Looking for something different to do on Thanksgiving, along side stuffing yourself and maybe watching the game? How about treating the family to a one hour escape-room-in-a-box experience?
The Turkey Trial is the seventh and latest Holiday Hijinks game. This is a series of small box, very reasonably priced, puzzle games each with it’s own holiday theme. This one, of course, has a Thanksgiving theme.
Disclosure: Big thanks to Marc from Grand Gamers Guild who took the time to stop off in Windsor to drop off a pile of his Holiday Hijinks games to review. Some links in this post will be affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
What is The Turkey Trial all about?
The Turkey Trial is the seventh and newest addition to the Holiday Hijinks series of puzzle games from designer Jonathan Chaffer and publisher Grand Gamers Guild. Each of these escape-room-in-a-box style games is made up of a small pack of only eighteen cards and can be played in about an hour.
Turkey Trial is designed for one or more players and is totally family friendly. While the puzzles may be too much for some kids, the story is going to really appeal to a younger audience. This is the easiest of the Holiday Hijinks games so far with a rating of one out of three.
In this puzzle game you are playing as a turkey, one that is certain that it’s going to be served up for dinner. It’s up to you to figure out a way to escape the farm while also helping out some of your farmyard friends. The goal of The Turkey Trial is to get free so you can reach the governor in time to be pardoned.
We don’t have an unboxing for share with you as this is a puzzle game and we didn’t want to spoil anything, but know that the contents here match the other Holiday Hijinks games. It’s a small pack of eighteen cards and the instructions inside the pack will have you scan a QR code to get to a web app.
Just like with the previous Holiday Hijinks games thst we’ve reviewed, this app is where you will get the story of the game. It’s also where you can look for hints or get standard puzzle-game information like various codes and cyphers. For example, this particular escape room game uses the Moon Code which you can find in the app.
Component quality here is great. The cards are good quality, the card pack is resealable and the game is replayable (you could easily pass it on to someone else to play with their friends and family when you are done with it).
How do you play through The Turkey Trial?
Playing The Turkey Trial couldn’t be simpler.
Open up the pack and set the cards aside making sure not to look at the backs of any of them. Read and follow the simple instruction inside the packaging which will have you scan the QR code there. Select the proper game from the web app, read the introduction, hit “Start”, grab the indicated card and start solving.
As you find solutions you will enter your answers into the web app. This will lead you to the next card or set of cards. Continue grabbing cards, solving puzzles, and entering solutions, until you get to the end.
The puzzles in The Turkey Trial are split along two branching paths, which is great for two individual players or two groups of people to work on concurrently.
Before you wrap up you will all have to work together to get the final answer and make your escape.
If you get stuck there is a graduated clue system in the web app. This gives you just one small hint at a time, so that you don’t spoil anything. Though the full solutions are there if you are completely stumped.
When you finally escape, you get a final score and have the opportunity to submit that score to Grand Gamers Guild so they can use information like how long you took, how many clues you used, and so on, to improve future Holiday Hijinks games.
We got our first five out of five score, using no hints and finishing The Turkey Trial in under an hour. The difficulty rating of one seems pretty accurate here, though there was one puzzle that took us quite some time to figure out.
Is The Turkey Trial worth picking up?
The Turkey Trial features an interesting mix of puzzle types that tested our logic, deduction, math, and observation skills.
There was one puzzle that did have us wanting to write on the cards and for this I do recommend you use either tracing paper or card sleeves and a dry erase. That way you don’t ruin anything and can pass this game on to someone else to play through once you are done.
My kids really enjoyed the story of this Holiday Hijinks game. My youngest daughter in particular, was really amused by the fact you were ‘playing the turkey’ in this game. That kind of made the game for her.
This somewhat silly theme and story makes The Turkey Trial great for playing with younger kids. That said, some of the puzzles seemed to be geared more towards adults or at least teens. I’m not sure a bunch of young kids could play this on their own, but with the proper supervision, this could be a great Thanksgiving experience.
What I personally liked the most about The Turkey Trial is the way that the story branched.
At one point you are presented two puzzles at once. Each one of those leads to more puzzles, which in turn leads to even more. If you follow just one path from one of these questions you will eventually get to a dead end and have to go back and finish the other branch.
That branching path makes this particular escape room game great for a couple or for a larger group of players split into two teams. This means The Turkey Trial could be good for larger groups of say four or six, as not everyone has to fight to try and see and work on just one problem at a time.
My only real complaint about The Turkey Trial is that it never explains the whole pardoning of the turkey thing or why it’s called the turkey trial. The turkey pardon is a US only thing and not part of Thanksgiving in Canada or other parts of the world. This part of the story really confused my kids until I was able to explain that tradition.
I feel that just having the game be about the escape from the farm would have made the game more accessible to more groups of players. Drop the entire trial part and just call it The Gobbling Getaway, Turkey Tribulations or something like that.
Me and my family continue to enjoy these small card pack escape room in a box games from Jonathan Chafer. The most impressive part to me is how each of the games we’ve played feels quite different from the last.
So far The Turkey Trial is the easiest and most accessible Holiday Hijinks game we’ve played. The story here is particularly family friendly. I think this would be a great game to play on Thanksgiving. That is as long as your gathering isn’t too big. If you are one to have a full house, perhaps this game is something that one adult could share with “the kids’ table”, another Thanksgiving tradition.
If you dig escape room style puzzles, and want a wide variety of small challenges that can be played through in a short period of time, you will probably enjoy The Turkey Trial whenever you choose to play it.
If the entire concept of eighteen-card, quick-playing puzzle games great for one or more players interests you, I encourage you to check out our other Holiday Hijinks reviews.
- Holiday Escape Room Game: The Turkey Trial is #7 in the Holiday Hijinks line. Solve puzzles, unravel mysteries in this 18-card escape room style game.