Ravensburger – Escape Puzzle [Overview]

Ravensburger – Escape Puzzle is included in our recommendation guide for Tabletop Escape Games – Jigsaw Puzzles. For more of the best escape room style jigsaw puzzles, check out the recommendation guide.

Jigsaw puzzle mixed with a tabletop escape game.

Location:  at home

Team size: We recommend 1-4

Duration: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Price: $25

Publisher: Ravensburger

REA Reaction

We really liked this series of puzzle hybrids: famed jigsaw puzzle producer Ravensburger applied an escape room-esque twist to their core product.

The cover of Ravensburger Escape Puzzle, Witch's Kitchen.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we solved 3 of them while our friend, the wonderfully talented puzzler Tammy McLeod, spent a weekend visiting us.

In the first wave, Ravensburger has released 4 separate Escape Puzzles, each containing 759 puzzle pieces and incorporating 6 or 8 puzzles within the assembled image.

We love jigsaw puzzles. The Escape Puzzle twist was delightful because it added more purpose behind the assembling of a jigsaw puzzle.

An opened jigsaw puzzle box filled with pieces.

Not all of these puzzles were created equal. Some had more interesting art; others had better puzzles. We will discuss each in an individual review.

If this concept sounds like fun, begin with Witch’s Kitchen or Space Observatory for reasons that will become more clear in subsequent reviews.

Series Installments

The Original Collection:

Presented in order from our favorite to least favorite:

The Second Collection:

Portion of an assembled jigsaw puzzle featuring a kettle over a fire surrounded by magical ingredients and books.
Witch’s Kitchen

Who is this for?

  • Jigsaw puzzlers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • They are good jigsaw puzzles
  • The added twist of an additional system of puzzles
  • The meta-puzzles

Setup & Gameplay

We’re going to publish short reviews of each puzzle in the series. For the sake of simplicity and repetition reduction, we’re covering the basics in this overview.

Portion of an assembled jigsaw puzzle featuring a beautiful telescope in a warm book-filled study.
Space Observatory

While the individual Ravensburger Escape Puzzles each offered a unique picture and puzzle set, they all followed the same structure:

1. Jigsaw Assembly

We began by assembling the 759-piece jigsaw puzzle. This progressed normally with only two deviations from traditional jigsaw puzzles:

First, we had to remove the extraneous rectangular pieces. These appeared to be a byproduct of Ravensburger’s production process. They were a minor annoyance.

A pile of junk rectangular pieces.
Not part of the puzzle… but included anyway.

Second, the edge of the Escape Puzzles was a bit strange. There were only 3 piece shapes and any of the pieces could interconnect with any other. Edge assembly relied completely upon the pieces’ colors, patterns, and textures.

Mismatched, but connected edge pieces.
All edges connect.

Additionally, many of the edge pieces had 2, 3, or 4 digit numbers printed on them. These became relevant later.

Edge pieces with numbers printed on them.

2. Puzzles Within the Puzzle

After assembling the jigsaw puzzle, we identified and solved the 6 or 8 puzzles within it. Some puzzles were obvious; some were more concealed. They were all embedded within the jigsaw puzzle image.

Each puzzle resolved to a number. Once we derived a correct answer, we’d find the piece with the corresponding number printed on it around the edge of the jigsaw puzzle. Then we removed that piece.

If we got stuck, we could reference a hint website for help. The hints were tiered, but usually only had two tiers.

3. The Meta-Puzzle

Each escape puzzle concluded with a meta-puzzle, or a puzzle made from the solutions of other puzzles.

We had to take our collection of numbered edge pieces from the previous step and determine what to do with them. I won’t say anything else about this, but it was our favorite part of these puzzles.

Portion of an assembled jigsaw puzzle featuring a shark, and fish swimming around a wreck.


➕ The “escape room” puzzles at the end were a delightful addition to the traditional jigsaw puzzle. It was exciting to finish the jigsaw and then receive an entirely new challenge to cap things off. This game component was a welcome dynamic.

➕ Ravensburger makes high quality jigsaw puzzles that are printed well and fit snugly. They also have a beautiful blue backing that doesn’t add much from a functional standpoint, but looks more elegant than the traditional grey or brown backings that are common on most cardboard jigsaw puzzles.

➕ 759 pieces was a good piece count. It was serious enough to present a challenge without being so large that we were reluctant to dive in.

➕ Ravensburger cleverly included differences between the box art and the puzzle art. These changes were part of the environment itself and felt logically grounded. They also ensured that we couldn’t solve the puzzles without first solving the jigsaw puzzle.

Portion of an assembled jigsaw puzzle featuring suits of armor, and a burning candle.
Vampire’s Castle

➕ Ravensburger puzzles don’t have a crazy amount of puzzle dust. There’s still dust, but we’ve seen so much worse.

➖ Each Escape Puzzle’s box contained numerous square frame pieces that had nothing to do with the puzzle itself. They were garbage. These appeared to be an artifact of the production process. While it was not a big problem, it was a bit annoying to have to sift these junk pieces out of the box.

