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The Great Gotham Challenge - "The Crate Gotham Challenge: Holiday Edition"

Photo above is property of The Great Gotham Challenge

Company: The Great Gotham Challenge

Games: The Crate Gotham Challenge: Holiday Edition

Country: USA 🇺🇸

Language: English

Type of Game: Tabletop Games 📬

Genre: Mystery

Date Played: December 31, 2022

Difficulty (based on 3 players): 6/10

Size of Team: 2-4 Players

Time: 3 Hours (Solution portal is open for at least 24 Hrs.)

Price: $120.00


Take a seat and let us journey through the ages as we learn about Christmas, some different

holiday traditions, solve some puzzles and just enjoy the company of family and friends.

Photo above is property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


Receiving the crate and looking inside (when told to do so), we find what appears to be random items carefully packed which includes a mug, some M&Ms, a candle, a matchbook, coffee in a can and more. We also received a letter from the gamemaster telling us “No cheating” and you won’t know what to do with the items anyways without additional information in the game.

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


Starting off the game, every team gathered at the “starting line”, a zoom call that introduced us to the game. The gamemasters greeted us and then sent out a link to the web app that we would use to input the answers, progress through the game, get hints and keep track of our time. After logging in with our teams, we were off to begin the game.

On each page, there was a blurb with some history and facts about Christmas and at the end,

there was a paragraph that would clue us to how we would solve the next puzzle. Once we

believe we knew the answer, we would input it into the web app. One great feature was that if

one person did anything in the system, we would all see it such as if there was the correct

solution, we would all progress to the next step or if someone took a hint, we would all see the hint pop up.

Something we liked was that there were some custom-made items by smaller companies in the area including the coffee and the candle, which not surprisingly held secrets and mysteries of their own.

The format and set up of the game can be played how you would like to. If you wanted to be

competitive and go for the best time, you could do that (The top team finished in an hour and 40 mins). Our group played fairly relaxed, were chatting between puzzles and still had a great time playing. There was no in-depth story to follow but we did learn a lot about Santa and Christmas (did you know that Thomas Nast, a cartoonist, originally identified the North Pole as Santa’s home just because there was always snow there?).

After about 3 hours of playtime, we were all invited back to the initial zoom call to celebrate and congratulate the top teams and thank us for playing along. The web app would stay open for at least another 24 hours for us to complete the game though if we were not finished at this time.

Photo above is property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


There were definitely some clever puzzles in this box. There were a lot of items that needed to be manipulated but others that needed to be assembled, some ciphers, some online research and even some unexpected tools. The GGC website described the puzzles as some of their favorites that they had created for some private games over the past 2 years, and we were not disappointed. There were so many jaw dropping moments when we discovered what needed to be done and so many “That can’t be what they want us to do, right?” moments that ended up being correct.

The hint system was sneaky so that you could not cheat the system. There was a countdown

timer for the hints. If you wanted a hint, you would have to lock in the time and take it as a

penalty. You would then click forwards through the hint questions (“What items you need?”,

“What to do with the phrase?”, etc.) to choose what point of the puzzle you are stuck on, but you could only click backwards up to one hint. That way you couldn’t just read the hint questions and deduce what you wanted. If you were total stuck and just needed the answer, there was also a walkthrough option that would give you another time penalty.

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


"The Crate Gotham Challenge (Holiday Edition)" was a fun break from the holidays. The box was packed with many enjoyable items and had hidden secrets that made for an exciting game. A lot of the items could also be enjoyed (coffee), used (notebook) and tinkered with (music box!) after the game. The puzzles were challenging, crafty and an absolute “best of” box. Though this game is no longer available, anyone who loves some impressive puzzles should check out their future games. There was no overall story to the game, but it was fun to learn about the history of Christmas and hang out with friends, plus there were items to make mulled apple cider at the end, a well earned holiday treat.


(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 The Great Gotham Challenge for providing us with samples of the game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.