The Escapement: The Charm of Christmas Past

By | December 4, 2020

by The Escapement Margate (website)

65 Northdown Rd, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2RJ

2-6 players


Languages: EN

📦play at home
120-180 mins

Herbert & Whites solicitors have contacted you regarding the estate of a one Winifred Maud Brisley. Who, upon the 100th anniversary of her passing, instructed that one thousand households across the globe receive a bequest from her estate.

You have been identified as one of the benefactors and as such, you are invited to collect your mysterious inheritance.

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Overall rating

Rated between 3 and 3.5 out of 5

based on ratings from 9 users

Your review

Player reviews

Anonymous rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Played: 25 Dec 2021 Team size: 3 Time taken: 3:31
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 10 and 10 out of 5
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 45 and 45 out of 5
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
stairs expert rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Played: 26/12/2020 Team size: 8 Time taken: 2:15:00 Outcome: Successful escape!

As an inclusive, acccessible family Christmas puzzle experience, The Charm of Christmas Past has a lot to commend it:

  • It is beautifully presented, printed on thick linen card, and contains a variety of interesting trinkets and possessions.
  • It tells a gentle sentimental story which would appeal equally to playing with young children as with your nan.
  • The flow of the game is well-designed, being subdivided into several chapters that provide convenient stopping points and, within each chapter, there are multiple puzzles that can be solved simultaneously.
We played it as a mixed group of eight, split over multiple locations via Zoom (with a physical copy of the game in each location) and, as a Covid-secure replacement activity for a Christmas Day afternoon when we would have normally played a boardgame together, it did the job admirably - everyone could find something of interest (at least at first) to become engaged in, and it prompted some conversations and reminisces of Christmases past between the older members of the team.

However, judging it strictly as a premium at-home puzzle experience, we often felt that the mechanics of the puzzles didn't quite live up to the shine of their presentation.... there were some ambiguities in interpretation of correct answers, a couple of occassions where the solutions weren't quite as elegant as they could have been, a few mistakes (one of which was puzzle-breaking), and an online answer-checker that was too rigid in terms of the exact format in which it required answers to be entered etc. - all individually fairly minor shortcomings, but it meant that ultimately the experience was not as memorable or satisfying as it could have been. And, while the underlying puzzles were solid enough, there wasn't really anything truly memorably or original that a keen puzzle player would not have encountered before.

So, a good family experience, but if you just want puzzles, I'd say there are better, cheaper alternatives available.
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5

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