Review – Doctor Esker’s Notebook
Website Link – Available on Amazon or http://planktongames.com
Price – $14.99
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
Doctor Esker’s Notebook is a 73 card deck that houses nine puzzles. The deck is split into 5 information cards (rules, hints, etc), 58 puzzle cards, and 10 solution cards.
The premise is simple: Doctor Esker has gone missing, but he has left behind a mysterious book (deck of cards) full of puzzles. Now players must solve them.
The game is broken into nine puzzles which each use a section of the deck, three to fourteen cards. Players will search for a sequence of numbers that they will then pull from the solution deck. If their answer is correct, players will find a message that will point them towards the cards they should use for the next puzzle.
The game is advertised for ages 13+ and for 1-6 (or more) players. As a duo, we completed the game in a little over an hour and a half.
Doctor Esker’s Notebook is the kind of puzzle game that is easy to pick up and play when you have a few minutes, without ever feeling locked in for an extended period. Of course, you can also tackle multiple sections in a single sitting. Since the game is broken into nine distinct sections, it can be chunked however players please.
This is a game that is all about the puzzles. While there is technically a sentence about a mysterious disappearance on the back of the box, the actual game itself makes no mention of any story and no further developments will reveal themselves. The puzzles will progress players through their journey.
Thankfully, the puzzles here are pretty fun and diverse. There should be a little here for every type of thinker and puzzler, whether you like math, word, spatial, or logic. The difficulty levels vary and will probably depend on how your brain works. Some puzzles took us only minutes to crack while others took a little more thinking and experimentation. Overall the challenge level felt appropriate for this pickup-and-go type of game.
For those in need of hints, the progressive hint system is easy to use and even easier to access (a quick QR code scan).
The game claims to work for up to six or more players, but we can’t imagine wanting to actually play with a large group. The game is linear, so players would all need to crowd around the small details of several cards. We’d recommend not exceeding two or three players at a time.
This game is perfect for those looking for puzzles that will fit any type of schedule or for those in need of easy to travel challenges. Since it’s only a deck of cards and the actual puzzle work takes up limited space, it shouldn’t be hard to pull out Doctor Esker’s Notebook wherever you find yourself.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 4/5
Final Averaged Rating: 2.7/5