Puzzle Post: The Missed Flight review
|Lucy Kingston has been on a conference tour of Europe but after speaking some uncomfortable truths to a journalist, she’s found herself caught up in a story of lies and corruption. She’s in way over her head. She was supposed to deliver your message but has had to cut her trip short and go into hiding. She’s stashed the message in our vault and managed to put 7 puzzles together from her trip.|
|No time limit|
|Difficulty level not stated|
|£13, plus £3-4 for shipping outside the UK|
|Play at home (based in UK)|
|Played by Daiman, Paul and Bharath|
|Completed in 38 minutes|
Opening this envelope, I was pleasantly surprised by the contents that cascaded from it! I’m not sure what my expectations were here but everything was immaculately designed and completely bespoke. Things like the cardboard coaster could’ve just been a paper-printed approximation but, no, Puzzle Post have had every item designed and produced in the same manner that the real-world article would be. It’s an attention to detail that I definitely didn’t expect and immediately set the tone that Puzzle Post were taking this extremely seriously and weren’t just jumping on a bandwagon.
PuzzlePost offers up something different – a way to post physical puzzles to someone that reveals a bespoke digital message upon completion. Your ‘prize’ can be text, picture or video, leaving you to decide whether to include your name or be anonymous. What we received was a letterbox-friendly envelope full of paper based items of varying textures and styles. The presentation is great and there’s an air of authenticity about the contents which look and feel like real items you’d collect whilst travelling in Europe.
The Missed Flight boasted a nice selection of puzzles with a notable handful being expertly crafted in their ability to have a simple solution but exploited blind spots that players will have when playing. I obviously don’t want to call them out here but there was one problem that returned an incorrect answer even when we were 100% certain that it was correct. It completely stumped us for a couple of minutes until we noticed something that was sitting right in front of us the whole time! They’re the best kind of puzzle, taking advantage of the fact that people tend to make shortcuts, especially when there’s a time limit involved!
Elsewhere, some of the other puzzles are a tiny bit on the simple side as evidenced by our relatively quick (for us!) time. But overall, it’s a well-designed suite of activities to work through.
The package contains 7 distinct cryptic puzzles which can be worked on in any order. They are very approachable as they aren’t overly complex or difficult. It took the three of us 38 minutes to complete them all without clues, but I imagine this is mainly intended for solo play where it will take longer. Scissors and a phone will be needed, the latter of which may add expense to non-UK players. Each solved puzzle rewards you with a number. Enter the 7 sets of numbers into a web page to receive your message. If any are wrong, you’re given the option to be shown which puzzles you need to recheck, which is a nice touch.
This game to me was the definition of ‘all killer, no filler’. The gameplay perfectly matched the meticulous presentation and though it was briefer than other games, the experience was more concentrated. There were no frustrating puzzles, no logic leaps. Rummaging through ‘actual’ artifacts aided immersion and there was one moment where the game took us slightly into the real world – I love puzzles that help imbue the game with a sense that this could be really happening. Because, for me at least, the immersion is a big part of these games – it’s not much fun just solving a series of unconnected puzzles…
The Missed Flight is a brilliant idea that makes receiving post a lot more fun! As it’s not too difficult, it keeps it light and enjoyable so the recipient shouldn’t get too frustrated. Puzzle pros may not be that taxed by it though. The recipient’s excitement playing this will be heightened by the fact their efforts will be rewarded with a mysterious message from an unknown person. They will be eager to find out what it is and who it’s from!
There’s an extremely cool aspect to this game that I haven’t mentioned yet – when ordering the game, you have the ability to put a custom message in the game that you’ll be linked to upon successful completion. This has so many applications – imagine you’ve bought someone tickets to a show as a birthday present or even a trip abroad. Rather than just telling them, you put the message, voucher code or however you want to deliver the message in and the player will discover it when they solve the finale code.
I honestly can’t think of many better ways of delivering a surprise message than have it be a literal prize for completing a game. I think that’s the real USP here. I mean, the game is brilliant taken on its own terms but as a means of delivering a surprise message, it’s a hundred times better! Of course, you don’t have to use that feature but I still think you’re left with a precision-crafted experience to play through that gets the gameplay balance better than most.
With The Missed Flight, PuzzlePost have delivered a great new take on the burgeoning play at home escape scene. For £13 including UK delivery (add £3-4 for worldwide delivery), it’s a reasonably priced way to surprise a loved one with a message that they need to work for! What will your hidden message be – a hello, a thank you, a gift, a joke or something else?
Theming - 8.33/10
Puzzles - 7/10
Enjoyment - 8.33/10
Value - 8/10