Puzzle Hunt Jigsaw
Location: at home
Date Played: July 9, 2021
Team size: we recommend 1-4
Price: about $44 (jigsaw puzzle prices are running high during the pandemic)
The Laboratory may be the most interesting Ravensburger Escape Puzzle we’ve played to date.
The picture was fairly unremarkable, but reasonably fun to assemble. We greatly appreciated the improvements that Ravensburger has made to the edge design in the new batch of Escape Puzzles.
The interesting part of The Laboratory was the puzzles hidden within the image, which ranged from common to challenges that only a puzzle hunter would find reasonably solvable without lots of hints.
This product is easier than others in the line in terms of jigsaw puzzle assembly, and far more challenging in terms of puzzling. This isn’t necessarily a bad decision. I think it might increase the appeal for some in the puzzling community, but it will be jarring to anyone who isn’t experienced.
I enjoyed this one, but I cautiously recommend it… as some of those puzzles are doozies.
This review only covers details specific to this individual Ravensburger Escape Puzzle.
For a detailed explanation of the concept and mechanics, and a general analysis of the entire product line, check out our Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Overview.
Of note, The Laboratory had only 368 pieces. The previous escape puzzles we’ve reviewed had 759 pieces.
Deep into a late night at the lab, the rest of the team had gone home and we were desperately trying to create a cure. In our sleepy stupor, we accidentally infected ourselves with the disease… and the urgency of our work suddenly became dire.
The analysis in this section is about the content of The Laboratory Escape Puzzle.
➕ At 368 pieces, The Laboratory was approachable as a jigsaw puzzle. It was significantly easier than the 759-piece puzzles previously produced in this series. Even the non-puzzler in our group made meaningful contributions to the jigsaw.
➕ This was a fun jigsaw puzzle with distinct colors and textures. The picture was bright and clear.
➕ The majority of the escape puzzles worked well. These ranged from entry level to a more complex, layered puzzle. They relied on different skills – from spatial to logical – and included a few fun ahas.
➖ 2 puzzles were far more challenging than the others, but not in a satisfying way, due to missteps in cluing. In one case, the cluing didn’t focus on the right elements. In another, a puzzle hunt-style puzzle, the cluing was misleading. These two lengthy solves sapped the energy from our group.
➕ The jigsaw puzzle came together cleanly as an image, edges included. This series has stumbled before with the edges due to the escape room puzzle mechanics embedded in these jigsaw puzzles, but this was not an issue with The Laboratory.
➕ /➖ The meta “escape” puzzle image came together well and looked good. That said, we never fully understood why we placed this element just so in the end.
Buy your copy of Ravensburger’s The Laboratory Escape Puzzle, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Ravensburger provided a sample for review.
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