clueQuest – Print + Cut + Escape: Prison of Memories Part I [Hivemind Review]

Prison of Memories Part I is a print-and-play escape game created by clueQuest in London, England.

An assortment of printed components, a scissor, and a laptop.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play escape game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, pen and paper, scissors, and tape would also be helpful

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: varies enormously from 90 minutes to over 3 hours

Price: £15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Like other Print + Cut + Escape games, this game includes a 24-page PDF full of puzzle pieces to print and cut out, an online app, and a unique access code for registering your team in the app. The app guides you through the story one “chapter” at a time and indicates which printed pieces to use with each puzzle. The app also validates your answers and provides a sufficient hint system.

Digital interface with a video labeled, "Prison of memories part 1"

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

Having enjoyed many aspects of the original Print + Cut + Escape trilogy, I tried this game eager for more quirky puzzles and bizarre storytelling. Alas, even though we got an intriguing story and three solid hours of gameplay in this installment, I just didn’t have much fun. As with all Print + Cut + Escape games, you follow the narrative through a combination of videos and surrealist drawings that are infused with clues, this time focusing on Mr. and Mrs. Q (the mice). As usual, the puzzles are quite impressive in their ingenuity, layers, and artwork, and I did enjoy figuring out what to do in each one. However, executing on those deductions generally felt like a painstaking chore to me. Any logical error, paper misalignment, or incomplete extraction meant double-checking and/ or redoing a significant amount of tedious work. I don’t personally have the patience to fiddle with manipulatives that much after the initial thrill of discovery, and unfortunately, it felt like I spent the bulk of the game fiddling. That said, some puzzles in the original trilogy left that same impression on me, so if it didn’t bother you then, you’ll probably have a better experience with this game than I did. There’s a lot to like about it; it just wasn’t for me.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

clueQuest has majorly stepped up their puzzle design game in Prison of Memories Part 1, with puzzles that are even more satisfying to solve, more diverse in mechanic, and more difficult (in a very good way!) than in any of their previous Print + Cut + Escape games. Presented through clueQuest’s eclectic, distinctive artistic style, this game immerses you in a fantastical reverie as it extends the alluring world and narrative threads established through all their other games.

Prison of Memories Part 1 is presented through 24 pages of printed material, including crystal clear setup and prep instructions, along with an online interface that smoothly ties everything together with well-produced video content, answer confirmation, a robust hint system, and synchronized state. It nudges rather than forces you to keep in time with your teammates. This game represents the rapidly expanding frontier of print-and-play games, and specifically the magic that is possible with creative and thoughtful narrative-oriented puzzle design, and I’m eager to play subsequent chapters.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

As with most of the Print + Cut + Escape games, you’re going to have quite a lot of pages to print. You solve the puzzles offline and put in your answers online.

At its best, the art style is unique and gorgeous, as always. The directions on what to cut out and the table of all contents were pretty helpful. I liked the initial idea of the story.

At its worst, right out of the gate I had a horrible start with finicky pieces and multiple ambiguous puzzle solutions. Some puzzles had me hunting for small details; some lacked instruction. In one instance I had to flip 64 switches and if one was wrong, I had to do them all over again. Additionally, the story didn’t really go anywhere, since it’s just the first part of an ongoing plot.

In total, this left me wondering how well it was playtested. I had much more fun with some of their previous games.

Disclosure: clueQuest provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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