[Before I even start, The Pumpkin Problem is a “room escape” deductive-puzzle mystery game. If I am vague on many points of this review, it is not only to prevent specific spoilers but also to mask what may or may not BE a spoiler. Everything in the game could matter at some point. -dc]
Last Christmas I had the pleasure of reviewing The Kringle Caper as a print-and-play product. It’s rare for me to take on a pnp, but The Kringle Caper, and The Pumpkin Problem, only contains a handful of cards. So both are incredibly easy to print and then play. That said, for The Pumpkin Problem I have the physical version of the game.
The short version of the story is that you (the character) have stumbled across a sweet Halloween mystery, that needs to be solved. To do this you (the players) will head over to a website that will guide you through the story as you enter your answers to move on, get hints if you get stuck, it even provides non-specific knowledge that may help you at certain points, but that the average person likely doesn’t know by heart.
Now ordinarily I disagree with tabletop games that REQUIRE a digital component to play. In the case of these Holiday Hijinks games, I can be a bit more lenient. My biggest issue is that if a website goes down, or an application is no longer supported by your device or system, the game is no longer playable. The very nature of room escape style games is that they are effectively one and done. You know the answers, it’s no fun playing again. In some cases, players may even permanently mark or damage components in the process of solving a problem. The Holiday Hijinks series is small enough and inexpensive enough that most of those issues become less relevant.
The pricepoint also opens up different ways to play the games. If you didn’t want to play as a cooperative group, everyone can pick up a copy and compete against each other in real-time or by sending a screenshot of your final result to one person. Maybe you each pick up a copy of all the games (currently three of them) and hold a series of competitions.
When we played there were a bunch of puzzles where you could almost see a light go on over our collective heads as we realized a key piece of information, or we all facepalmed realizing that we had a perfectly suitable-yet-incorrect answer to part of the problem that messed everything else up. It is an absolute blast to play. Frustrating. But a total blast.
The Pumpkin Problem is the third entry in Grand Gamer Guild’s Holiday Hijinks series, after The Kringle Caper and The Independence Incident. We are specifically bringing this review to you this week, because of the low cost and incredible ease of picking up the Print-and-Play version. I gave some hopefully-helpful notes about using the PnP version of these games in our Kringle Caper review last year, and I would suggest taking a look at those notes if you decide to take that route with The Pumpkin Problem.
TheRatHole.ca does not accept payments for our reviews but may have received a promotional copy of this game for review.