Normally here at Tabletop Bellhop we review board games and RPGs, but this review is a bit of an exception to that as we’re going to be looking at Quezzle Amazing Cappadocia which is a mix of quest and puzzle.
Since we talk about all things tabletop gaming I don’t see any reason why that can’t include puzzles. This particular puzzle has a few twists to it, but even a normal puzzle can be just as fun and engaging as a board game and can make for a great group or solo experience.
Disclosure: Thanks to Unidragon for sending us a copy of Quezzle to check out. Links in this post may be affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this blog and our podcast. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What is Quezzle Amazing Cappadocia?
Quezzle Amazing Cappadocia (which I will just be calling Quezzle going forward) caught my eye because it is more than just a puzzle. It’s marketed as a mix of game and puzzle and in this review, I will be highlighting what sets Quezzle apart from other puzzles.
Quezzle was created as a joint venture between Unidragon, makers of high end laser cut wood puzzles, and IC4 design, a Japanese studio listed as one of the top two hundred best illustrators in the world. The game/puzzle was originally funded on Kickstarter in late 2021 and is now available for sale in over one hundred countries.
The full Quezzle experience is split over four different 250 piece wooden puzzles, each of which features striking artwork and very uniquely shaped pieces. These puzzles aren’t cheap, coming in with an MSRP of $250 US for the full set (though they seem to be regularly on sale for less, plus you can save 10% by using our special code: BELLHOP)
Quezzle consists of four laser cut wooden boxes. Each box contains a 250 piece puzzle, a stand for holding the box lid, extra shapes to make a 3d wooden guardian and a newspaper style quest sheet specific to that puzzle. When the four boxes are combined you get an overall quest that spans all four puzzles, providing a total of fifty tasks to complete.
The final quest includes some clever escape room in a box style elements, a rather well done AR element and six secret mini puzzles. Along with this you also get the fun of discovering the many uniquely shaped pieces included in all of the puzzles, including things like animals, warriors, airplanes and even a rocket ship.
For a look at the quality of the boxes, the puzzle pieces themselves and a glimpse at the quest sheets check out our Quezzle Unboxing Video on YouTube.
There are a few things I want to highlight here in regards to component quality.
First, the artwork from 1C4 is fantastic and highly detailed which makes many of the find and seek style quests quite difficult and engaging. The actual wooden pieces are expertly cut and fit together fantastically and we loved finding the various unique shapes while building the main puzzles. Those unique shapes do a lot on their own for putting Quezzle above most other puzzles.
Unfortunately, there are some translation issues on the quest sheets. Thankfully nothing is indecipherable. but whoever did their localization could have done a much better job. Along with this, there is also one error within one of the quests where it asks you to look for four things in one spot and three in another.
One aspect of the physical design of Quezzle that I didn’t like is the individual box design. While the four laser cut wooden boxes look great, there is no way to actually seal them shut. The lids just sit on top. Being someone who has assembled a number of laser cut wood boxes I don’t understand why they didn’t build in some form of slot or latch system. The way these boxes are made there’s no way you can actually stand them up on their sides. They have to be stacked and that’s a problem in regards to storage.
I understand that most people who build puzzles don’t keep the boxes, either sealing their puzzles and keeping them built or storing them somewhere other than in the original box. The problem for me is that these are listed as collectable boxes by Unidragon, and they are very solid laser cut wood. It seems like it would be a waste to just toss them. Plus as a board gamer, I do want to put the puzzles back into the boxes and store them with my other games.
Overall you get four very well made puzzles with great artwork which on their own can justify their price when compared to other wooden puzzles. Along with this, you also get the various quests, which could just be seen as a bonus at this point.
What are the game elements that are part of Quezzle?
To take part in the quest that is Quezzle, you start by building the puzzles. The puzzles can be tackled one at a time, as each has its own quest sheet, or you can build them all and then do all of the quests at the end. We chose to finish the puzzles one at a time and to do the quests as we completed each puzzle.
One thing I appreciated is that box one includes a set of locking pieces that allow you to attach the four puzzles together. These replace a few pieces out of each puzzle so they all lock together into one big puzzle in the end.
Most of the quests end up being “eye spy”, find the thing in the image, style games. These include looking through your complete puzzle picture to find the ninja, the dragon egg, five stars, four purple chests, etc.
Each puzzle also features a maze for you to find. These mazes are extremely simplistic, which I found rather disappointing. There is also a follow the path style maze in each puzzle that is based on its Guardian. For example, in the first puzzle you need to find the Eagle then follow a path from it looking for some small pretty well hidden arrows that will eventually lead you to a sword.
At this point, you should not be removing anything from the main puzzle. This isn’t really clear in the instructions. When we were doing these quests we were removing everything we found and it ends up that’s not what you should be doing, at least at this point. You shouldn’t take anything out of the puzzle until you are told to do so.
