Room-in-a-box, Apr 2021
With all of The Panic Room’s puzzle books, I recommend pulling the pages out and cutting them up where directed, rather than trying to preserve the book intact; with Frankenstein’s book it was immediately clear that that was the only way to approach it. The puzzles might have been solvable without using scissors, but given the theme it would be just wrong to play without getting into the physical construction.
You’re investigating the old notes of Doctor Frankenstein to retrace the method with which he created his Monster – to prevent other people from using his work, via something convoluted involving a shutdown keyword. Justification aside, you have a set of anatomically themed puzzles to piece together and solve. As usual, each puzzle is stand-alone but has clue information scattered on different pages of the book, with no explicit instructions for what relates to what. Unlike the other books in this series, you aren’t entering your solutions into a website widget – there’s a much more physical and theme-appropriate use for them instead. Only the very final answer uses website verification to unlock the victory message (be warned that that answer is not a recognisable English word; we spent a while trying to work out what we’d done wrong before realising that it was in fact correct).
There’s maybe more of an emphasis on logic puzzles in this game than in others of the series. One of those seemed to me to be too open to interpretation in how to approach it – I’m not sure we’d have made progress without the website hint system. Other than that I liked the puzzles here, with their ghoulish theming.
Frankenstein’s book is probably my narrow favourite of the four Panic Room puzzle books I’ve tried so far, and the largest reason for that is the way the individual puzzles build up into a satisfying final meta puzzle. As with all of the series the open structure make it a little intimidating for first time solvers, working out where to begin; but if you’re considering which of their range to try, this one is a good choice.