Cost: $20.00 USD
Playtime: 3-5 hours
Play solo or team up with some friends.
Puzzles range in difficulty with a hint system
Online features require an internet connected device
Fully resettable (no pieces will be altered during gameplay)
Lost in the Shuffle is the debut puzzle card experience by Spencer Beebe and I had the absolute pleasure to play this experience ahead of the kickstarter, launching October 17th, 2022! This is an at home game that consists of a custom deck of playing cards covered with a variety of puzzles for players to dive into. I had previously played a Secret Santa puzzle experience by Spencer and absolutely loved his attention to detail and use of humour and was excited to see how it translated into a card deck. So let’s dive in!
The premise of this experience follows that you have purchased this deck of card filled with puzzles to challenge yourself. Once you log onto the website you realize there is an ultimate Puzzle 53 challenge that is said to hold an amazing reward for winners of the game that prove themselves to be an official genius. As you progress through the levels you get to hear more from the developer and his trusty AI that suggests all is not as it seems. As inspectors we are determined to uncover the truth!
I found the game to be really well done. The overarching story was witty (the AI was the best character of all!) and kept me engaged and was used not only to motivate players but also act as chapters so you knew you could take a break because you reached a level up video. These videos are your primary form of story as the puzzles themselves do not reveal the story. They are simply fun and as you complete more you activate more story on the website. Each puzzle provides you with a single word you must input into the website to track your score. Now, some cards will have more than one answer as they may rely on different sets of cards to solve the different puzzles (ie. 5, 6, 7, of hearts could be one puzzles while another is all the 6s). The score card will show how many puzzles each card requires but it will be up to you to figure out which cards are needed.
In terms of the style of puzzles, there is a lot of variety to them. Some puzzles ranged to a focus on visuals to riddles to gamification to tracking patterns but generally I felt this game highlights a lot of logic style puzzles. A keen eye and careful observation will be your most important tools. There are some puzzles that will require a little googling and there is also a decoder page on the website with some ciphers to help you out in certain circumstances. I think what grabbed my attention most about these puzzles was how well they seamlessly blended into the puzzle experience. There was never any time I felt there was repetition and each puzzle sought to challenge your mind in new ways. My favourite puzzles ended up being the ones that revealed a hidden message directing you to the solution.
In terms of customer service, I communicated with the creator and found them to be responsive and extremely helpful. They responded to any feedback and were quick to make changes if I noticed something. The hint system was extremely well done and provided some really useful clues for all ranges of puzzles - ie. what cards you need for a puzzle. If my correspondence with them is any indication of how they will run their kickstarter, I feel like you can be comfortable that they will respond and address things.
Overall, I found Lost in the Shuffle to be an engaging and masterful card experience that toys around with humour and a wide variety of puzzling in an expert fashion. The premise and story draws in the player with promise and challenge while the puzzles keep players focused on moving to the next level. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and love the unique style that the creator has added to their puzzling experience. This is a lighthearted and funny experience that really plays with the players. If you’re like me, you will leave this experience feeling satisfied and eager to see what comes next for this creator!