In this review of a wooden 3D pyramid puzzle by Escape Welt, we discuss its design, craftsmanship, puzzle design, and value for money. Is it a good purchase?
In recent years, the accessibility of wood laser cutters for personal and professional use has significantly increased. The market for aesthetically pleasing, precision-made products from natural materials emerged hand-in-hand with it.
Escape Welt is a German company that competes in this market, more specifically in the niche of 3D puzzles. They were kind enough to send us a review copy of their 3D Quest Pyramid, a puzzle box, hand-assembled out of pieces of laser-cut wood.
So, how does it work? By solving several puzzles on and in the box, moving hinges, and arranging icons, you attempt to open the pyramid and access the burial chamber.
The first impression of a large, rather heavy wooden pyramid is that this is a high-quality product, from both puzzle-design and materials-used perspectives. This is supported by the accompanying glossy instructions and promo flyers.
Therefore, if you’re looking to impress someone (perhaps as a business gift), this pyramid will do the trick.
Note that there’s also a version of the pyramid that comes in pieces and you have to assemble it yourself. Since the assembled pyramid is pretty much a one-time puzzle, this might significantly spoil your enjoyment of the puzzle-solving. But if you’re more into assembling than solving, why not.
Features and specifications
The base of the pyramid is roughly 20x20cm (8×8″) and the height is around half of that. The burial chamber itself is 5x5x5cm. As said, the pyramid is made of high-quality birch wood, all also cut to the highest precision. This ensures all the parts, particularly moving parts fit like a glove and also move smoothly.
The assembled pyramid is sturdier than you would expect, but keep in mind this is still a delicate mechanism. Maybe keep small kids away from this and don’t accidentally drop it.
The goal is to open the secret compartment of the pyramid. But the award is not the actual contents of that compartment (there’s a symbolic award, but you can insert your own awards for the next player), but the satisfaction of solving the puzzle.
The puzzle itself has several stages, which are neatly depicted at the bottom of the pyramid. The puzzles are a combination of associating numbers with symbols and shapes, performing basic arithmetics, and similar. They do make logical sense and there are also a couple of cool a-ha moments included.
The difficulty, although relatively high, is spot on. Of course, for something you can solve only once, you want this one-time to not be a pushover, but to be a memorable challenge. And this it does achieve.
If you truly get stuck, there are clues available on their website. But I’d be very careful about using them. First, you’ll ruin the experience for yourself. And second, you don’t need them, as the puzzle is solvable, you just need some patience.
So how long does it take to open, you ask? I’d say if you really throw yourself at it( and maybe add a friend or two to help with brainstorming), it can be done in an hour or two. Played casually, it will probably take a day or two. When you know the solution, you can open it in 2 minutes, of course.
The only issue with the puzzle that I encountered is that a part of it can be solved simply by trial and error. If I generalize, you can try to gently pull lever A out while turning dial B and then wait for the “click”, instead of logically connecting the symbols. Sort of like crack opening a safe instead of knowing the combination. It’s up to you to decide whether this is a feature of a puzzle or cheating.
We’ve already established that the design, materials used and craftsmanship are all on the top level. With the limited one-time playing time, the pyramid is probably best suited as a gift or a decoration. If you have one on your shelf, you can imagine that your guests will be intrigued by what it is and will check it out and try to open it.
And this is probably where the true value of such a product lies. Yes, the puzzle itself is very good, but once you’ve solved it, you’re done.
If you’re strictly into puzzling you can buy better puzzles or board games for the same price tag. On the other hand, the 3D Quest Pyramid is a perfect present for anyone who’s into puzzles, woodworking, or premium geeky products in general. Compared to similar products, the pricing is there-there and so is the overall quality. I do recommend it.
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