RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 13:53
Another school year is upon us, and already there’s a very important test on the horizon. As I see it, we’re now left with two logical choices: spend hours studying to actually earn our good grade, or take full advantage of our friendship with the teacher’s daughter to break into his home while he’s away and steal the answer key. Which path do you think we chose?
Lao Lew, your teacher of logic, has got a really bad temper. You have decided to use your friendship with his daughter to enter into Lao’s house and find the answer key to your next test. But evidently the girl has understood something.. “Your life is in your hands. Life is a play, and the ticket for it is in a Chinese jewelry box,” she said laughing and ran away closing the door. In an hour the professor will come home, leaving you very little time to find his answer key or get caught cheating on the test.
Sure, the story is certainly a bit… different, but there’s no denying that it’s different in a really fun way. Chinese Jewelry Box crafts a clever narrative that quickly draws you in as its main star, becoming an active participant in a playful world that mixes mystery with child-like whimsy.
And while officially Escape Authority cannot endorse home invasion as a means by which to cheat on your next school exam, we sure had fun doing it!
Chinese Jewelry Box artfully transports us into its world through use of some beautiful scenic decor. We’re quickly taken our of our element and dropped right into what is unquestionably the traditional Chinese home of Lao Lew, where we’re left to freely explore hallways and several rooms, including finding secret access into his private office.
The rooms are a beautiful, peaceful, serene place that felt comfortable and welcoming. The attention to detail in their decor only further added to their sense of authenticity, making it easy for us to become immersed in the storyworld of Chinese Jewelry Box.
Puzzles integrate organically into the storyworld to seamlessly blend them into the experience within with some clever moments and cool tech bits along the way. Everything carried a distinctly Chinese flare, from fans and lanterns to a bit of magical ancient tea that helped lead to our success.
Some of the games steps were presented in Chinese text. While it most certainly did not require you to speak Chinese in order to be able to proceed, our group perhaps did yield a small advantage there as my teammate actually could. I’m not certain if that means we technically cheated at cheating on our test – but just the same we had a blast.
The game’s finale logic puzzle was a doozy – embracing the fact that puzzles should get progressively harder throughout the course of the game. It definitely provided us with our biggest challenge, but it was still completely solvable, and left us with a feeling of accomplishment after figuring it out.
Prior to playing, Chinese Jewelry Box was perhaps my lowest priority for our second visit to Komnata Quest. We didn’t have a lot of time, and if something had to be cut to make things fit, this would have been the game to do it. Again to be clear, that was prior to playing. Thank goodness I was able to finagle the schedule to fit in every new game – because the simple truth is that Chinese Jewelry Box ended up being one of their most enjoyable!
At first glance the story didn’t completely hook me, but in hindsight its uniqueness only further adds to its charm. It was honestly refreshing to get immersed into a world where the only conflict is a playful one for a change; no catastrophes, no bombs, no super villains trying to end the world. We found ourselves cast into the roles of mischievous kids in a storyworld so solidly put together that made it easy to end up feeling like kids again.
I’ve said it before, but Komnata Quest has quickly become one of my favorite brands in the United States. Their games carry a distinctly different flavor that’s always satisfying, compelling and engaging. The best part is their newer games seem to constantly be growth and improvement over their older ones – and to be clear we already loved the older ones to begin with.
Komnata Quest’s dedication to story and original gameplay put them on a level of quality few can match, and make them a must see destination attraction for any visit to the NYC area.
Venue: Komnata Quest
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Number of Games: 9
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $33 per person (minimum two) or $28 per person (for groups of three to six)
We thank Komnata Quest for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.