Travel Quest – The Pyramid by Lee Ballan (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players:  We recommend 6, 2 for each team.

Price: €13 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Let’s split up, we’ll cover more ground that way!

Theme:

From the Travel Quest website:

 Welcome to The Pyramid – an online puzzle game for three teams! Each team can be one person, a couple, a family, or a group. You will be between three paths in the pyramid – the red track, the green track, and the blue track. In each puzzle, each team will only get a part of the information. In order to advance in the game, the teams need to communicate between them and cooperate, in a journey to the top of the pyramid. Since each team has their own information, you can play the game through Zoom/Skype/any other platform you’re comfortable with!

blue pyramid

First Impressions:

We were invited to scale the Pyramid with our new friends at EscapeTheRoomers and Society of Curiosities, (you should check out SoC’s fantastic first by mail puzzle game, which we’ve reviewed here,) and were excited to try out this Game Masterless, team based at home game!

pyramid status

High Points:

The Pyramid began with a quick story about how our teams had stumbled across an ancient pyramid. Finding three entrances, we split up to seek the treasure inside! From there it was up to us to work together to overcome the ten levels of the pyramid in order to reach the top and claim the treasure! We weren’t sure what to expect, but this game exceeded our hopes, delivering a truly enjoyable, team based experience. The game flow was beautiful, and while linear, ensured that each member of our expedition was involved somehow, with each team receiving a part of the whole puzzle. In the early stages, the difficulty was low, and we initially thought we may just blow through the game, but as we worked our way up the pyramid’s levels, the challenge continued to increase, leading to some fabulously clever conundrums to solve. These puzzles were wonderfully varied as well, even subverting our expectations and allowing some of our more artistically creative teammates to shine during one really great interaction. The puzzles near the end were my personal favorites, as they worked all six of our brains until we were able to reach some beautiful moments of revelation! One in particular demanded good teamwork, and presented a code type I’d never seen before, and it wasn’t the first time I was amazed by the developer’s creativity either.

Each path seems to be equally important, as since each is given a part of the singular puzzle for each level, there’s no “curse of the less interesting room” to be found within the game. Every puzzle in intuitive, and the logic is wonderfully clean between clues and solutions, even during the most challenging bits. It’s also wonderfully simple to verify a code is correct, as it’s always incredibly clear whether you’re on the right track or in the weeds. I appreciated how excellently the puzzles wove between the paths, and I think the game’s variety ensured each team played an integral part during the adventure. This was easily one of my favorite at home experiences during our quarantine, and we cannot wait to see what the developer comes up with next!

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Low Points:

The difficulty curve is very smooth, but some of the puzzles may be very difficult for newer players due to the puzzle hunt-y nature of the beast. The ultimate puzzle especially is one I could see giving new players problems, as we were on the cusp of taking a hint before having a breakthrough. This puzzle in particular may feel overly vague and leave players frustrated if they don’t have prior experience with this sort of game. Luckily, there is an ability to take hints during the game, so as long as folks aren’t overly reticent to take a few to kickstart things, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. It would be nice to have a subtle hint nearer to the start regarding certain mechanics that come into play later, but I’m not sure how this could be implemented without giving a fair amount of the challenge away. It’s a balancing act, to be sure.

Verdict:

The Pyramid is a brilliant new team based game that we had an absolute blast with! Very rarely have we come across a game that demands quite the level of teamwork that this one does, and the experience is a joy to work through. I recommend this one without reservation, and think puzzling veterans will love the challenge it contains! New players will enjoy this as well, though it may prove a bigger challenge than some other available experiences. Book your quest to the top of The Pyramid here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Lee Ballan provided our team with a complementary game.

 

 

 

One thought on “Travel Quest – The Pyramid by Lee Ballan (Review)

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