Today I’m taking a look at the latest, most detailed, and most difficult, wooden puzzle box EscapeWelt has offered yet.
The Quest Tower is available right now on Kickstarter and is already well past funded. I had the pleasure of getting an early look at this latest escape box. Read on to find out what I thought.
Disclosure: Thank you to Escape Welt for sending us a preview copy of the Quest Tower. We also have a special 10% off discount code for
|Prefer video? Here is a link to the segment from our podcast episode where we reviewed this puzzle box. I use the show notes to compose these written reviews. The content and talking points are the same, but if you prefer to watch or listen instead of reading, you can head over here: VIDEO: Quest Tower Puzzle Box review on YouTube|
Who is EscapeWelt?
Since it’s been a bit since I’ve reviewed one of EscapeWelt’s puzzles I thought I would take a moment to explain who they are.
EscapeWelt started off as a physical escape room company in Germany that shifted to making wooden puzzles in order to survive the recent pandemic. All of their puzzles are made from laser cut birchwood.
These puzzles started off as traditional flat wooden puzzles but quickly evolved into what they call Escape Boxes. Wooden puzzle boxes that make great gift boxes once you’ve solved them.
I have reviewed a number of these in the past including The House of the Dragon and The Fort Knox Box, The Quest Pyramid, and The Space Box, which at the time was their most difficult puzzle. That title is now held by The Quest Tower which we’re looking at today.
You can get all of these existing puzzles direct from EscapeWelt, where I encourage you to use our exclusive code BELLHOP to save 10% off which stacks with any promotions they may be running.
My copy of the Quest Tower is a prototype.
Before I go further I need to make it clear that the copy of The Quest Tower I received from EscapeWelt is technically a prototype.
As you can see in my Quest Tower Unboxing Video, my tower didn’t even show up in its own box. I’m not even sure if the packaging for this puzzle is complete yet.
Due to being a prototype it’s possible something, or even quite a few things, on this puzzle may change by the time the Kickstarter is completed, the puzzle box is shipped to backers, and then later ends up in retail outlets around the world.
I know for a fact that at least one of EscapeWelt’s previous puzzles did have a couple of minor errors that were caught during the Kickstarter and fixed in the final product.
That’s not to say that I found any errors with my Quest Tower. As far as I can tell, and from what I currently know from the publisher, what you will be getting will be the same as what I got to play around with.
EDIT: The Kickstarter has finished and The Quest Tower is now available on the EscapeWelt website (and if you want to pick up a copy you can use our special code BELLHOP to get 10% off)
What is The Quest Tower from EscapeWelt?
The Quest Tower is a wooden puzzle box from EscapeWelt which just finished crowdfunding on Kickstarter (and it blew way past its funding goal). This is the third wooden puzzle box that EscapeWelt has Kickstarted so I don’t think there’s any worry about backers not getting what they paid for.
This escape box is the largest, most detailed, and most difficult wooden puzzle box that EscapeWelt has created so far. It stands over six inches tall and has a diameter of over five inches. The secret space you are trying to get to is about two inches square, large enough to place a small gift inside once you’ve got this puzzle open.
The tower has a Mesopotamian theme and is inspired by the Tower of Babel. This wooden puzzle box is more of a fantastical interpretation of the famous tower with its own backstory which you can read on the Kickstarter Page and which I’m sure will be included with the final puzzle in some way.
Of all of the puzzles that EscapeWelt has produced so far this puzzle has the most steps. The designers list it as taking up to two hours to complete with a difficulty of five out of five and I can’t argue with those numbers.
In addition to a lot of steps, this particular puzzle features the most deconstruction and extra bits of any wooden puzzle that I’ve played with.
After I had completed the puzzle I got an email from the company with a thirteen page PDF document telling me how to get the box open, in case I hadn’t figured it out yet.
It ended up that I didn’t need that, but it did tell me how I should have solved some things that I ended up getting through trial and error and touch and feel.
Like all of the EscapeWelt puzzles, while you can lock pick your way through at least some of the puzzles, there is a logical step by step way to solve the puzzle based on the information presented on the puzzle itself without having to rely on your sense of touch or undue force.
Now one thing I’m not sure I agree with on the Quest Tower Kickstarter page is that it’s listed as collaborative with up to four players. This seems like a totally arbitrary number to me as the entire thing is just one puzzle and really only one person can work on it at a time.
While yes you may end up passing the puzzle back and forth between a few people and it’s likely you will need more than one perspective to get this box open (I would have never gotten my copy open without Deanna’s help), I can’t see any reason for the four player specific limitation.
One final thing I want to note about this puzzle is that we thought the final prize, The Scroll of Wisdom, was a bit cooler than what we found inside other EscapeWelt puzzles.
Is the Quest Tower from EscapeWelt worth backing?
The most important thing I think you need to know if you are considering picking up The Quest Tower is that this is not an easy puzzle.
While I’m pretty proud of myself for getting this one open in about two hours, that was with help from Deanna who caught a key part of the puzzle I completely missed. In addition to this, I also got it open due to using trial and error and just fiddling to solve two parts of the puzzle.
Had I not just fiddled around with things until they worked I’m sure it would have taken me even longer to solve this puzzle. I know this because once I had the thing open, I tried to backtrack the steps I had taken and figure out why certain things worked. However, I never did figure out one early part of the puzzle. I knew what the solution was but had no idea how you were supposed to get there.
It wasn’t until I got the PDF from the publisher that I learned just how you are meant to puzzle this box open, and there are a lot more steps than I originally thought.
The other thing that has to be considered here is the fact that I’ve now solved four of EscapeWelt’s other puzzle boxes, including building one of them myself through the Orbital Box x2.
I wouldn’t say that I am any kind of wooden puzzle expert, but I think at that point that I do have a very good idea of the types of things that EscapeWelt likes to put into their puzzles and what can and cannot be manipulated.
I worry that this puzzle would become an exercise in frustration for anyone who has never tried to solve one of these puzzles before.
Barring that, if you are someone who loves 3D puzzles, or if you know someone who loves them, I think this is one of the finest wooden puzzle boxes out there.
The Quest Tower is, by far, the best looking puzzle that EscapeWelt has produced and it makes for a fantastic display piece, whether you solve it or not.
As I mentioned in my other EscapeWelt Escape Box Reviews, I think these puzzles really shine when you look at them as a two for one purchase.
First off you get a tricky puzzle box for you to solve and to get to the prize inside. Next, you get a very cool and unique gift box that you can fill with a surprise and gift to someone else.
You solve the box, then put something cool inside the secret compartment and hand it off to someone else, who then gets the fun of trying to solve it on their own to get to your personalized prize. And you might also get the joy of watching someone else fiddle with the puzzle while taunting them or coaching them on getting it open.
It may even be worth picking up this box just to use it as a gift box. While it’s not online yet, EscapeWelt will be publishing a quick open guide that will get you to the inner chamber.
That way you can toss something in there and pass the entire thing on as a gift, without having to actually solve the puzzle yourself.
Personally, I really enjoyed playing around with The Quest Tower and was very impressed when I managed to get it open. There are some really clever puzzles here, which took some out of the box thinking to arrive at, but it never got to the point of being frustrating, which I think is the key to a good puzzle experience.
I can’t wait to see what EscapeWelt cooks up next!