• Cici Cao

Puzzling Hunts - "SLEIGHLINK II - Santa's Secret Mission"


Photos provided by Puzzling Hunts

Company: Puzzling Hunts

Games: SLEIGHLINK II - Santa's Secret Mission

Country: USA 🇺🇸

Language: English

Type of Game: APP Puzzle Game 📱

Genre: Fantasy, Holiday

Date Played: 1/26/2021

Difficulty (based on 5 players): 6.5/10

Size of Team: Unlimited (Up to 5 connections)

Time: Unlimited (Suggested time Approx. 2 - 3 Hours)

Price: $11-$18 per team (pending on team size) - On sale currently at $9.99


🆃🅷🅴 🆂🆃🅾🆁🆈


Rumor has it, Musk of SpaceX and Santa have been working on a special project together. Agents from the Santa Containment Reconnaissance Order of Global Encirclement wants us to infiltrate the North Pole and stop anything that seems naughty!

🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈


This game is played over the ClueKeeper App. We played it on our mobile device. The App is free to download. Once you purchase the game, the team leader will be able to invite the rest of the players by email. Once all the team members join in on the game's interface, the team leader can press "start" for the hunt to begin. The game is synced for all players so if one player enters a password correctly, it'll update for the rest of the team.


All the clues are presented in text or image formats. There are 15 puzzles in total and each is worth 5-10 points. If you don't use points to purchase hints, you'll end up with a perfect score of 155 points (which is what our team got. Go team!). Free hints are also available after a certain period of time.


You will encounter the usage of Zappar (AR) which was embedded inside the app. Although the description of the game said printer is needed, we didn't encounter any puzzles that we felt needed to be printed.

🆃🅷🅴 🅿🆄🆉🆉🅻🅴🆂


The puzzles varied in terms of difficulty. Some took us a minute where as others took us half an hour. It's interesting to see the results later with the time stamps as it showed what type of puzzle our team was good at and what we got stumped on.


Some puzzles required outside knowledge so be sure to make Google your friend. One puzzle in particular was really difficult as it required not only understanding the logic behind it but also the back story for a specific event. This was extremely hard to understand for some of our international players as after reading the context, we still needed to interpret it into a logical format. Our favorite puzzles in the game were the various types of ciphers.


This was a linear hunt where you can only move on after solving that specific puzzle. Since there's no time limit, you can be hardheaded and not use any clues and dwell on it for as long as you like. Or just use a clue and move on.

🅲🅻🅾🆂🅸🅽🅶 🆃🅷🅾🆄🅶🅷🆃🆂


This puzzle hunt is probably best for players who's had some experiences with puzzles. There were ciphers we've seen regularly as puzzlers but would probably be quite challenging for beginner puzzlers. We were lucky to have a strong team of veteran puzzlers with us for this game and without using any hints, we finished the hunt in less than 2 hours. It was fun to have to make a final decision at the end. Hopefully you'll read through the context and pick the right decision!


𝔼𝕊ℂ𝔸ℙ𝔼𝕋ℍ𝔼ℝ𝕆𝕆𝕄𝕖𝕣𝕤❜ ℙ.𝕀.𝕤❜ 𝕋𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙𝕥𝕤

Koen & Margot D.


Pro's:

- Stable working system via the app

- Cool teamwork feature

- Generally fun puzzles (some exceptions)


Con's:

- Level of difficulty varied a bit too much between puzzles

- Lack of media (only some pictures)

- Bit of a hard to understand storyline (think mostly because of the lack of background text and media)

- Some puzzles needed to much outside knowledge

- Hard to split tasks, solving the same puzzle at the same time with other teammates (so doing double work, or doing nothing)

Yoni Y.


We have been invited to play the Sleighlink II - Santa’s Secret Mission puzzle hunt with people who haven't met before (due to ETR's P.I. program), but during the game we have become a coordinated group with team spirit.


The game is a puzzle hunt, composed of several riddles with a touch of story elements relating to Christmas. Despite the light and supposedly "childish" story line, the riddles are not simple and require cultural knowledge that may be lacking for international players. Some riddles are less than "fair" and require either experienced players or utilizing clues in order to understand how to approach the riddle. We have used google (a lot) and received a lot of help from other members of the team, enabling us to complete the puzzle hunt, needing hints for only one riddle. Other, less experienced players might become frustrated with some of the riddles.


A few hours before the game we received a file that explained several ciphers, some of them were used during the hunt. On one hand this helped focus and reduced the need to search for the ciphers (or pull our "cheat sheet" :-) ) during the game, and we did learn one cipher we were not familiar with, but on the other hand, having this file reduced the challenge on some of the riddles to the technical actions of translating the ciphers with little need to figure out what cipher to use.


The game is linear - you have to solve one puzzle in order to advance to the next. This caused some frustration when we got stuck with a puzzle and could not move to another one. On the other hand, it forced all players to a group effort and brainstorming that helped integrate the team.

Our feeling is that the difficulty level of the riddles is mixed and not gradual, and we got a little stuck in one of the early puzzles, which affected the rest of the game. This is even more pronounced to non-native English speakers and to people lacking US cultural knowledge.

The puzzles were relatively heavy on text and less using the visual medium. Most riddles, while not very original, were executed nicely. One riddle was unique in our experience and executed very well.


Conclusion: Fun and challenging experience, requires US cultural knowledge and google search capabilities. This hunt can be used as either a team building exercise or as a "race" between small groups.

(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 Puzzling Hunts for providing us with a sample of the game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.


#ESCAPETHEROOMers #AtHomeGames #EscapeRooms #PuzzlingHunts #SLEIGHLINKII #SantasSecretMission #Cluekeeper #app #fantasy #santa #holiday #christmas #mission

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“ESCAPETHEROOMers” was created in late 2018 by Cici Cao & Brandon Chow.  They are a couple who loves to travel around the world to find new adventures!  Since their first escape room in 2018, the addiction never stopped. “ESCAPETHEROOMers” was born with the idea of providing reviews for escape room enthusiasts but also as a portal for game creators to have an outlet to showcase their talents and products. They are currently the ONLY review
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