Komnata Quest – Sinful Pleasures [Review]

Puzzle Hard

Location:  at home

Date Played: April 4, 2021

Team size: we recommend 2-3

Duration: ~ 60 minutes

Price: £15 (about $21)

REA Reaction

We’re gonna get weird today.

We’ve played every game that Komnata Quest opened in New York City, as has our friend and Hivemind reviewer Fro. When they released the play-at-home Sinful Pleasures, she promptly shoved her credit card into Komnata’s website… and then nothing happened:

  • No game was delivered
  • No communication was sent
  • Attempts to contact Komnata were met with a full inbox

With no response from Komnata, Fro eventually cancelled the charges. However, driven by hilarious memories of the real-life version, 7 Sinful Pleasures, as well as a casual disregard for credit card safety, she reordered the game. This second attempt worked. The game showed up in her inbox.

Fro brought this bundle of puzzling pleasure to our home. We poured ourselves some wine, established a safeword, and let the experience unfold.

An attractive redhead in lingerie, rolling stockings up her leg.

… And the first thing we encountered was an entire print-and-play game formatted for metric paper that we didn’t %^&*ing have. Once we figured out how to handle that nonsense (more on that later), we got things started.

What we witnessed was a fairly competent, if unremarkable puzzle game blended with a strange mix of sexual imagery. From moment to moment Sinful Pleasures bounced between cheeky teasing and hardcore imagery, never really committing to one or the other… which was off-putting. Were we supposed to laugh with this game or be aroused by it? I have no idea. Both were acceptable options as this game was clearly labeled for adults, but at some point you have to pick one and commit.

In the end, Sinful Pleasures felt like the game equivalent of a person who thinks that if they crack enough sex jokes, their crush will sleep with them.

Who is this for?

  • Leisure Suit Larry fans
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

If you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have the sense of humor of a horny middle schooler
  • You like puzzles
  • Metric paper is loaded in your printer

Story

There was an ARG standing in the way of our friend Richard and an invite to a sex party. We had to help him get in.

In-game text chat, the main character exclaims, "Hey, this is Richard You can call me Dick. Thank you for giving me a hand."
Continue reading “Komnata Quest – Sinful Pleasures [Review]”

Squirrels Puzzling in an Academic Journal

Our friend Dan Egnor sent this to me, and I’m sharing it along with my favorite bit of his commentary.

Squirrel standing on a branch intently looking at a question mark.

In July 2017, the academic journal Animal Cognition published a paper titled How to stay perfect: the role of memory and behavioural traits in an experienced problem and a similar problem.

tl;dr: Squirrels have way better memory for puzzles than I do.

“We examined this question by first presenting grey squirrels with a puzzle 22 months after their last experience of it (the recall task). Squirrels were then given the same problem presented in a physically different apparatus (the generalisation task) to test whether they would apply the previously learnt tactics to solve the same problem but in a different apparatus. The mean latency to success in the first trial of the recall task was significantly different from the first exposure but not different from the last exposure of the original task, showing retention of the task.”

Pizza Ka Yee Chow, Stephen E. G. Lea, Natalie Hempel de Ibarra & Théo Robert – 2017

“22 months! I could probably replay an entire escape room after 22 months and not even notice. Though maybe if the escape room dispensed hazelnuts (like this one did) I would remember better? But of course, I can barely remember where I left my keys, much less remember the location of 1,000 randomly cached acorns a season later (which squirrels in the wild apparently do).”

Dan Egnor – 2020

Whether you want to read the full article… or just scroll all the way to the bottom to see a video of adorable squirrels solving puzzles to get their hazelnut fix, either way, check out the original post.

Dan, thanks for seeing cute critters solving puzzling and thinking of me.

Puzzling Package – The Runes of Odin [Review]

By Odin’s Drinking Horn

Location:  at home

Date Played: March 2021

Team size: we recommend 2-4

Duration: 4-5 hours

Price: $135

REA Reaction

The Runes of Odin felt like a complicated tabletop escape game… or a light alternate reality game (ARG). We were presented with a few beautiful artifacts, many documents, and just a little direction. From that point it was on us to read, analyze, and puzzle our way to answers.

This was a higher commitment experience than most of the tabletop games that find their way into our dining room. It was well executed. The story was extensive and engaging, and most of the puzzles were solid, with one standout and one that didn’t do anything for us.

Our biggest issues with this game were two fold:

  • The hint system was under baked for how demanding the game was.
  • The ratio of flavor to gameplay felt off. There was so much to read, touch, and look at, but if you took the true puzzle components and looked at them in isolation, they made up a small fraction of the game.

All of this culminated in a big mystery… which may be exactly what you’re looking for. The Runes of Odin wants you to pour a drink, sit back, and take your time with its world. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is a great game. If spending 4+ hours reading and analyzing documents sounds like more than you’re looking for, then you’ll likely want to explore a different game. It really is a matter of time and taste.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Artifact collectors
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Collectible artifacts
  • Extensive world-building
  • Some strong puzzles

Story

Argonaut Exports dealt in ancient artifacts. When they’d happened upon an academic’s half-finished research into Odin, they’d asked us to see what we could discover about the Norse god.

Continue reading “Puzzling Package – The Runes of Odin [Review]”

Please Help: Looking For Our Long, Lost, Rich, & Eccentric Uncle

Hello Internet,

It has been a long year and as I reflect back upon it, I feel strongly that it would have been a much better year if we were fabulously wealthy.

Alas, that isn’t the case… but I am hoping that you can help us solve this little problem.

Since 2014, we have been rigorously training for a particular scenario:

“Our long lost uncle has passed away. His will detailed that we are entitled to his fortune if we can solve a series of puzzles in his quirky abode within 60 minutes.”

Lots of gold bullion

We are so ready for this challenge. We are a finely tuned Wealthy Eccentric Uncle Puzzle Solving Machine®. However we are still missing said uncle. If experience has taught us anything, he is in fact out there.

Please help us find him. We’d like to get to know him a bit before he passes and we earn his estate.

Gratefully yours,

David & Lisa

Professor Layton Game – Honest Trailer

Somehow we’ve never written about the anime-puzzle adventure-video game series Professor Layton here on Room Escape Artist.

Layton "Puzzle Solved!" screen.

This prolific series has had 9 different installments since its debut in 2007, all of them intensely puzzley.

This Honest Game Trailer really captures the highs, lows, and quirks of the series. These games really are one of those love-it-or-hate-it scenarios.

The Layton series seems like it was probably an early influence on SCRAP, the first escape room company. I feel like most of the people that I know who adore Layton also love playing SCRAP games.

If you’re interested, the latest in the series was Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy (iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch)

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