The Enchanted Isles by Enigma Fellowship
Enchanted Islands is the ninth game of Enigma Fellowship and the introduction to the second season of their subscription-based puzzle experience. This German based company is led by husband-and-wife duo, Anuj and Orsi who are active on the Puzzle People facebook group, which I highly recommend joining! Typically these games are released every alternate month and consist of 2–3-hour narratives puzzle experiences but this year, health complications have delayed the new season. Though, they did release two beautiful one-off games, The Magical Sunflower and The Magical Tale, in addition to this first episode in the meantime. The last season consisted of travelling distances from the depths of the ocean to visiting a small German city connected to the mafia. I have reviewed their previous experience, The Lost Knowledge, Scattered Cards, Submerged Sentinel, Monsters in the Wild, Dinner Party, and Scattered Thoughts and had fun exploring them - the difficulty level varied across each - and I was intrigued to start on this new season!
The premise for The Enchanted Island follows Mr. Gurges connecting with you have a hiatus from the company. An attempted robbery at a German University has prompted The Enigma Fellowship to get involved as it appears puzzles abound - this is the only reason, in fact, why the robber was unsuccessful. The target of the attempted thief was the office of Professor Wolfe, whose specialty is on the beautiful and exotic Galapagos Islands. Your task to unearth who hired the thief and what exactly were they after!
I found the progression of the story to be interesting and engaging. Enigma Fellowship does an excellent job tying their games and themes to the real world and I always leave learning a little more. This game definitely suggests there is more around this topic to be explored and it tempts you to stay tuned. That said, there was one section in the game that felt more like an opportunity to add a puzzle rather than adding anything to the story. Overall, it provided a good story with an excellent connection to the real world!
In terms of puzzles, I felt The Enchanted Islands had a good mix of puzzles and challenges for players to engage with. The puzzles were scaffolded well from the beginning and pushed players to manipulate and adjust their views on the items in front of them. Even the smallest pieces played an important role. The puzzles range within logic puzzles, pattern recognition, and observation for the most part which tends to be my favourite style. I never felt like I was doing the same puzzle over and over but, as I mentioned previously, there was a puzzle or two that I felt was unnecessary. They were still good puzzles and the one added a change up to the traditional paper puzzling. In addition, I will add that quite a few of these puzzles require visual tracking and memory, which means you may have to draw on, alter, or look out from a particular look or layout to something to uncover the clues. Overall, the puzzling of Enigma Fellowship always provided a good clean style to it! I admire the style and, honestly, some of my favourite puzzles here were what we can consider or their simplest because they unveiled their answers in a neat and eye-catching way.
Customer service from Enigma Fellowship is always timely. They did ship this game without telling me so it was a nice surprise when it arrived. In addition, when the site went down and I reached out, they were quick to keep us updated and to get the site up and running as soon as they could. Their hint system is well done and incorporated into the game well, as you need a computer to progress through each section of the game. I have mentioned in the past that the added visual cues in hint systems is something I really appreciate as someone with visual memory difficulty and I often need to see what someone is talking about. This company liked to use a lot of visual elements to their puzzles so a hint can really help! If you are looking for a dependable company, Enigma Fellowship is a solid option!
The Enchanted Islands is another wonderful addition to the subscription based tabletop experience. There is a good length to the experience and the layered elements of the puzzling keeps you engaged and following. The careful detail in the artifacts shows dedication in the creators and they really respond to their customers. I think if you're looking for mid-tier puzzling with real-world connection then this is an excellent option!
Check out Enigma Fellowship here.