4 Puzzles & A Meta
Location: at home
Date Played: December 20, 2020
Team size: 1-4; we recommend 1-2
Duration: 45 minutes
The Quick-Fire Escape Room series from Professor Puzzle is new and a little different.
First of all, it was a much stronger product than Professor Puzzle’s first foray into tabletop escape games, Escape From the Grand Hotel.
These games are a lower commitment than just about any other tabletop escape room we have encountered. They’re listed as 45-minute games. As a duo we casually played through them in about 25 minutes each. The puzzles were generally solid, with some presented better than others. The hint system was lacking.
These games can be played competitively as a race, but we just ignored that structure because we like to solve puzzles together.
Of the available Professor Puzzle Quick-Fire Escape Rooms, without hesitation, we rank them in the following order from strongest to weakest:
If you’re a value shopper, these games are quick, cheap, and sort of repackagable. (Each game has one puzzle that uses up some material unless you go out of your way to avoid this.) Professor Puzzle Quick-Fire Escape Rooms won’t blow your mind. This is a quick, low-commitment, competent product line. They are the fast food of tabletop escape games. Honestly, it really felt good to sit down, play something, and have it end before it overstayed its welcome.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Any experience level
- Can be played collaboratively or competitively
- Solid production value for a completely paper- and cardstock-based series
- Quick, low-commitment puzzling
Setup & Gameplay
Professor Puzzle’s Quick-Fire Escape Room series can be played as either a competitive or collaborative game. Either way, the setup is the same.
Each game contains the same core components:
- An instruction booklet with a short story passage – Every game begins by reading a brief story intro in the booklet.
- 4 puzzles – Each game contains 4 envelopes with one puzzle each. They can be solved in any order. Their solutions will result in a clue to narrow down your options on the map for which exit door to choose.
- Map – The map contains 12 numbered locations on it, one for each exit door. These maps also have extra content that adds flavor to the experience.
- Exit door booklet – It has an assortment of 12 cardboard doors; only one is the true exit.
➕ The rules were straightforward and quick to learn.
➕ Each puzzle stood cleanly on its own. Each game’s expectations were always clear.
➕ The paper- and cardstock-based components were good quality, and had generally solid graphic design.
➖ The hint system was limited and awkward. Each puzzle came with a single hint. Solutions were available on a website with the submission of your email address… but those solutions didn’t offer explanations.
➕/➖ We weren’t especially into the competitive play element, but it was a cool option and easy to ignore. That said, we’d choose one of many other competitive tabletop games if we’re looking to go head-to-head.
➖ If you’re playing competitively, there’s no reason to avoid the hints. I’d recommend adding some sort of house rule around these hints, should you choose to play competitively.
➖/➕ Each game is repackable, but has one puzzle that can be used up after approximately 4 uses. While it would be possible to replicate these or avoid destroying them, it would require extra effort. Still, there is enough material for more than one time through each of these.
➕ The dozen exit doors as a meta was an amusing, straightforward way to conclude these games.
Tips For Players
- Space Requirements: a small table
- Required Gear: The series is mostly self-contained. A pencil and paper are all you’ll need.
Buy Them Now
Disclosure: Professor Puzzle provided samples for review.
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