Fuel your brain and feed your face at the same time!
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A few years back, I had the pleasure of playing Lady Chastity’s Reserve at the now-closed Handmade Mysteries in London.
As well as being a fun, challenging and sometimes naughty room, one of the unique things about it was that we weren’t playing to escape.
We were playing to release a bottle of fabled wine from inside a cabinet of curiosities. If we succeeded, we’d get to keep the wine.
Now that we’ve seen an explosion in play-at-home escape games, I wondered if there were any games out there that replicated that puzzle/food combination.
And to my delight, there were several!
I’ve note included any immersive theatre or murder mystery dining events in this piece – this is purely for puzzle experiences that have incorporated food and drink into their experience somehow.
My thanks go to the Puzzle People Facebook group for their help in curating this list.
Get in touch and let me know if you know of any others that I should include in this list!
Chocolateral – Enigmailed
The brainchild of Escapages co-founder Stephen Lockyer, Enigmailed specialises in creating puzzles in spaces where you wouldn’t expect.
Its first game – Undelivered – centres around those ‘Sorry we missed you’ cards you get from delivery services.
Its newest venture is a duo of chocolate bars – Honeycomb Sting and Fatal Experimint – that feature puzzles, ciphers and mysteries across every surface of the wrapper.
Based on Escapages’ previous endeavours like Flatpak and Full Deck, you’re in for a challenge filled with well-hidden puzzles.
And their mint-flavoured game is dairy-free, so could be suitable for puzzlers who follow a vegan lifestyle.
Co-created by Ariel Rubin and Juliana Moreno Patel of Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment fame, Vampire.Pizza is an immersive pizza delivery / game night.
By ordering from Belle’s pizzaria, players are recruited into their Fang Force, but must solve their puzzles before they’re allowed to participate in the vampire revolution.
Plus there’s pizza.
This one is geographically-limited to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. You can nominate your city to be the next location.
CodeBake – Codebakers
If you’re looking for something with a bit more of a traditional escape room vibe, then Codebakers original Codebake might be for you.
A party bar of chocolate is wrapped up and locked away with a three-digit combination lock.
A loosely-themed series of puzzles and a mystery of dessert theft helps you get the code to open up the lock and dive into the goodies.
At the time of writing, Codenameburg3r is by invitation-only (there’s also a waiting list if you want to sign up).
Created by Josh Sugarman, CEO of Vampire.Pizza, Codenameburg3r combines fast food, puzzles, narrative and even video game elements.
Each burger mission lasts around 60 minutes, and first-time players have a limited menu to select from. Completing these missions unlocks additional puzzles rewards and expands the menu selection.
This ‘gamifying fast food’ idea is right up my street. I can only hope it makes its way to UK shores at some point.
Escape room advent calendar
This is a calendar whose doors don’t have numbers. Instead, you need to solve puzzles to figure out which door you need to open next.
Once you’ve devoured the small festive chocolate inside, you’re able to solve the next puzzle. And so on, until Santa Claus turns up or until you pass out in a chocolate-induced food coma.
After a successful Kickstarter, the Escape Room Advent Calendar is available in the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand.
If you’re in need of a glass of vino after a long day, it might be considered cruel to make someone solve a puzzle or bust a lock before they can pop the cork.
But it could make for a fun birthday gift, a cute prank on a puzzle friend, or a way to stop your kids from getting into your stash.
There are two basic kinds of wine lock:
Bottle combination locks clamp over the top of the bottle and require a three-digit combination to open.
Come to think of it, why hasn’t anyone create a puzzle on the bottle label that helps you find that combination? Someone get on that, please.
Then there’s wine bottle brain teaser locks that lock the bottle up in a wooden contraption that would make Da Vinci scratch his head. If you want in, you’ll have to work the mechanism in just the right way to release the bottle.
Welcome Home – Shine On Collective
The eats aren’t part of the puzzles themselves here, but they’re – ahem – baked into the story.
In Welcome Home, you’ve just moved in to a new house and have received a mysterious package on your doorstep.
As part of this, your friendly neighbour has left a box of sweet treats to welcome you to the neighbourhood.
It’s puzzle-adjacent, but it’s a nice narrative touch, so it makes the list.
Welcome home is available in the US.