Gruzzle – The Will [Review]

Consulting Puzzler

Location:  at home

Date Played: March 23, 2020

Team size: we recommend 2-4

Duration: about 2 hours

Price:  $30 per game, delivered every other month; $87 for 6-month subscription, $172 for a year’s subscription

REA Reaction

Gruzzle is a subscription puzzle service. They send a tabletop escape game-style puzzle box to you every other month. The Will was their second game, released in November 2020.

The Will required nothing more than what came in the box and provided a fun and satisfying evening of tabletop puzzle solving. The puzzles were approachable, cleanly clued, and made creative use of paper components.

Envelopes with different items printed on them.

Although the storytelling didn’t resonate with us, it wasn’t the reason to play. This was a game for people who want to solve elegant puzzles at an approachable difficulty level.

With The Will, Gruzzle is poised for a successful subscription model. The components are inexpensive, and the puzzles are well designed. Every other month is a substantial commitment, but if they are able to keep up the quality of puzzles they’ve established with The Will, Gruzzle offers good value in the tabletop puzzle subscription market. We look forward to seeing more from Gruzzle.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Good for less experienced puzzlers

Why play?

  • Nifty tangible interactions
  • Little aha moments throughout the experience

Story

A wealthy philanthropist had passed away and left her fortune to her equally philanthropic grandchildren. However, she’d hid the fortune behind a series of puzzles, and that’s where we came in. The family had hired us to serve as a consulting puzzler to earn their inheritance for them.

The Gruzzle box depicts a child looking through a magnifying glass.
Continue reading “Gruzzle – The Will [Review]”

This Wednesday: David & Peih-Gee Livestream with Trapped Puzzle Rooms on IndieCade’s Beyond Screens

David Spira and Peih-Gee Law, the hosts of REA’s new podcast the Reality Escape Pod, will be livestreaming on Twitch this Wednesday as part of IndieCade’s weekly show Beyond Screens.

A microhone resting on a mixing board.

Details

  • Date: Wednesday, April 14
  • Time: Noon PST / 3pm EST
  • Guest: Mark Larson, Trapped Puzzle Rooms

This Wednesday’s Livestream

In this episode, David and Peih-Gee will be joined by Mark Larson from Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN. They will talk about Mark’s approach to blending escape rooms with tabletop roleplaying. This is one of the many creative approaches we’ve seen in escape room online adaptation over the past year.

Mark is a ton of fun, and we hope you stop in for what is sure to be an entertaining chat. Feel free to pop in and out as you need. It’s live, casual, and we welcome your questions.

Monthly Appearances

IndieCade’s new weekly show Beyond Screens has a rotating cast of hosts livestreaming on Twitch on Wednesdays at Noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern.

David and Peih-Gee will host about once a month, sometimes with other guests. They’ll vary the format of their streams. You can expect conversation, games, puzzles, and fun!

About Beyond Screens

Beyond Screens is IndieCade’s new Twitch show exploring work that pushes the boundaries of, or comes entirely off of the screen. Genres covered will include participatory theatre, alternate reality and live-action roleplaying; escape rooms; Big Games; and alternative controllers. Each hour-long episode will feature an in-depth conversation with creators of these genre-defining games.

This show is weekly, every Wednesday at Noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern.

Follow IndieCade on Twitch to stay up to date.

Last Chance: Escape Room Industry Survey

This survey closes tonight (Wednesday, March 31, 2021) at midnight Eastern. Don’t forget to fill it out!

We have more than 650 responses. These responses will help us understand the impact of the pandemic on the escape room industry.

We’d love to hear from everyone, owners and players.

A laptop with an assortment of graphs, charts, and maps on the screen.

As a reminder, all survey data is anonymous and results will be shared in aggregate.

It will take less than 10 minutes to fill this out. There’s no reason to delay any longer.

Here is additional information about our the survey, including an FAQ.

Please share the survey link with your escape room network!

Introducing the Spoilers Club!

Welcome to our 13 new Patreon backers! Thank you for the support. It’s wonderful to see many of you in the REA secret Discord channel already.

