intuitive enigmas. Signposting between related items is very good, and the clues are subtle, but elegantly implemented in order to preserve a great challenge. We started to see some excellent multilayered puzzles in these recent boxes, and the breaking down of each layer until we came to the final answers was fantastic and full of exciting moments of revelation. One particular puzzle that comes to mind involved a beautifully tactile interaction that built to a great run of really beautiful puzzles, all hidden well in plain sight. We came back to this particular set piece, (a term I never thought I’d use to describe a puzzle in an at home experience, but there you are,) a few times, and each subsequent task was excellently designed. One other large scale prop was densely packed with codes and conundrums, and one early game interaction was excellently creative and fun to solve. Honestly, it became increasingly difficult to determine our favorite puzzle as we worked our way through this box, there are just so many great ones! All of these puzzle threads wrap up nicely within the story, and the climax was perfect, including some easter eggs and tying up some story threads for long time players!
The game flow is incredibly tight, owing mostly to the well crafted linearity, presenting us with only one or two puzzles at a time to preserve the flow and the story progression. Though the box is linear for the most part, most puzzles are workable with a couple or small group, so no one is going to feel left out during the solving. I feel like this tighter focus has really helped the experiences grow, and ensures that the quality of the storytelling and overall adventure comes across so much better. Though we enjoyed the previous series, Sleepy Hollow, for the most part, it could sometimes feel rather scattered due to the more non-linear nature and amount of items available at any one time. The Conundrum Box’s other updates, such as pointing out needed items from previous boxes and updating the interface for mobile and tablets are also highly appreciated!
Typos have been cleared up a lot from previous boxes, but there are still a few noticeable errors here and there; they are getting much less prevalent, however. One particular puzzle had an error that did not derail the game as we were able to determine what the solution should have been using the rest of the puzzle, so this ended up being fairly minor. One particular interaction used somewhat more vague language, making it difficult to know what option for decoding to choose, but as there were only a couple options, it was fairly easy to see when we were on the wrong track and correct course. A slight change to the verbiage here would make things much clearer, however. Finally, there was another somewhat vague item in a late game puzzle, but again, it could only be one of two things, so it’s a very minor issue.
The Storyteller is, so far, my favorite series put out by The Conundrum Box. I absolutely recommend picking these two boxes as soon as you can! They weave a wonderful tale, and integrate some seriously clever puzzling into the narrative, ensuring that this is an awesome escape adventure! I loved these, and can’t wait for the next run of games, starting with The Emerald Isle. 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.