A beautiful, light game with gorgeous illustrations and a good puzzle selection
I love the idea of exploring an old mansion built by a wealthy eccentric, solving puzzles as I go.
It was the reason I spent way too much time as a kid playing Casper on the Playstation.
And it was the reason I dove into the Locke and Key show on Netflix.
So when Printable Escapes asked me if I’d like to review The Gatekeeper, there was no hesitation.
Your Uncle Keith always stood out from the rest of the family. He lived alone in a grand old mansion, and everybody thought him to be a bit of an eccentric.
It was a great surprise to you when you received a postcard from Uncle Keith. You haven’t heard from him in many years. You arrive at his home, but find the house empty. What mysteries await you within?
I really dig the art style of The Gatekeeper.
It’s a vibrant game with bold, colourful set pieces and great illustrations. It reminds me of the hidden object mobile games in the way it looks.
Or if you were able to switch the lights on in The Room.
The story is a simple one, and works well. I enjoyed how it built over the chapters into something a little bit less Haunted Mansion and a little more Stargate.
Like I said, I dig the Victorian secret mansion aesthetic, so all the elements here were very much my jam.
Dusty tomes, crystals, secret doors, herbology, the works. There’s a good amount of detail in the illustrations for you to pore over, and the details you will need to study in order to get some of the puzzles.
The puzzles in The Gatekeeper weren’t too difficult, and something that I think would be pretty accessible to newer players and families.
Mim and I picked up a good rhythm during the game, and we flowed smoothly from one puzzle to the next without much difficulty. Only the final two puzzles stumped us to any degree.
There’s a decent mix of puzzles in this one – you can expect a mixture of pattern recognition, observation, dexterity, logic and pathfinding.
I particularly enjoyed the puzzles that relied on physical manipulation as they played wonderfully in keeping with the story. I just wish there’d have been more to lean into the printed medium.
The game is split into chapters, and we’d wrongly discounted sections of the game assuming that we didn’t need to use them once we’d ‘finished’ them. We were wrong. Hold onto your pages, peeps!
There’s excellent confirmation throughout- and that’s without the really nifty answer checker. At no stage were we unsure whether we’d solved a puzzle.
I love the answer checking system of The Gatekeeper.
You’re given a grid of random letters for each puzzle. You cross out the letters in the answer you came to and if they match the pre-determined pattern, the answer is correct.
I’ve not seen anything like this elsewhere and it’s a really nifty way to confirm your solutions. As it’s part of the PDF pack, you can print it off (I didn’t because I’m cheap) and have a 100% offline experience.
We used a hint for one of the puzzles. Hints have between two and five stages, depending on the complexity of the puzzle. We managed to solve our head scratcher puzzle with just one hint.
We really enjoyed playing The Gatekeeper. It’s a beautiful game with a nice storyline and a good selection of puzzles. This is one I’d say is a good fit for families or a couple having an ‘off the grid’ time away.
We found it a little easy, but we enjoyed the ride. If you’re after something with the look and feel of a hidden object game, but with better puzzles, then check out The Gatekeeper.
Designed by Printable Escapes: The Other Tales
Cost: $29 (convert to GBP)
Duration: 60-90 minutes
Requirements: Notepad and pen, colour printer, scissors
Date played: 06 June 2021
Team: Jamie & Mim
Time to finish: 53 mins
Recommended playlist: Library instrumental
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.