There’s a trend we’ve been enjoying over the past few years – escape rooms. Our first experience was at a small one in Huntsville, Alabama. We’ve also tried out a number of escape rooms in the Quad Cities. Our oldest daughter just started her first job over the summer and is running the two escape rooms at the Bettplex! And of course we’ve test out nearly every single escape-room-in-a-box issued (EXIT, Escape the Room, Escape Room – The Game).
So we’re no strangers to puzzle-themed games and experiences. We recently came across a very affordable puzzle challenge that advertises itself as “like an escape room with cards”. Doctor Esker’s Notebook by Plankton Games is a custom deck of 73 cards with nine puzzle challenges perfect for solo play or as a party game. The backstory is the mysterious Doctor Esker has vanished, leaving behind his notebook full of puzzles.
Set up the nine puzzles by sorting the cards by the designs on the back. Ten solution cards are also laid out into the center of the play area. Each puzzle is contained within the matching decks and the solution will reveal a sequence of numbers.
After studying all of the cards in the current puzzle, you should be able to come up with a number sequence. Turn over the matching numbered solution cards. If you see a message or image on the solution cards, you have discovered the answer correctly. The solution cards should also tell you where to go next!
Puzzles in Doctor Esker’s Notebook may use anywhere between three and fourteen cards and solutions will range from 2-4 digits. Some puzzles rely on the arrangement of cards and all will require you to think outside the box. Do not be afraid to ask for hints, which can be found on Plankton Games’ website. Keep track of your time so you know when to request a hint and to record the overall time needed to complete the game. The included victory card requests you record your score and then pass the game along to someone else so they may experience it too!
Like many puzzle games, Doctor Esker’s Notebook is really good for only one play since you’ll know the answers. At under $15 on Amazon, it is much cheaper than movie tickets for an evening of entertainment. Unlike some of the other escape room games, you do not destroy any of the components. As previously noted, once you complete it, pass Doctor Esker’s Notebook along to a friend so they can try it out!
Find out what other board and card games Plankton Games offers by following them on Facebook or checking out their website. We hear there’s a second printing in the works for Doctor Esker’s Notebook. Maybe that means we’ll soon hear about more notebook pages discovered for a second version! Until then, enter to win a copy of Doctor Esker’s Notebook for yourself by using the form below! Don’t forget to check back each day for additional entry opportunities!