EscapeWelt, a German company that specializes in wooden puzzles, is back with their most complex puzzle box yet: the Quest Tower.
The Quest Tower is about 6 inches tall, with 8 tiers covered with pillars, windows, and glyphs, and a staircase along one side. There are dials to spin, pegs that slide in and out, and doors to open … if you can figure out the secret. EscapeWelt is running a Kickstarter campaign, with a €59 (about $66 USD) pledge to get the tower. (There’s a slightly lower early bird tier available that currently has a few slots open as of this writing, or you can keep your eye on it and if somebody drops their pledge you may be able to snag one of those slots.)
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.
EscapeWelt sent me an early copy to try out—along with a hints sheet in case I got stuck, which I did! Usually I’d spend a little more time trying to solve the puzzles but I wanted to see the entire process through to the end before I wrote about it, so I’ll admit that I referred to the hints several times along the way, and even with the hints there were some parts that stumped me for a bit.
As with their other puzzles, there are various symbols and codes hidden all over the tower, and you’ll need to figure how to tie those symbols to the various mechanisms that will unlock various parts. In some places, it’s obvious that you’re trying to open a particular door, but you have to figure out which things will unlock it. At other times, it’s not initially clear what piece will move or open if you solve a puzzle. The puzzles involve finding the right clues for the piece you’re working on, and then solving the riddle to get some sort of combination, and then figuring out how to use that combination to actually open or slide the right parts.
There are actually multiple openings in the Quest Tower—one of them just has another puzzle inside! But when you actually complete it, you’ll access a hidden chamber inside the tower. Put a secret gift in there, reset everything, and then challenge a puzzle-loving friend to open it up to get the gift!
I will say that there were a few places that were physically tricky even when I had figured out the “answer.” For instance, the four little sliders along the side are pretty tiny and close together, so even when I had the right combination, I sometimes bumped a slider while trying to manipulate another. It also really helps to have some pen and paper handy—while there are things you can figure out in your head, sometimes it really helps to write down things that appear on different sides of the tower and see them all at the same time.
Okay, enough hints. If you like puzzle boxes, the Quest Tower is a tough challenge to conquer!
For more information or to make a pledge, visit the Quest Tower Kickstarter page. The campaign ends on Saturday, August 5, so don’t wait too long to check it out!