Green Door Labs - "Club Drosselmeyer 1943 (with Drosselbox)"
Videos/ Photos provided by Green Door Labs
Company: Green Door Labs
Game: Club Drosselmeyer 1943
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Digital Game/Puzzles By Mail 📬
Date Played: 12/3/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 5.5/10
Size of Team: 2-7 Players (Age 11+)
Time: 70 Minutes
Price: $55 (Digital)
We actually played the digital version of the game when it first came out and received the physical game box later on. Even though you may see some photos and physical items from the game box below, our review will be based on the digital version that we've played. This would be helpful to you as well since the physical game box is no longer available for sale but you can still purchase the digital version of the game on their website.
It's the year 1943 and Club Drosselmeyer Radio Broadcast is putting on an interactive Nutcracker in Swingtime show! During the broadcast, you'll meet various characters like Herr Drosselmeyer, Dr. Clara Stahlbaum, Rhett "the Rat" King, Sugar Faye, and more! Choose your own adventure by following different story paths and try all 7 endings! There are plenty of puzzles along the way too!
We received the actual game box which was valued at $65 during the holiday season. It's beautifully made with 4 coasters, 6 pins, 1 pencil, 1 wooden ruler, 1 notepad, 4 recipe sheets, 5 challenge cards, 8 character cards, 8 envelopes, 1 pamphlet, 1 handbook, 1 wax sealed intro letter, 1 map and 5 civilian defense unit role papers.
Currently the Drosselbox is no longer available but you can still play the digital version of the game. The price for the digital game will give you access to the online radio show, a phone number to the Drosselmeyer Switchboard, DPF files of all the game clues. You'll need to print everything yourself and some items will require cutting.
Check out our unboxing video below of the "Drosselbox" to see what exciting items you'll receive in the game! No Puzzle Spoilers!
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
We were given a number to dial in at the beginning of the game. The game started with a tutorial on how to use their phone system. Since all the input of the passwords are done through the phone, definitely take your time to understand this procedure.
The start of the game is when you start the radio show. The show is presented to you on an online portal. You'll listen to the first character talk about a storyline and you can decide if you'll like to help that person or not. If you choose to help her/him, you'll then be taken on that story path and will need to dial a phone number to listen in to that person's request. You'll know which envelope to open or clues to look at base on that character's storyline. Once you figure out that puzzle, call back the number to give that character the solution and if you're correct, you'll be given another trail to follow. During this time, the show doesn't stop so you'll be either listening to a live band playing smooth jazzy tunes or another character talking. It took awhile for us to get use to this type of play as usually we need complete silence to concentrate on solving a puzzle. There's a pause button you can use but the show will resume after a minute or so as the design of the game is to have you keep moving so you'll eventually get to the end of the show on schedule. We did find that it was hard to listen to the phone clues while music was playing or if another character was talking on the back end so we muted the show when we dialed in to submit the solutions.
It's impossible to finish all the puzzles during one show as you won't be able to follow all the characters so don't be alarmed if you have puzzles left unfinished. If you want to try the other puzzles, you'll just have to listen to tune in to the radio show again and choose a different character to follow this time to reach a different ending.
The puzzles were really enjoyable. They were designed to complement the narratives. At times you'll be in Sugar Faye's kitchen, cooking up some fun dishes and looking for a secret ingredient while other times you might be mingling with Rhett "the Rat" King and trying to see what sketchy business he's up to. There's even a chance to learn a magic trick!
We really felt like we were war time spies trying to decode secret messages being passed through the radio. There were many types of ciphers so you'll definitely feel satisficed at the end. If you get stuck, you'll just have to call the character back and he/she will give you nudging hints. And on the third request, you'll receive the solution. It would be great if Green Door Labs can also provide a written explanation to the solution as well for puzzlers who still doesn't get the answer at the end.
The game also caters towards people who might not want to puzzle too hard and just want to enjoy the radio show. There's a "non puzzler" route that you can choose as well.
This is a very creative game that we haven't seen before on the market. People rarely use phones to call anyone these days. It was quite interesting to use our phones so much during that few hours of play time. When Green Door Labs had the live show during the holidays, there's even a live actor on the other side of the line that you can interact with! This game received our "Best Innovator" Bullseye award and it's well deserved. It seamlessly merged immersive theater and tabletop game together as one. We look forward to attending the real Dosselmeyer Club in person one day!
Check out our interview with the creators to understand more on the development side of these game:
(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank Green Door Labs for providing us with a sample of their game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.