Escape Room In A Box – Time Drifters: Isabel’s Story [Reaction]

Location: at home

Date Played: January 17, 2022

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2

Duration: about 60 minutes

Price: about $14.99

REA Reaction

Time Drifters: Isabel’s Story was able to deliver a surprising level of complexity and variable gameplay, considering how few objects were seemingly contained in the box. Every item, both in and on the box, was cleverly used in multiple, varied ways, keeping us on our toes. The items were tangible and fun to play with, and worked well as puzzle-solving tools and mechanisms. 

Box art for Time Drifters, Isabel' Story, depicts a woman working on a the exterior of a steam punk-ish time machine.

Many tabletop games lean towards word puzzles presented on paper, yet Time Drifters: Isabel’s Story went hard in the logic puzzle category. This was a welcome change for our team of logic-obsessed puzzlers, but may not be for everyone. While not too challenging for experienced players, this would be a great way to engage puzzle-curious friends and family members. The game contained a subtle yet effective way to lead players from puzzle to puzzle without being overbearing. 

While the puzzles included were fun, and the flow of the game worked, the experience felt short. We were left longing for another handful of puzzles after the first portion of the game. 

Assorted paper and plastic components. There's an interesting looking box with 4 switches on it.

Time Drifters: Isabel’s Story felt incomplete without Time Drifters: Kira’s Story, as the gameplay came to an abrupt halt after solving the final “solo” puzzle. At this juncture, we were presented with multiple additional puzzles with only half of the information. 

I absolutely love that this game came out during these crazy unprecedented times, with the option to go on Amazon or stop by your local Target to pick up half, while someone 3 time zones away could pick up the other half. Although the box notes you can have a friend purchase the other half, this should be more strongly portrayed as only a partial game without both copies. The game can also be easily reset and passed onto another group, with the option to print paper components you may have written on. 

Time Drifters as a whole is a great option for distance puzzling with friends and loved ones you can’t typically puzzle with in person. 

Tips For Players

  • Space Requirements: a small table
  • Required Gear: pen and paper

Buy your copy of Escape Room In A Box’s Time Drifters: Isabel’s Story, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Mattel provided a sample for review.

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