Image of a person taping their own mouth, labeled "Spoilers Club."

Spoilers Club

With the start of The Reality Escape Pod, we introduced a new Patreon perk: the Spoilers Club.

Each month we select a game that David and Peih-Gee talk about in great detail, with all of the spoilers.

One thing we miss about escape games is the post-game conversation where we’d unpack the experience in great detail over a beer or coffee. In this world of virtual play, as long as we all play the same games, we can still chat about them.

This month, David and Peih-Gee launched the Spoilers Club by playing Locurio’s The Vanishing Act remotely. David and I played and reviewed the real-life version of this game in April of 2016 (yes, 4.5 years ago!) and awarded it a 2016 Golden Lock Award. Peih-Gee has only played it remotely.

This conversation about The Vanishing Act is now available to Patreon backers at the “Search Win!” ($15) level. And we’ve opened up the Spoilers Club channel in Discord to continue the conversation.

In April, David and Peih-Gee will chat about Isolation, created by Thin Reality Experiences for Escape Room Melbourne. You can book the game any time during the next few weeks and be ready for the Spoilers Club.

Thank You

The Reality Escape Pod has been a huge undertaking, and it’s because of you that this is even possible. We hope you’re enjoying the conversations as much as we are!

Amanda Harris
Andrew Sturridge
Angie Meyers
Anne Lukeman
Anonymous
Ben Rosner
Bethany
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Brian Vinciguerra
Bronna Butler
Byron Delmonico
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Cesar Grado
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Crystal Farr
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Darren Miller
David Longley
deadpan 1113
Derek Tam
Drew Nelson
Elaine
Emile Wang
Eric Mittler
Farand Pawlak
Greg Marinelli
James Shearer
Jason’s Fitness Consigliere
Jim of PARADOXsquared
Joel Daehler

John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal
Joseph Allen
Joseph Friesen
Josh Kendrick
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Kathryn
Kevin
Kurt Leinbach
Laura E. Hall
Lee-Fay Low
Lonnie
Lori Miller
Marisa Capobianco
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Matthew Stein
Michael Andersen
Michael Wolman
Mihir Kedia
Nathan Walton
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar
Nick Moran
Nick Rose
No Proscenium
Olivia Anderson
Omer Aru
Patrick McLean
Patrick McNamara
Paul Tashima
Paula Swann
Philip Ho
Puzzling Company

Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ruud Kool
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
S T Cameron
Samantha Koehler
Sara Reed
Scott Olson
Sean McBride
Sendil Krishnan
Seth Wolfson
Stephanie McNeill
Steve Gaddy
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Teo Litto
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Theresa Wagner
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Tommy
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll
Wesley James
Will Rutherford
YouEscape

To those of you reading who have the means, we hope you’ll considering joining this wonderful group of supporters. Just click here!

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon or Etsy after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.

REA Presents: Playful Isolation (Panel) at Everything Immersive’s Spring Fling

This weekend our friends at No Proscenium are hosting Everything Immersive’s Spring Fling. This event celebrates the ingenuity of the immersive & experiential creative community.

We are thrilled to be hosting a panel with talented digital experience creators.

Pixel art of people on a beach.

Panel Details

Playful Isolation: Creating & Enjoying Theatrical Digital Escape Games (Panel)

  • Date: March 27th
  • Time: 11:30am Pacific / 2:30pm Eastern

Guests:

Moderated by: David Spira

For the past year, remote play has brought about rapid change within the escape room industry. We have gathered a handful of creators who have produced especially theatrical games for a discussion moderated by David Spira of Room Escape Artist. Together they will unpack how they went about making these games, what makes them fun, and what has been gained by the immersive community in the process. Balancing the creators on the panel, Reality Escape Pod co-host Peih-Gee Law will share a player’s perspective on a year enjoying these games from her home.

Tickets

Tickets to Spring Fling are only $10, and you’ll get you access to a lot more than just this panel.

Check out the complete schedule here.