While a Cryptex seem like something that’s been around for a long time, some form of ancient artifact holding hidden knowledge, the word was actually invented by Dan Brown in his novel The Da Vinci Code.
Today I’m taking a look at one such modern artifact, a new birchwood Cryptex from German Puzzle company EscapeWelt.
Disclosure: Thanks to the fine folks at ESCWelt for sending along a Crytpex for me to review. We are EscapeWelt affiliates, and we invite you to use our exclusive code BELLHOP to save 10% off on anything you buy from them.
A look at EscapeWelt’s Cryptex
The Cryptex from EscapeWelt is a birchwood gift box in the form of a twenty six character, six letter, cryptext. It comes pre-set with a default code word which can be changed to anything you want once you get the box open.
I thought the best way to really show off this wooden gift box from ESCWelt would be to share with you the Unboxing video I recorded when I first opened mine up.
As you can see in the unboxing, along with the rather unique puzzle box you also get a small pamphlet showing off the other stuff in Escape Welts puzzle box line up, an instruction book which includes a link where you can find out how to open the cryptex without solving it as well as detailed step by step instructions on how to change the code, and two gift tags. One which includes the riddle for the pre-set keyword and a blank one you can use if you change the code.
What I thought of the Cryptex from EscapeWelt
I was very impressed by the chunkiness of this Cryptex. It’s nice and solid and doesn’t feel like I’m going to break it just by playing around with it.
One thing I didn’t like is the font they chose to use. Thankfully each wheel on this cryptex includes all twenty-six letters of the alphabet, so it’s easy to figure out what must be what. Also, actually get the letters aligned perfectly can be a bit fiddly and could lead to someone thinking they have put in the wrong word when in fact they are right.
Due to this I suggest being present when the person you give the box to is trying to open it.
The next concern I have is just how small the inside compartment of this gift box is. Though the diameter of the cryptex is over 3” the actual hole in the box you can put stuff in is only one and a quarter inch by one and a quarter inch and only three inches deep. While it may be great for Jewelry, or maybe some folded up cash, you aren’t going to fit a plastic gift card in there.
As for getting the Crytpex open, it’s really simple. The included gift tag gives you a pretty typical riddle. I was able to get it on the third try whereas my wife, Deanna, got it right away. I don’t think many people would be stuck for long, and even if you are you can quickly find the answer online through a search or by using the included QR code.
Setting a new code word is a bit fiddly but not hard. It involves opening the entire thing up, inserting the key upside down and pulling the letter rings away from the main mechanism. You then set your desired letter on each wheel and lock it back into place. Once all of your letters are set you remove the key and reassemble the Cryptex.
Overall I thought the Cryptex from EscapeWelt was pretty cool. If you are looking for a neat, geeky, way to give a small gift, this is pretty cool choice. I particularly love that you personalise it with your own codeword. Just be aware of just how small the inside dimensions really are.
I personally plan on saving this for Christmas morning, tossing a Nintendo Switch game in there, and setting a appropriate keyword for my kids to guess.
Remember if you do decide to pick up a Cryptex direct from EscapeWelt, use our code BELLHOP to save 10%!
- 🎁 UNIQUE GIFT WRAPPER: Reinvent your gifting experience with the Cryptex. Designed as a unique gift wrapper, this handcrafted piece allows you to set your personal code word, adding an element of mystery and personal touch to your gift. From small trinkets to handwritten notes, the Cryptex can safeguard your surprises, making each gift-giving moment more memorable.