The Conundrum Box – Sleight of Hand [Review]

Is this your card?

Location:  at home

Date Played: September 8, 2020

Team size: 1-¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 90+ minutes

Price: individually $44.99 for this box (currently sold out); a monthly subscription is $29.99

REA Reaction

On account of RECON, it had been a long while since we sat down and played a proper boxed escape game. The Conundrum Box’s Sleight of Hand was a lovely way to get back onto the old puzzling bicycle.

Closeup ov Professor Conundrum's poster and wand.

This was the second game that we’ve played from The Conundrum Box. (Earlier we reviewed their Christmas Seasonal Escape Room Box, and we have quite a few more Conundrum Boxes on the shelf.) We were quite content playing this game. It was puzzle-centric with a lot of narrative prose. As a monthly subscription service, it met or beat all of our expectations in terms of puzzle quality, materials, and design.

There wasn’t anything that blew our minds, but that’s not what we expect from subscription games. That kind of gameplay comes from one-offs that usually take over a year to develop. A company like The Conundrum Box will crank out a dozen games in that time, and we respect their approach just as much. If you’re looking for a regular puzzle fix delivered right to your door, check them out.

This particular game is no longer available from The Conundrum Box, but we chose to review it to begin exploring this series.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Solid puzzle play and hint system for a subscription service
  • There was a lot of content crammed into the game
  • Clean execution: the materials weren’t fancy, but they didn’t feel especially homemade

Story

Sleight of Hand explored the tragic death of famed magician Professor Conundrum in 1922. He’d left a series of encoded instructions to unravel and follow in the event of his death. Our goal: communicate with the spirit of the passed magician. We’d been hired by his widow to do just that.

Box art for Sleight of Hand, depicting an empty magician's cape with a floating hat, wand, and cards as if an invisible spirit were holding them.

Setup

Sleight of Hand followed a straightforward story filled with puzzles. As we solved and input solutions into a website, we gained access to new sealed envelopes introducing additional challenges and advancing the story.

The materials were all printed paper or built into The Conundrum Box website, with the exception of a curious deck of playing cards.

4 sealed envelopes a Poster for Professor Conundrum's show, a magic want, and a deck of cards.

Gameplay

The Conundrum Box’s Sleight of Hand was a standard play-at-home escape game with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around deciphering, puzzling, and reading the story.

Analysis

➕ The puzzles were solid and approachable. There were a few that fell flat, but were still perfectly solvable. Overall the level of quality exceeded our expectations for a subscription series.

❓ Most of the materials were printed paper.

➕ The cards were a smart prop for this game. They weren’t gorgeous, but they were a good centerpiece for the experience.

❓/ 󠀭󠀭➖ There was a lot of reading; the story was fine yet unremarkable. The way the story incorporated Houdini’s history with spiritualism felt off the mark.

➕ The game didn’t feel like a rushed or shoddy product, which is a common risk of subscription-based puzzle games.

Tips For Players

  • Space Requirements: a small table
  • Required Gear: pencil and an internet connected device

Buy your copy of The Conundrum Box’s Sleight of Hand, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Conundrum Box provided a sample for review.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.