➕ Each Escape Puzzle had its own quirky story to set up the “escape.” The story was relevant to the final meta puzzle.

➕/➖ The “escape” puzzles were static print puzzles, akin to the kind of thing that one might find shared on social media or within a puzzle book. For the most part, these were executed well (detailed, non-spoiler analysis to follow in the individual puzzle reviews). While there is a limit to how much a designer can achieve with this format, Ravensburger did more with this structure than we were expecting.

❓ Some of these puzzles got a bit math-y. It never involved anything beyond basic computation, but I know that there are some escape room players who are allergic to mathematics in any form.

➕/➖ The web-based hint system was adequate. It did a great job of highlighting the individual puzzles… and an ok job of providing granular, incremental hints. This system could benefit from the inclusion of more dropdown menus to allow the player to better control the flow of hints.

❓ The edge pieces were unusual in that they all fit into one another. This made the edge considerably more difficult to assemble. It was completely doable, but required a lot more attention to detail and effort. For some, it may be easier to start from the middle.

➖The puzzles within the image all solved to a number that we’d find printed on an edge piece. This meant we could get most of the way to an answer and hack our way to the proper solution based on the available numbers.

❓We spent considerably more time solving the jigsaw puzzles than solving the “escape room” puzzles.

➕ Some of the numbered edge pieces ultimately culminated in a final meta-puzzle… and this mechanic was really cool. Ravensburger used it in clever ways in all instances. It was a delightful way to conclude the experience.

Tips For Players

  • Space Requirements: You’ll need a flat surface. The puzzles all measure 27 x 20 inches (70 x 50 cm). The puzzles are 33 pieces by 23 pieces.
  • Required Gear: None. We like to assemble our puzzles on a large piece of foam core in case we have to move them.

Buy Them Now:

Disclosure: Ravensburger provided a sample for review.

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  1. I ran into some problems with the edge pieces. Often they looked similar in color and fit perfectly but turned out to be a wrong connection later on. It’s almost like little annoying red herrings.

  2. I don’t really get how I am supposed to puzzle it all together. I always start with the outside part and then begin to do it inside, but this didn’t turn out right. How is the simple step-by-step instruction?

    1. These puzzles are different from ordinary jigsaw puzzles. It’s best to change you approach and leave the outside for later. It seems counter-intuitive, I know, but it works! Many of the outside pieces are cut identically, so that they can all interconnect with one another. The border has to be solved entirely visually. As you work on these puzzles, focus on texture and color.

  3. I received Escape Puzzle 759 Space Observatory 82 473 1 and have misplaced the booklet containing the story & instructions, and the envelope containing the answer to my escape. Where can I get/print a copy?
    Thank you for any assistance.

  4. I’m new to this. I guess I am missing the concept. When you create the solution puzzle then what? Is there an answer to the question, “How will you escape this room?”

    1. Solving each of the individual puzzles within the picture results in numbers. You can use the number pieces you get from those solves to combine them into an overall solution.

      1. Yes, but does the overall solution answer the question, “How will you escape this room?” Or is the solution just the mini puzzle within the puzzle?

      2. [spoiler title='Solution Approach Spoiler']Once you have the right pieces and assemble them correctly, you can layer them over the existing puzzle to effectively change the image and what is happening within the picture. Exactly how you do this changes based on the individual puzzle. [/spoiler]

  5. I enjoyed putting together the Witch’s Kitchen (took me 3 days), but I don’t understand the numbers – looked at the solutions but it still doesn’t give me any idea as to what antidote for the mushroom poisoning is. I’m presuming it is the flower. growing in the middle of the floor boards (similar to the one drawn in the opened book). But what has that got to do with all the numbers. I was never clever with numbers so this makes no sense to me at all. But I did enjoy the puzzle and I want to keep it, so will hang it on the wall. This is a very good quality puzzle!

    1. Once you assemble your solution pieces, see if you can find a place to later it over the larger puzzle. I think that you more or less have it figured out.

  6. I love puzzles but the outside totally frustrated me. I have tried and tried and finally quit. Is there a place where I can see the actual finished puzzle put together?

    1. I believe that the hint site has an image of the finished puzzle.

      My tip to you is to solve from the inside out. Starting with the edge on these puzzles is a struggle.

  7. I have worked on the Vampire’s Castle for two days. Unfortunately, I could not finish it, as my copy is missing a piece. In other words, I have completely wasted my time. This is a second-rate product. Just avoid it.

    1. While I am not a fan of this particular puzzle, a missing piece is possible in any jigsaw puzzle. I recommend contacting Ravensburger about that.

      Any mass produced item will have a certain amount of production error.

  8. The small rectangle pieces are not manufacture extras. They are part of the puzzle

    1. They are decidedly not part of the puzzle. I have this officially from Ravensburger.

  9. We completed the Vampire Castle and the Wolf puzzle and both were missing pieces! 2 for the wolf puzzle and 3 on the vampire castle! So frustrating! We still got the solutions but I do like seeing it complete. I don’t feel these escape room puzzles have the usual Ravensburger quality. I did have fun but probably won’t invest in more of them.

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