Puzz Pack – SCRAP (Review)

SCRAP’s Puzz Pack is its first take-home puzzle product available in North America. It’s a satisfying, polished, and cute way to solve Real Escape Game puzzles at home.

Note, we played and reviewed this product back in 2016 when it was called PuzzBox. It has now lost the boxes and has been rebranded to “Puzz Pack”, although the puzzles according to SCRAP are “essentially the same”. We have refreshed this review in November 2017 to orient it towards the 2017 Puzz Pack instead of the 2016 PuzzBox.

This review is as usual spoiler-free!

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $21.95
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 14+
  • Manufacturer recommended team size: 2-4 people (we did it with 2 and it was great)
  • Approximate duration: 60 minutes (but you can take as long as you want)
  • Order link: https://shop.realescapegame.com/products/puzz-pack

Materials

The PuzzPack contains:

  • Introduction sheet, with a narrative introduction. The back of the introduction sheet has a list of materials, links to hints and solution, ideas for hiding various parts of the game to invoke a search element, and some credits.
  • 3 envelopes with the puzzles
  • A replay kit (also with the introduction sheet and 3 envelopes with puzzles) so that you can give it to a friend.

The quality of the paper is good and the materials are all pre-assembled so that its ready to play right out of the packaging.

Story and Theme

The story is extremely light in SCRAP’s Puzz Pack. You play as a puzzle-loving adventurer who stumbles into the Puzzle Kingdom and receives a challenge from the “PuzzKing” to solve a series of puzzles.

The story is set up so that the puzzles don’t really need any sort of theme. You’ll encounter a few encouraging messages from the narrator as you progress, and receive a cute congratulations note and a little prize when you finish.

Puzzles

Expect your standard polished SCRAP puzzles that are more of the “brain-teaser” variety. They rely on neat “tricks” in order to solve them, which can either be really cool or somewhat gimmicky depending on your take on SCRAP puzzles.

You’ll be getting multiple sets of mini-puzzles that each come with their own “metapuzzle”. You’ll get access to each of these sets of mini-puzzles sequentially, and once you’re done with those you’ll be able to work on the final set of puzzles.

All of the puzzles are on rectangular sheets of papers, but expect your usual tricks where SCRAP uses these rectangular sheets of papers in their usual creative ways.

The expected solve time of the puzzles is 60 minutes. We did it as a team of 2 in exactly 61 minutes, and spent approximately half of that time on the final sequence after solving all of the metapuzzles. None of the puzzles are really the “devilishly difficult” puzzles that creates SCRAP’s extremely low escape rates, which can be either a relief or a disappointment depending on what kind of puzzle experience you’re hoping for.

A unique feature of take-home SCRAP puzzles is that you can take as long as you want, and even look up hints if you get too stuck. SCRAP provides hints and solutions for their PuzzPack via a link that’s found on the back of the introduction sheet.

Replay Value

SCRAP’s Puzz Pack has no replay value. By the end you’ll have seen all of the puzzles and tricks so it makes basically no sense to play it again.

Don’t bother keeping the puzzles pristine by not writing on them. If you try to keep the puzzles pristine, you’ll make the Puzz Pack a lot harder for yourself, since there’s a part where you’re supposed to manipulate the puzzles in a way that renders them non-reusable. Please write, fold, and cut freely.

Thoughtfully though, they have included a second copy of all of the puzzle materials. After you’re done you can carefully put together the set again and give it to another friend to solve!

Overall Recommendation

This is the only and best way you can really buy an at-home experience in SCRAP’s unique style. The price makes this more appropriate for a gift, date, or small party, instead of just a casual puzzle experience at home. If you just want a casual puzzle experience at home, there are plenty of free alternatives (e.g. see Puzzled Pint archives).

We still liked the polish, attention to detail, and creative uses of paper that is SCRAP’s signature Japanese style. This delivers a true SCRAP experience at home (just the puzzle part, not the cinematic part) that should delight any SCRAP fan.

We’d recommend this as a gift to any SCRAP fan, or a souvenir if you really enjoyed doing a SCRAP event or room and want something to take home. This is in particular great for couples since one of the few opportunities for an intimate SCRAP experience. SCRAP also recommends this for parties, but it would have to be a fairly small party (this game is good for 2-4).

Keep in mind though that you can only play this once, which limits the long-term value of this gift, but you get a second copy which you can share or give to a friend.

Buy a Puzz Pack

The Puzz Pack is available for sale at https://shop.realescapegame.com/ for $21.95

For other escape room at home products, check out our list at 3 Best Escape Room Board Games of 2017

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