One thing that surprised me was that most of the quest activities are the same for each puzzle. For every puzzle, you will be looking for stars, dragon eggs, chests, a butterfly, etc. I was hoping for more variety. The fact that these quests repeat is one of the main reasons you may want to wait to finish the entire puzzle before doing the quests.
In addition to these quests, each box comes with a bonus 3D puzzle. With the pieces that are left over after you’ve built the puzzle, you will build the guardian for that part of the city. These 3D guardians are very well made and pretty cool knick-knacks once assembled. In addition, each is required for you to finish the final quest.
About that final quest, along with newspapers for each region of Cappadocia featured in each puzzle, the first box also comes with an extra quest for the full puzzle. This main quest should not be started until you have done all of the other individual quests. It will walk you through the end of the game, which is by far the best part.
After following the clues from the guardians you will start removing pieces from the puzzle and will eventually get to what I would call a more escape room style experience.
Quezzle also has an app element. After you have finished assembling the puzzle from the first box, you can scan your puzzle with the app and see a cool animation that brings the guardian of puzzle one to life. Then when completing the final quest there are a couple more things you will need to do with the app that adds even more augmented reality elements.
Sadly guardian animations for the other three puzzles were a Kickstarter stretch goal that wasn’t reached (they still say Under Development in the app, but I don’t think they are coming).
Overall, you get some pretty simple find and seek puzzles and mazes that, I admit, weren’t all that interesting plus some cool wooden 3D puzzles that lead you into the final, much more well done, quest.
Is Quezzle worth picking up?
I want to start by talking about the production quality for Quezzle Amazing Cappadocia. Physically this is a really nice wooden puzzle. It fits together quite well, especially given some of the highly detailed and unique shaped pieces.
A big part of the fun of building the Quezzle puzzles was discovering these interesting shaped pieces. I also appreciated that these special pieces featured some simple line art on the back that really showed off what these shapes really were.
The artwork really is impressive, whimsical, and fun to look at. You can spend far too long just looking at it and discovering things you missed the last time you looked. This is where the find and seek puzzles really shine, as they get you to look at the artwork in detail.
As for the fun of those quests, while I was hoping there would be more of a game involved, my youngest daughter loved them. She was the one that managed to find all of the items needed for each quest and solve all the mazes.
Speaking of the mazes, these were my personal biggest disappointment quest wise. I used to love mazes, but these can barely be called mazes. They are so simple that they remind me of the kind my kids used to get in their preschooler colouring books. I was hoping for something much more difficult.
I found the individual puzzle’s quests to be a neat addition to a standard puzzle but not truly interesting or fun enough to really set Quezzle apart, or make it worth buying just for those quests alone. They don’t add enough game elements to this puzzle for me.
That said, I will say the overall experience, especially once you get to the main quest, was quite fun.
Playing seek and find was boring, but playing seek and find to build a new puzzle hidden inside your existing puzzle is pretty cool. Later realizing that same sub-puzzle gives you clues to another puzzle that eventually leads to something else is wonderful.
One of the biggest concerns I have with Quezzle is its price point. This puzzle set is not cheap, especially when comparing it to the hobby board games and RPGs we usually talk about here. $250 US is a lot of money and that alone is going to turn off many gamers. That said, $250 for a high end wooden puzzle isn’t unreasonable when you compare it to the cost of similar wooden puzzles, none of which come with the added game experience that Quezzle offers.
The biggest problem I’ve found, above and beyond the stupid box design I talked about earlier and the price point, is that there are no clear directions as to what you should be doing, when you should be doing it, and, most importantly, when you will be done.
As I mentioned earlier, the quest sheets aren’t very well translated and don’t clearly tell you what you need to do to finish Quezzle.
I’ve now talked to multiple people online who thought they were done with Quezzle only to see me share something and realize there’s more to their puzzle than they thought. Because of this, at the very bottom of this article, you will find some tips for people who own or are considering picking up Quezzle to make sure they are getting the full experience.
Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect when these four boxes showed up and I was impressed by Quezzle, despite some initial misgivings.
Physically Quezzle is fantastic and it’s a great puzzle, but the quest portion was underwhelming at the start. It wasn’t until we finally started to discover the final quest that the really cool stuff started to happen, In the end, once I finally saw the words “You completed Quezzle” pop up on the app on my phone, I realized just how great an experience the entire thing was overall.
My family members each found something to love with Quezzle. My youngest daughter loved all of the quests, finding the various things hidden in the artwork and then building the sub-puzzles. She was the one that actually figured out the clue from the guardians that lead to the end of the game.
