The Cursed Greenhouse Escape Puzzle is jigsaw puzzle combined with a tabletop escape game created by Ravensburger.
Style of Play:
- Jigsaw puzzle + tabletop escape game
Who is it For?
- Jigsaw puzzlers
Required Equipment: pen and paper, the Internet for hints
Recommended Team Size: 1-4
Play Time: We spent 1.5 hours on the escape puzzles AFTER this jigsaw was completed… and we gave up on the worst parts.
Booking: purchase and play at your leisure
This overview of the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle series will tell you everything you need to know about this product works.
For this hivemind review, competitive jigsaw puzzler and Guinness World Record holder Tammy McLeod, solved the jigsaw puzzle and the hivemind joined in to solve the escape puzzles.
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
The Ravensburger escape room jigsaw puzzles are great as jigsaw puzzles, with a few caveats. The puzzle image is slightly different from the box image, which may throw off puzzlers who normally depend on a reference image. Also, many people start assembling a jigsaw with the edge, which is not recommended for this series of puzzles (more later on that). Overall, the material meets the same sturdy, well-cut standard that you will see in other Ravensburger jigsaws. The piece size of this 368 piece puzzle was equivalent to their other large-format adult puzzles. The printing was bright and clear, and solving it was a joy. I managed to put it together by myself in well under an hour.
The overall escape mystery is solved in a few stages. First the jigsaw has to be put together. Then one has to scour the image for puzzle clues. There are usually a handful of disjoint puzzle groups. Each puzzle group has a 3-digit number as the solution, and you have to search the jigsaw’s edge pieces for the one with that number on it. Collecting all the edge pieces, it will become clear that all the edge pieces can fit with each other, which is makes assembling the edge as a first step very confusing. Once these extracted edge pieces are assembled correctly, a final solution that answers the question originally posed in the introductory story will be revealed, usually quite satisfyingly.
I have played half a dozen games from this product line. The jigsaw portion is always a pleasure. However, the design of the escape riddles varies a whole lot in quality. I loved most of the previous sets, but some of the riddles in The Cursed Greenhouse were severely under-clued and solving them was frustrating, rather than challenging.
Theresa Piazza’s Reaction
The garden is rotten. I’m sure this jigsaw puzzle was fine to assemble, but that’s where your involvement in it should stop. The puzzles embedded into this image are a frustrating mess to solve. To point out two of the greatest flaws:
- There’s too much math
- There are alpha to number codings that are inconsistent throughout the puzzle.
If you own this puzzle, treat it like a normal jigsaw, if you don’t yet own this puzzle, spend your money elsewhere.
Cara Mandel’s Reaction
I’ve been attempting to tackle more jigsaw puzzles lately and as such, purchased a stack of Ravensburger Escape Puzzles during an Amazon sale. After the excruciating task of assembling one, only to discover that the meta puzzles were infuriatingly nonsensical, I had all but sworn off them entirely. That is, until I heard rumor that they were very much “hit or miss” and the one I selected wasn’t one of their stronger games. So, when the opportunity to review The Cursed Greenhouse puzzle came up and our heroic teammate/ world champion jigsaw puzzler, Tammy offered to assemble the puzzle for us, I jumped at the chance. Surely, by removing the grueling task of assembling the jigsaw and jumping straight into the fun meta puzzle portion, it would alleviate my frustrations. Alas, it did not. The “puzzles“ (and I’m using this term generously) in The Cursed Greenhouse were even more frustratingly illogical than the last one I tried. We were able to identify the many clue connections but, even as pretty seasoned puzzlers, couldn’t seem to glean what was being asked of us. We decided to use the hint system to see how helpful it might be and not only was it rather unhelpful but, upon learning the intended mechanisms, we were left even angrier. On top of which, it turns out there are two different versions of this puzzle with slightly different hint websites for each (which we found out the hard way). All this to say, we had a very unenjoyable experience with this puzzle which is a shame because I had high hopes that this would be one of the “hits.” I’m not giving up on Ravensburger Escape Puzzles altogether, though. I’m told I’m two for two on selecting duds but that there really are other, more enjoyable options. I’ve just yet to encounter one…
Peih Gee Law’s Reaction
Much like the greenhouse on the box cover, this puzzle was an overgrown and tangled mess. I am normally a huge fan of the Ravensburger brand and have enjoyed their other escape puzzles, but this was a huge miss for me. Almost every puzzle involved convoluted thinking and arbitrary leaps of logic. This would have benefited greatly from a story book that contained additional cluing, but unfortunately, our copy contained the wrong book. I like my puzzles to be fun, logical, and preferably with less math, but if thorny challenges are your jam, then you’ve come to the right place.
Disclosure: Ravensburger provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary puzzle.