Today I’m taking a look at another one of EscapeWelt’s wooden puzzle boxes, the Space Box.
When ESCWelt reached out to me about reviewing this box they noted that it’s their hardest box yet. Read on to find out if I found that to be true.
Disclosure: Thank you EscapeWelt for sending us a review copy of this box. Links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
A bit about Escape Welt
As this is the fourth puzzle box I’ve reviewed from EscapeWelt I’m not going to get into a lot of detail about who they are, etc. (You can check out my Quest Pyramid review for more detailed information on that).
All you really need to know is that they are a German escape room company that shifted to making wooden puzzles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their puzzles are all laser cut birchwood and include some traditionally flat puzzles as well as 3D puzzles like the Space Box that we’re looking at here.
The goal of each of these 3D puzzles is to figure out a way to get them open and when you do you are awarded with a small prize. After solving the puzzle you are left with a keepsake that looks pretty cool on a shelf, makes for a great conversation piece or that can be used as a very cool gift box and passed on to someone else with a gift locked inside.
A look at the Space Box from Escape Welt
The Space Box is one of EscapeWelt’s newest puzzles and they let me know that this is the hardest one they have published yet, something I can’t dispute.
For a look at the packaging this 3D puzzle box comes with, and to get a good look at the puzzle box itself from all sides, you can check out our Unboxing the Space Box video on YouTube.
Immediately upon opening it up, one thing that stuck out about this puzzle was how loose some of the pieces were. There are four sliders on this box that, immediately upon opening the box started to slide in and out of the puzzle.
Now I don’t know if this is intentional or if my particular copy of this puzzle was looser than it should have been. This looseness did actually impact our ability to solve the puzzle as each of these sliders needs to be set to certain points at the same time. You have to be very careful when setting these to not have the opposite sides slide on you.
Other than this minor issue the puzzle itself was very chunky and solid. Etchings in the wood were very clear and easy to read and nothing felt like I was going to break it just by playing around.
Except for the fact that some sliders pop out at you right away, there’s no real indication on this box as to where to start. Of all of the EscapeWelt Puzzle Boxes we’ve played with and managed to solve this one had us stumped for the longest time. Litteral weeks went by with me, Sean, my wife and kids, and our friends, fiddling around with this thing on and off until I finally realized what to do with the sliders.
Once we got that going things started progressing… until we got completely stuck again. Then at one point, a piece popped out that hadn’t before and from then on it was wasn’t much longer before I had solved the puzzle and gotten to its prize.
The prize itself was a small wooden memento, typical of these wooden puzzles from Escape Welt.
While it felt good finally getting the puzzle open it wasn’t as rewarding as solving The Quest Pyramid was because we had no idea what we had done to get things to suddenly change. One minute we’re flipping things around and then suddenly there’s a bit sticking out that wasn’t there before. It wasn’t until I went online to check the proper solution that I learned that there’s an entire part of the puzzle we basically solved by accident.
To add to that, this was a part of the puzzle that we wasted at least an hour on thinking we hadn’t solved it yet. Here we were manipulating things expecting something to happen and not seeing anything and that was because we had already done the thing without knowing it.
On a more positive note, I think it would be near impossible to brute force this puzzle. Trust me we tried on a few parts when we were stuck, mixing different possible combinations and trying to lock pick things by feeling how one part moving affected another, and it got us nowhere.
While we did somehow manage to accidentally solve part of the puzzle, you are going to need to use logic to get it open in the end.
One interesting thing about this puzzle is that once you’ve solved it you technically end up with two compartments that you could hide gifts in. One of these is opened before the other and could make for a cool mid-puzzle surprise or perhaps a hint as to what is hidden in the main compartment.
As a bonus, if you are just looking to pick up this puzzle to use as a gift box and have no interest in solving it yourself, you can find a short video on the Escape Welt website that shows you how to get in and out quickly.
Should you pick up the Space Box from Escape Welt?
When the rep from EscapeWelt noted that this was their hardest puzzle yet they weren’t kidding. Of all of their boxes, the Space Box took the longest to get open by far, taking weeks longer than the others. At this point, my kids still haven’t figured out how to open it and have seemingly given up for now. Though, I’m sure at some point they will notice it and pick it up and start playing with it again.
This puzzle really was baffling at first and it really tempted me to look up some form of hints. While a Space Box solution can be found on the Escape Welt site I didn’t want to use that if possible. Instead, when we were really stuck I tried to Google some hints, especially on one specific puzzle, and that’s where we found out we had already accidentally solved part of it. Once we stopped trying to find a solution that we already had, the rest of the puzzle fell into place.
Before starting this puzzle we had already solved three other EscapeWelt wooden puzzle boxes and I think we have started to get a good feel for how these puzzles are solved. We went in with an understanding of the kinds of things you have to do and what can and cannot be manipulated. I think this really helped in regards to us getting the Space Box open.
I have a feeling that if this was the first box from EscapeWelt that I had played with I would have gotten frustrated and looked up a solution online, or at least the first step to get us started.
I don’t think the Space Box would make for a good intro to this style of puzzle. To me, the Space Box is for experienced puzzle box fans looking for a challenge. I can’t see this being a good first wooden puzzle box experience.
If you are looking for more of an entry level box, then I recommend the Quest Pyramid that I reviewed a couple of weeks back. It was much more straightforward in how it had to be solved. Once you’ve figured that one out then you can move on to some of their more difficult puzzles.
Remember if you are shopping direct from EscapeWelt you can save 10% off with our unique code: BELLHOP
Overall I’ve been having way more fun than expected with these escape boxes from EscapeWelt.
I’ve still got one more here to check out but it’s different. It’s a two-in-one box where you first have to build the puzzle before you try to solve it. It’s called the Orbital Box x2 and I’m looking forward to checking it out as my next ESCWelt experience.