Trapped Puzzle Rooms – The Spielburger Box Set [Hivemind Review]

The Spielburger Box Set is a tabletop escape game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in Saint Paul, MN.

An assortment of parody DVD boxes beside a bowl of popcorn including, "The Boonies" "Indiana Bones," and "Mandibles."

Format

Style of Play:

  • tabletop escape game
  • play on demand
  • includes video elements
  • light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection (or mobile device), pen and paper, scissors, tape

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 3-6 hours

Price: $45.95

Booking: purchase, wait for the game to ship to you, and play at your leisure

Description

This game is a set of puzzles based on punny knock-offs of Steven Spielberg movies. Each of the 5 chapters (movies) has two paper puzzles whose answers you validate via a website. You will go back and forth between the puzzles in the box and the website. You can play the 5 game chapters in any order. There is a short series of meta-puzzles at the end.

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.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

After playing Taco Twosday, I was really looking forward to The Spielburger Box Set, a game for cinephiles with an affinity for a certain director. From the start, you can tell there was a lot of attention to detail, from the creative packaging to actual movie clips to the variety of fun puzzles, with many groan-worthy puns throughout. Each of five sections revolves around a specific Spielburger movie, and this structure makes it easy to take a break and pick up the game later on. The materials were good quality, and I liked a few of them so much I kept them as souvenirs. The puzzles are amusing and well crafted, and solving them brought on more than a few smiles and high-fives. You are encouraged to use the internet throughout the game, but people familiar with these movies, such as my kid who has an encyclopedic knowledge of film, may have a leg up on several of the puzzles. The Oscar for the Best Food-Related Movie-Themed game goes to… Spielburger!

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

If you’re hungry for a juicy, meaty puzzle box full of cheesy goodness on a toasted pun, you’ll definitely want to order The Spielburger Box Set. I found this game to be immensely satisfying with high production value, clever puzzles, and brilliantly dedicated to the theme. It’s a non-linear game, so you can nibble your way through the box. This is one of my favorite at-home experiences so far.

Immersion: From the minute I opened up the box, I was blown away with the production value of this game. They had clever props and I loved the attention to detail. I loved how every puzzle was perfectly themed to suit its storyline. The videos accompanying the game were expertly produced as well.

Puzzles: The puzzles were really fun and certainly ones that I hadn’t seen before. They tended to be more wordplay-style puzzles, which I love. I think there were varying levels of difficulty from easy to “I give up.”

Hint System: I think, occasionally, they do expect you to take quite a leap of logic to figure out the “trick” of the puzzle, and could use a little more signposting or clues. However, their hint system is quite well done, and they were good about very gradually leading you to the answer without hitting you over the head.

Interface: The pieces themselves were great – I appreciated that everything was already cut out for us, and some things were even scored already to help with folding. The website worked smoothly, and everything was very easy to navigate and find.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

The Spielburger Box Set is a delicious addition to the Trapped Takeout series. Trapped truly has a winning recipe with these tactile puzzle hunts; their punny food theming and creative physical presentation have been consistently enjoyable. Especially if you’re a movie buff, Spielburger is the game for you.

Spielburger falls between Taco Twosday and Retro Rad Pizza Adventure in length. Split up into 5 non-linear modules and a meta sequence, this game is perfect for 1-3 solvers in the same physical location, spread across a few evenings. The puzzle design was solid throughout, with a focus on word and film trivia puzzles. If your film knowledge is subpar, as is the case for me, worry not—everything was easily Googleable. Many puzzles included laser cut paper components for more tangible adaptations of common puzzle hunt formats, though the diversity of physical/ 3D interactions was less than that in Retro Rad Pizza Adventure.

The actual content of The Spielburger Box Set was fantastic, but I thought the game left some room for improvement in its framing. For many puzzles, more granular hints would make the puzzles more accessible to a general audience. The game also could benefit from more overarching editorial effort. Certain extraction mechanics were used a bit too repeatedly, and some game elements were beautifully designed while others felt a bit blander. Nonetheless, this is an awesome game which I’d highly recommend, especially for players with some puzzle hunt experience.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

The Spielburger Box Set was everything I could have asked for as the next iteration of the Trapped Takeout series. Scattered with countless punny movie references, this game is exponentially better if you’ve seen any of the movies. The puzzles were on-theme and tangible, all with very unique and satisfying solve sequences. Compared to Taco Twosday, the gameplay unfortunately didn’t feel as tight and well tested, yet was still an absolutely enjoyable experience (even if we did use a few more hints than we’d like to admit). This game really made us giggle with the little references to the movies we knew, and piqued our interest in the movies we hadn’t seen. Go pop some popcorn, throw on a soundtrack matching the puzzles you’re solving, and check out The Spielburger Box Set!

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

As a casual Spielberg fan with a middling tolerance for puns, I took a risk with this game based solely on my overwhelming enthusiasm for Trapped’s previous Take-out game: Taco Twosday. However, the game did not disappoint; even the act of unboxing it brought pure joy. The nostalgia, the physicality, and the attention to detail are evident from that first reveal and set the tone for the entire game. I can hardly imagine the unbridled glee that an actual Spielberg fanatic would feel playing this game.

The game’s myriad references to Spielberg movies at times requires more trivia knowledge than I like in a game, so having a Spielberg fan on your team will certainly help you in the last mile of each puzzle. However, it’s always pretty clear when movie trivia is relevant, and the hint system adeptly connects you to the right Google-able hooks to speed you on your way. All those references come proudly in pun form, but these puns leverage dry, self-aware humor that I found rather delightful instead of annoying. As such, I think this game is eminently approachable for non-fanatics.

The puzzles themselves are thematic and endearingly tangible. Even when some puzzles wouldn’t inherently warrant physical manipulation, the extra effort to present them as spaceships or DNA splices or any other on-theme object is a lovingly crafted (and much appreciated!) contribution to the game’s ambiance. None of the puzzles individually have the same “wow” factor for me as my favorites from Taco Twosday, but they are consistently charming, strongly self-reinforcing, and mentally rewarding throughout.

Spielberg fans should buy this game right now. Everyone else probably should, too.

Disclosure: Trapped Puzzle Rooms provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

4 thoughts on “Trapped Puzzle Rooms – The Spielburger Box Set [Hivemind Review]

  1. Going on vacation where the internet is mediocre- is there a large amount of online content or is it just for answer verification?

    1. The game’s website is mostly answer verification/gating, though there are also some amusing animations and a brief video at the start of each section that’s occasionally useful for solving the puzzles. However, the game requires a fairly significant amount of outside knowledge so unless you are a film trivia master, you may be googling quite a bit for some puzzles.

      1. I played Retro Rad Pizza Adventure a while back, but I remember those puzzles requiring many fewer outside references than Spielburger. If you were to play that while offline, I’d recommend going back through the online video content (and any puzzles that do benefit from internet) once you have internet again. Retro Rad took us 5+ hours, so there’s definitely enough fun to keep you busy for a chunk of your vacation!

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