One of my favorite additions to the Ravensburger puzzle line is their Escape Puzzle line, which is designed to essentially be an escape room in a puzzle. I’ve reviewed several titles from that line here and here. Since my fifth-grader is really good at puzzles and puzzle-like games, I was especially excited to see Ravensburger debut a version of their Escape line for kids. While A has helped me with the other puzzles before, piecing together the scene is easier for him than deciphering some of the clues in the line aimed more at adults and teens.
Ravensburger sent us Jungle Journey from this new line to check out for ourselves.
Escape Puzzle Kids: Jungle Journey Contents
Escape Puzzle Kids: Jungle Journey contains the following:
- 368 Puzzle Pieces
- Scenario Booklet
- Solution Envelope
One of the things I love about Ravensburger puzzles is the quality pieces that lock together so nicely. We’ve seen videos of people lifting their puzzles by the edges, swinging them, and being able to let them fall back to the table and still be all put together. In the name of science, we tried it ourselves, and to quote some very beloved scientific minds, “myth confirmed.”
Artwork is also a very big feature of puzzles, and Ravensburger always delivers gorgeously detailed images for their puzzles. The Escape line has lots of little surprises and details tucked away in the larger picture, and this new line looks like it’s going to hold up that reputation very nicely.
The Scenario Booklet describes a situation. You’re in the jungle and you have a broken bridge that must be fixed. Once you’ve pieced together the puzzle, clues within the puzzle will give you numbers that match up to border pieces. Those pieces can be fitted together to create a solution to your broken bridge. If you get stuck, there are QR codes that take you to a site that can give you just hints or walk you through the solution. The Solution Envelope will give you the final answer and should not be opened until you are certain you have the solution.
In our house, the default strategy is to start with the border pieces first. That is harder to do with the Escape lines because six of those pieces can perfectly fit against more than one piece, so you really need to pay attention to the images. Even so, the borders still turned out a little uneven for A, so I suggested he keep assembling, and eventually which piece was in the wrong place would sort of reveal itself.
Escape Puzzles do not perfectly match the box image, although the box image can be used to get a feel for what should be located where. While the line for adults has more random surprises, in the kid version anything that is different from the box picture specifically signals a clue. These could be symbols, numbers, or even images that try to draw your attention to a place on the finished puzzle. It was interesting to see how these puzzles compared to the adult ones.
I would like to note that the puzzle assembly was rated 4/5 for difficulty by Ravensburger. Once A got past the trick border, there were enough areas in the puzzle to sort of anchor focus and figure out where to go next including the water, larger animals, the bridge, and the hut. I feel like sorting out anchor points was easier than in some of the adult versions. He probably spent 5 or so hours of his own time building things, and I helped for about an hour to an hour and a half as I wanted to get a real feel for how much he could do on his own since the puzzle was aimed at ages 9+ and he’s almost 11. I do think he probably could have done it on his own, but we did enjoy some of that time together. To avoid spoilers, I won’t put a picture of the finished puzzle. By the end of the puzzle, he did discover which border piece was incorrectly placed by the way.
Once the masterpiece was complete, it was time to look for the six clues and sort out their solutions. Ravensburger rated these clues as a 2/5 difficulty. A managed to get about 5 of the pieces on his own. In a few cases, he misinterpreted a clue in his favor, but the one he needed help with was when some of the animals were trying to draw his attention to a piece. The ones with symbols he relocated without issue.
We did decide to back up and make sure we had all the clues correct, which let us get a feel for the type of logic leaps you’re expected to make. In some cases you are adding objects or unique features, in others you need to look for clues on how to sort which number goes, whereas in others you may need to add or subtract numbers to get a solution. I don’t want to be too spoilery, so I won’t list the clues or solutions, but I think they were pretty fair once you get familiar with how the puzzle does clues. I’m eager to see how another one might go now that we have more of a feel for things. The six pieces were located and snapped together with ease.
Overall, I am a big fan of this line and I think it’s perfect for kids to try to take on a challenge or families that want something to do together where their kids have an easier time contributing. The pandemic has caused a huge uptick in kid screentime, so if you are looking for a lazy afternoon or family evening where you want or really need to unplug, I feel like this would be perfect.
I might also toss this out as something the kids can work on while waiting for, say, a holiday dinner to get served up. The final puzzle is just under 28×20 inches, so it can be completed on a decent-sized coffee table, and since there are lots of different areas to work on, it’s easier for multiple kids to find themselves each a separate section to work on. The Escape Puzzle Kids line has an MSRP between $18.49 and $20.99, which is right where I would expect. Puzzles are trickier to get right now, so the price may go up a few dollars if you’re getting it from a third-party seller. Google Shopping puts this puzzle at $16.99+ depending on the store.