Escape Room Advent Calendar – GamesHub

Five Below occasionally gets discounted escape room games. I’ve previously found scenarios for the Spinmasters games there, and more recently I found an Escape Room Advent Calendar (by Games Hub). For $5, how can you go wrong? Unfortunately, even at the price I can’t recommend this one, especially with how many other options there are.

The concept of the calendar is solid. Each day you open a panel on the calendar. The panels aren’t opened in order; instead, you get a riddle within each panel that leads you to the next panel. Each panel usually has a simple exercise like connect-the-dots or a basic cipher, some jigsaw puzzle pieces, and the next clue.

The calendar advertises the game for ages 12+, and I can’t imagine why. The puzzles aren’t challenging enough to engage even the most casual of puzzle solvers. Most of the riddles barely qualify as riddles – one even just says “maybe you should try turning on a light” to clue a lantern for the next panel. I suspect the only reason for that 12+ label is because some of the small pieces might pose choking hazards for young children. If not for that label, I’d suggest the only real use case for this product is for a parent to do with a five or six year old.

The jigsaw puzzle pieces you collect look nice, but they have some quality issues, including several where the front and back of the pieces are completely separated. I noticed some other quality issues- for example, one of the included exercises is a maze with instructions to collect letters along the maze’s path, without there actually being any letters in the maze.

With the lack of quality control and the miss for the targeted audience, I can’t recommend this product. Even for solving puzzles with a young child, there are other better options (e.g. Ravensburger escape room puzzles for kids).

On a side note, this year I received an Exit brand escape room advent calendar which I’ll be cracking into soon. I typically like Exit’s games, with the exception of how much I hate destroying game components while solving them, and I’m eager to see what kind of experience Exit put together!

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