I am an inveterate puzzle solver, and a huge fan of break-out-of-the-room puzzles, scavenger hunts, and paper puzzles of all kind. This is the fourth puzzle-box subscription that I've tried.
The box has a few very positive features compared to the others I've tried.
First, there's no need for an internet connection, which allows the family to unplug from electronic gadgets while solving the puzzles. It also allows the box to be played if you're out on vacation or in a place with spotty Wi-fi.
Second, there were a lot of independent pieces to the puzzle and all of them were available from the beginning of the game. Other puzzle boxes we've played in the past were much more linear, forcing us to work on just a few puzzles at once. This one gave us all the puzzles in one shot, so we could all grab papers and work on puzzles simultaneously without having to fight to read the two or three clues available. There were four of us working the puzzles, and the first 20 minutes of solving were really fun, as we poured over clues and swapped suggestions.
The big problem with this box for us were the poorly-clued puzzles. We did the Nero box, and found several alternative solutions to the puzzles that seemed equally valid. With no real clues to help us determine which solution was correct, we ultimately turned to the online hints and solution, only to discover that even after...
We were very impressed by the depth and intricacy of the puzzles. We are a gaming/puzzle-loving family, and we were pleased that the puzzles were far from simplistic. Our daughter is 13 and the puzzles were right on target for her.
The puzzles are about as difficult as a medium sudoku level, with a blend of both intuitive and logical puzzles. The backdrop of the puzzles was a very entertaining and very educational story. We learned a lot about China and the Chinese alphabet, and even have a lovely silk scarf for a souvenir.
One tiny note for those who are thinking about a subscription: you'll need the internet in order to solve the puzzles, so this project isn't going to work during an electronics-free retreat.
Overall, this was a delightful family-time box. It took us about 2 hours to solve, and we are eagerly anticipating the next one.