Buzzworthiness: The Pumpkin Problem

Thanks to Grand Gamers Guild for providing a review copy of this game.

I guess it’s time to accept the inevitable. It feels like Halloween decorations are going up earlier and earlier every year. We’re still just over a month away from the holiday, but let’s take a look at

image by BGG user gamesandbourbon

The Pumpkin Problem is the 3rd game in the Holiday Hijinks series from Grand Gamers Guild and designer Jonathan Chaffer. Each of these games is an 18-card escape room style game where you’re solving puzzles in order to win. Previously, I’ve talked about other titles in the series: The Kringle Caper, The Independence Incident, and The Cupid Crisis. In this one, you’re trying to figure out who is stealing all the neighborhood candy and replacing it with vegetables.

To play the game, you just open the box, pull out the cards, and don’t look at them. You’ll open up a web-based app, then take the first card and press start. As you solve the puzzles on the cards, you’ll enter answers into the app. Correct answers will tell you which card(s) to pull next, and incorrect answers will prompt you to keep trying. You can also get hints through the app, as well as look at some outside information that may be outside of general knowledge (codes and such). When you’ve completed the game, the app will give you a rating based on how long you took and how many hints you needed. I was able to complete this one with 4 stars.

As the rest of the game would be spoiled if I talked about it more, I’ll just head into the review. The components are typical quality – nice cards, and a cool fold out box that gives all the instructions you need before you start playing. The cards are all numbered on the back, making it easy to find what you need without spoiling anything.

The cover art for this game shows a pumpkin being stabbed in the face. The game is not nearly that brutal. It’s a pretty family friendly game about figuring out who’s behind the candy theft.

Gameplay itself is pretty smooth. Sometimes, you’re instructed to look at several cards at once, but you can figure out what you need to work with pretty easily. The game is rated at a 2/3 difficulty, and that seems about right. It was definitely easier than Cupid or Independence, which are both rated as 3/3. But it was still a good challenge.

Some of the puzzle do require some outside knowledge, but nothing beyond what is included in the app. Be warned, there is one puzzle that requires you to do…something…to the card to figure it out. Other games in the series usually have ways to avoid damaging the cards at all, but I’m not sure how you get through this one without it.

IS IT BUZZWORTHY? The Pumpkin Problem is a good addition to the Holiday Hijinks line. It’s a good medium difficulty escape room-style puzzle game, and fun to figure out. Plus, it’s seasonally appropriate. Head over to the Grand Gamers Guild website to check out this or any of the other Holiday Hijinks games.

Thanks again to Grand Gamers Guild for providing a review copy of this game, and thanks to you for reading!

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