A fun, tasty game that needs a little bit of tweaking to make it great
Date played: 29 January 2021
Team: Jamie & Mim
Time to finish: 44 mins
There are two things getting me through the current lockdown: puzzle games and dessert.
One’s good for the brain, the other not-so-good for the lockdown bod.
Enter the sweet centre of that Venn diagram – Codebakers UK. A sweet treat lockded up and covered in puzzles (and likely chocolate).
So of course it needed to be played immediately.
A delicious treat locked up.
A set of clues and puzzles to solve.
A code to crack to stop the clock and release the treat.
Good materials and a delicious treat at the end
Codebakers is quite light on theming, allowing the ‘break in and eat the goodies’ goal to take centre stage.
The components are a collection of loosely-connected materials in a similar vein to Post-a-Puzzle.
The pieces themselves are good quality, ranging from menu extracts to photographs and thicker paper for folding. The prize itself is colourfully wrapped and locked with a padlock, making for a fun birthday gift for puzzlers with a sweet tooth. Cracking open a real padlock again after nearly a year out of the game was most satisfying.
We had an issue with one puzzle where we struggled to read the the clue (light text on a white background), and needed the hints to confirm what it was.
I was pleasantly surprised that the game had more story and depth than I initially expected. There’s a minor mystery to be solved, which in turn helps you get your code to unlock the bake.
Now let’s talk about the sweet treat.
With ‘bakers’ in their name, you’d hope that the sweets that you get at the end is up to scratch. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The actual contents are a closely guarded secret, known only to those that have cracked the code. The main ingredient of the sweet treat plays a central role in the game, giving you ample time to whet your appetite before you sink your teeth in. The bake itself is part of the puzzle, which I enjoyed.
Good puzzle mix that needs a little more signposting
There were around six puzzles to tackle, with the lion’s share giving you a single digit for the padlock and then working out the order.
There was decent variety in the puzzles, ranging from tried-and-tested puzzle types to a bit of detective work and one unique take on a familiar puzzle. The puzzles are largely non-linear and require multiple components to solve, which I really enjoyed.
One or two puzzles felt like they had one too many layers, and needed a bit more signposting to ensure you got the right connections. There was also some inconsistency in the wording on one puzzle, leading to a bit of confusion and assumptions on our part to solve it.
Hints system needs bit of work
Each component has a three-tier graded hint system to try and steer you in the right direction.
We found the hints to be too cryptic to be really useful for the most part.
When they came in handy, they felt like they should have been clues within the game itself rather than something sat outside (one example required us to manipulate the game materials in some way, but there was no indication of this until we got a hint).
A fun game that needs a little tweaking
Codebakers is a fun, light game with a unique concept that will be a good gift to send someone as a surprise treat. I’d recommend this for older or more experienced players given the complexity of some of the puzzles.
I think the puzzles need a bit of tinkering to improve the signposting, as well as a rethink to the hint system to make it less cryptic for players who might already be lost or frustrated.
That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing their next bake. I really like the concept and I can never say no to both puzzles and sweet treats!
Designed by Code Bakers UK
Duration: 30-120 minutes
Requirements: An appetite, a sweet tooth, paper and pen
Disclosure: We were offered a complimentary game for the purposes of writing a fair and honest review. This has not affected our opinion of the game whatsoever. Check out the disclosure policy for more info.