Panic Rooms Online – Puzzle Books
The Panic Rooms was kind enough to send a “care package” of 4 of their puzzles rooms books, this was incedibly kind and my utmost thanks goes out to Alex and the team, we’ve had fun solving the mysteries within the books over the last few weeks!
There are 12 titles available, costing £12.50 each, (I found each book took me about an hour playing solo) and they all look vastly different, so there is bound to be something to fit everyones tastes. We were sent “The Book of Grimm” “The Panic Room” “The Exorcism of Annabelle” (my personal top pick) and “Frankenstien’s Book”
The books themselves are produced beautifully, on heavy paper, and printed in full, glossy colour, spiral bound to make flicking through them quick and easy! The illusrations inside are beautiful, and charming and all of the books wove a lovely thematic story through the game. Whilst (understandably) not 100% immersive, these serve a very good puzzle solving itch!
Be sure to have some scisscors handy when playing as there is a fair amount of cutting involved (especially in Grimm, and Frankenstien!) A sad thing that the books must be destroyed, but if you have a scanner you could always scan the pages that need cutting!
Gameplay throughout was fairly open and there was a lot of to-and-fro between pages of the books, in some respect it could have been easier to remove the pages from the spiral bound and lay them all out (in fact, I could imagine that’s the only way to play in larger groups!)
This to-and-fro aspect however, encouraged a sense of discovery, leading to the the game seeming much “larger” than it was.
All the books played fairly similarly and If I reviewed each seperate I would end up repeating myself so I will lump them under 1 big review “umbrella” for sakes of brevity.
The puzzles within the books were very varied, with word, logic, observation, spacial awarness, and codebreaking all making an apperance, all puzzles were beautifully on theme and aided in furthering the story of the book.
Puzzles with the games were logical and fair, for the most part. There were a couple of moments where I got completly stuck and did have to resort to using clues (mainly on spacial awareness puzzles if I’m honest) but once helped the hint aided me in getting over those very small logic leaps (that I’m certain wouldn’t pose a problem in larger teams)
Signposting throughout was good, but with some puzzles a little lacking, there are moments that could have been a bit clearer but this didn’t really impact on gameplay and was resolved with a hint or 2.
Flow was good, a little slower due to the nature of the openness and to-an-fro aspect of navigating the book.
Hints were well thoughout and accessed through a website, where you will also find the input for the answers and some theme/story setting music and videos, making the puzzles books a true multi-medi experience.
All in all the puzzle books are a good present for someone who really loves their escape rooms, and great for family activity during those long lockdown evenings. At a very fair price for the quality of print and abundence of puzzles within the books, there is plenty to keep a team busy.
Puzzle books are available from https://thepanicroomonline.net/ for £12.50 and delivery to UK and US is available.