Every two months on this blog I highlight a handful of tabletop and digital games to spread the word about interesting experiences and support other creators. This month’s roundup contains both digital and tabletop games, and somehow, I found all of them to be a 2/5 difficulty...
This will be the last roundup of the year, so if you've been following and reading these posts, thank you! Also, if this blog resulted in any good recommendations for you, I would love to hear about it!
Iris.Fall is a relaxing puzzle game with a pleasant but spooky art style. The dark-fairy-tale-like aesthetic combines well with the main game mechanic of playing with light and shadow. This Alice-in-Wonderland-esque adventure tells a story without using language—instead, it uses shape and shadow. Although many puzzles are reminiscent of games like Monument Valley, The Room series, and Where Shadows Slumber, they are nonetheless satisfying to solve. And don’t worry, there is plenty of fresh and original content too!
Captain Nemo’s Nautilus is an interactive wooden puzzle box, and the third Cluebox released by iDventure. The instructions were brief here, and although I wished the signposting was a touch clearer, I had to rely on careful observation skills to solve this box. Unlike traditional puzzle boxes, solving this is more of an escape room experience, as the solutions rely on logic rather than trial and error. Although this is a purely puzzle/mechanical experience and I normally prefer a bit of narrative involved, I found the language agnosticism the most admirable part of the design. iDventure managed to create satisfying and clever puzzles without using any words, which is not an easy task. This box also makes for a great display piece, and can be reset to give to a friend. Although a few interactions felt a bit tricky to me, the hint system is fantastic and shows how to solve the puzzles step-by-step with photos and videos, so you’ll never get completely stuck.
The Sacred Temple is part of EXIT: The Game’s jigsaw puzzle escape room series, which has players ping-pong between puzzle solving and assembling jigsaws throughout the game. The number of puzzle pieces given at any given time felt appropriate—not too easy to breeze through, and not so much to feel unmanageable, ultimately providing an enjoyable break between solving the puzzles. My favorite puzzles were the ones that utilized the jigsaw format well and encouraged some outside-the-box thinking. A couple of others felt like a miss, and one even caused me to backtrack, but the overall gameplay felt relatively smooth. It had a fairly common escape room premise, so I wouldn’t play this game for the narrative, but it definitely provided for a pleasant evening of entertainment.