My oldest daughter was all about building the puzzles themselves. She loved the way everything fit so nearly, the way the pieces were cut and discovering the hidden shapes in the puzzle.
My wife loved building the puzzles with my oldest, it was great one on one time for the two of them and similarly, I loved pairing up with my youngest to solve the quests within the puzzles once they were built.
If you are already a puzzle fan, I strongly recommend Quezzle. It’s a great puzzle on its own and all of the other aspects are just icing on the cake. Not only do you get a beautiful, well cut, puzzle featuring some whimsically shaped pieces you also get the quest/game elements to go along with it.
For the hobby board gamers out there, I don’t think there’s enough of a game here to really interest you, especially if you aren’t a fan of jigsaw puzzles. While the final quest part was well done, I don’t think it alone will win you over. There are plenty of other games out there that are more focused on the escape room puzzle experience if that’s what you are looking for.
Where I do think Quezzle is a perfect fit is for families like us, where you’ve got kids that like puzzles, kids that like seek and find style quests, and gamers who will find the overall quest rewarding. If your family is anything like ours, you will probably have a great time with Quezzle.
SPOILERS: Tips for solving Quezzle Amazing Cappadocia
I decided to include some hints for solving Quezzle here at the end of this review for those of you who got stuck or who may not realize that you haven’t actually finished your puzzle yet. If you don’t want spoilers, scroll back now!
Since talking about Quezzle on our podcast and on social media I’ve gotten a surprisingly large number of people writing me to ask questions. Combined with this, I’ve seen quite a few people sharing things on social media claiming that they’ve solved the puzzle where I can tell they haven’t even discovered the final quest yet. Then there have been people in between, who have gotten partway through the quest but were surprised to see my “You completed Quezzle” screenshot.
So what I’m going to do here is walk you through the ending of Quezzle. I’ll present this in order, so you can read along, stop when you learn something new and return to your puzzle. If you get stuck again, come back later for more hints.
First off if you haven’t seen a screen in the app that says “You completed Quezzle” then you haven’t actually completed Quezzle.
If you thought you were done but aren’t, don’t worry you aren’t the only one. Sharing this screenshot is what has gotten me the most feedback and has led many people to realize they aren’t done with their puzzle yet.
As for getting to this screen, read on.
The key to progressing to the final quest and working towards this end screen is to take the four guardians and find the clues on them, then act on those clues.
Each guardian has a word on it and you will combine those words to form a sentence that tells you where to look for the next step.
The guardians have the words “Box Has Double Bottom” printed on them. This will lead you to discover that one of the four game boxes has a false bottom. How cool is that? It was right here that Quezzle won me over. Up until this point, I thought it was a well done puzzle but not much of a game. However, finding that false bottom and the newspaper hidden within it hooked me into the whole quest experience.
Figuring out the guardian’s message seems to be the biggest hurdle for most players. While the instructions do tell you to look to the guardians, it’s not really clear what you are looking for. Even once you have the words you may not realize that they actually contain a hint. I’ve got to say it took us a while to think outside of the puzzle itself to realize they meant the bottom of one of the game boxes. It doesn’t help that it’s not box number one and that they mean the inside of the box. We spent far too long staring at the bottom of these boxes scanning barcodes and QR codes.
The next step of course is to do the new quests from the new newspaper you’ve found. It’s here that you will be actually taking pieces out of your puzzle and building new puzzles. The combination of the new quest sheet and these sub-puzzles should lead you to the finish.
If at this point you are still stuck, read on.
On the mini-puzzles you are looking for some code words, they are on the back of one of the puzzles. You should also now have a really good idea of what our villain looks like. You are going to take these two pieces of information and combine them to finally finish the quest.
For the final solution you need to re-assemble the puzzle, then find the villain and scan him with the app. (Hint: You must put all the pieces back into the puzzle before you can find and scan the villain)
The next step is to enter the code you found earlier on the chest mini-puzzle. At this point keep your phone pointed at the villain as he’s about to come to life and give you a cool animated treat.
One final tip: I’ve had two people contact me to point out that they tried the code, got it wrong, and then couldn’t get the app to recognize the villain again. Both of these people had to delete and re-install the app. If this is happening to you you may have to do the same thing.
I had way more fun than I expected with Quezzle Amazing Cappadocia. I’ve never been a huge jigsaw puzzle fan. However, due to the amount of fun that my family and I had while building the puzzles and then completing the quests in Quezzle, you can expect to see at least one more Unidragon puzzle review in the future.
Do you enjoy puzzles? Have you tried a high end wooden one, like Quezzle or the other puzzles from Unidragon? I would love to hear your opinion on them in the comments below.
Finally, remember if you do decide to pick up Quezzle, or any other puzzles, from Unidragon you can save 10% off with the code BELLHOP.