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Company: Spencer is Puzzling
Game: Lost in the Shuffle
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Tabletop Game 📬
Genre: Puzzle Game
Date Played: October 10, 2022
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 6/10
Size of Team: Unlimited
Time: Unlimited (Approximately 3-5 Hours)
This is a not a normal deck of playing cards. It's a deck of cards filled with puzzles handcrafted by the creator, Spencer Beebe. You'll have unlimited time to solve 53 puzzles. He claims that the game will turn any player into a genius. Ready to unleash your brain power and claim your genius title?
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You'll receive a normal sized deck of cards (54 cards plus an intro card with a website domain) held inside a card box. The cards are filled with drawings, lines, dots, symbols colors and more. The card box also looks like it holds a lot of puzzles and hidden information. You can easily be mesmerized by the appearance of this game. Puzzle lovers would be eager to dive in.
Photos above are property of Spencer is Puzzling
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
Your deck of cards might arrive scrambled because the puzzles don't need to be played in a certain order. It is already a puzzle to be able to identify which cards might need to go together for a puzzle (although some only require a single card). The welcome card should be the one on the top. It'll give you directions to set up your game on a website. This is where you'll input answers, get hints and receive the narrative videos.
The introductory video would be a great place to start as towards the end of the video you will actually get a little clue on where to begin. There are 52 puzzles in total and if you complete all of them, you'll unlock the meta puzzle #53. Since this game is not linear at all, it was great to be able to divide the puzzles amongst ourselves. Sometimes things I missed was easily detected by Brandon and vise versa. We left the ones we couldn't solve towards the end. You know how sometimes a puzzle is too difficult and you might just leave it for a long time before going back to it? Well the "reveal" system for this game was quite clever. As we input information, we gained brain matter which allowed us to level up. Once we leveled up, the website would show us more information (e.g. how many letters are required for the answers and later on even the first letter would be revealed) which really pushed us to complete the game.
We were not given any rules on how to solve the puzzles and we really liked that type of freedom. Incremental hints were also available and this was done really well too as there were many steps to the hints and you'll also receive a warning before the answer was disclosed. The solution was also explained in detail and very easy to understand.
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There are many types of puzzles in this game. It pretty much covered all the ciphers we knew and more! We loved that the game provided us with a "common code sheet" so there's no discrepancy on which cipher decoder we should use since there are various version online. The creator was also great at letting the players know right at the beginning of the game that the internet might come in handy especially with riddles and trivia.
Some of our favorite puzzles were actually visual puzzles. The creator was able to hide messages and clues in the cards in many innovative ways that by the end of the game, we started to look at normal things in a different perspective. The meta puzzle really gave us that "wow" moment as I can't just imagine the amount of work that went into the graphic design aspect of this game.
Another thing that really amazed us was how many puzzles the creator was able to embed on a tiny little card. There was a card that we had to use 8 times! He definitely filled up every single space he could in order to give the players the maximum amount of play time.
We brought this game with us on a cruise (since it was so easy to carry around) and it was the perfect game for "inquisitive and prying" eyes. People thought we were playing an intricate card game until they realized we were solving puzzles. So Spencer, you might be getting a lot of backers from the sea! (You welcome!) Although the game does need internet (and you know how slow cruise internet could be), we had no issues playing this game while cruising in the Mediterranean Sea. A great thing with the online system is that it actually stores your progress so you can come back to the game at any time.
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This game is great for beginner or experienced puzzlers. For beginners, it's a awesome learning experience as you'll encounter all types of ciphers and riddles. For experienced puzzlers, you'll still be challenged as there's endless amount of puzzles (at least it feels like it) and pending on if you want to use the hints or not, you can make the game easier or harder for yourself. I know some tabletop games require multi-player but this is a great game to enjoy as a solo player as well.
One thing I looked forward to whenever I solved a puzzle was the chance to level up with my brain matter score. This is because I know I'll be awarded with a hilarious video. We highly recommend this game as some puzzles were not too difficult where for a moment it actually feels like you've been turned into a genius but a short moment later, a difficult puzzle will put you right back to reality. It's definitely a roller coaster ride but a FUN one! And you know the best part about this game? It's fully re-playable since none of the cards will be damaged in any way!
Check out our interview with the creators to understand more on the development side of the game:
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(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 Spencer is Puzzling 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.