Now I’m in the closet, too
Location: at home
Date Played: December 2022
Designed By: Insync Games
Distributed in the US By: Isolvu
Team size: 1+; we recommend 1-2
Duration: 5-10 minutes per puzzle per day
Price: $26 plus shipping
Growing up, my family hung up an advent calendar every year. Each day, my siblings and I would move a little fabric mouse into the next pocket, counting down the days until Christmas. It’s a cherished childhood memory…but one that would be improved with the addition of chocolate and puzzles.
Thankfully, an increasing number of companies are providing just that nowadays, and I tested out one of Isolvu’s offerings (designed by Insync Games) this year. Escape the Christmas Closet was a large-format cardboard calendar, measuring about 12”x17”, a good size that made it easy for everyone participating to see and use the information on the box. If you’re solving with a partner, the puzzles themselves were less shareable, though. Each puzzle was on a tearable section of the game board, each one being smaller than the size of a wallet photo.
I very much enjoyed how accessible this game was for puzzlers of all ages and ability levels. There was a wide variety of puzzle types, so there was a better chance for everyone to have their hero moment while solving through this. And even the younger folks still working on their reading skills can help out; there were a few color puzzles and searching puzzles available to help inspire a love of puzzling in the next generation.
All in all, Escape the Christmas Closet was a cute way to spend a few minutes each day solving a puzzle. Being rewarded with a small piece of chocolate each day was a nice bonus! If you’ve got little solvers in your life, this would make a nice gift to start out the next Christmas season.
Who is this for?
- Chocolate lovers
- Christmas fans
- Families with puzzle-loving children
- To build up the excitement of the Christmas season
- To take on a bite-sized puzzle each day
You’ve accidentally been locked inside the closet where broken toys are kept. You need to clean up and look for the spare keys that will let you out.
In typical Advent calendar style, there were 25 doors perforated onto the cardboard, meant to be opened during the days leading up to Christmas. Each door had a puzzle printed on it which led us to the correct door to open the next day.
Isolvu’s Escape the Christmas Closet was a puzzle-a-day advent calendar with a generally easy and family-friend level of difficulty.
There was a good variety of puzzle types across the 25 days, including word puzzles, logic, ciphers, and searching. All puzzles referenced the art printed on the calendar in some way.
➕ The large-format game board was vibrant, full of useful information, and – unlike my own closet – not cluttered with useless things.
➖ The puzzle tearaways were on the small side and therefore not the easiest to work on as a team.
➕ The variety of puzzle types made this great for families. Not every puzzle involved reading, so small children can help out too!
➖ The tolerance on at least one of the puzzles was very tight. We did almost exactly what we were supposed to do, but it was a very unforgiving solve.
➖ To access the hint system, players needed to sign up on this website.
➕ No outside resources were needed to solve the puzzles. Any ciphers or other information were on the box itself.
Tips For Players
- Space Requirements: This calendar is large and you’ll need a space large enough to move the calendar around and take notes.
- Required Gear: Pencil and paper for working out some of the puzzles, a mouth for eating 25 pieces of chocolate, and scissors.
Buy your copy of Isolvu’s Escape the Christmas Closet, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Isolvu provided a sample for review.