Note: I received a free review copy of The Tale of Ord from PostCurious.
If you haven’t realized by now, I’ve been playing and reviewing a bunch of puzzle games recently, because I really enjoy these types of experiences. The latest one I’ve played through is The Tale of Ord, a puzzle adventure by PostCurious where you’re finding clues and puzzles through the packages in the game as well as through online resources.
You can get all four packages at once - each one is in a separate labeled envelope
The Tale of Ord comes in four different packages. Similar to the concept of Dispatch by Breakout and The Enigma Emporium, The Tale of Ord is an untimed puzzle mystery game that has a mixture of physical components and online resources in the puzzles that you’re solving. The story centers around two missing professors that you’re trying to find, and each package has multiple smaller puzzles and then its own mini-ending with a final puzzle solution.
The physical components are really nice. The game comes with a small notebook for you to take notes throughout, and each package comes with a variety of different puzzles. There are letters, notes, cards, magazine clippings, and much more. Everything is high quality and makes the theme more immersive, since the packages are from a professor who’s enlisting in your help and sending you items that he thinks you could find useful. In addition, there are multiple online resources used - some specific to the game (custom websites) and some that are actual real-world things.
One of the puzzles came in a greeting card!
Since there is no timer and you can just go through The Tale of Ord at your own pace, I played it throughout several weeknights (and some weekends). I really enjoyed the experience. The mixture of the physical components and the online resources was neat, and it was surprising how some of the puzzles even related to real-world things that I could search online! My husband doesn’t like searching things online as much, and he didn’t like the open-ended and tedious nature of the puzzles, but I liked how the puzzles were more convoluted and not obvious right away. It definitely works well in this type of game, since it’s not timed like an Escape Room, but you can solve the puzzles at your own pace and be thinking about them throughout the day.
I received all the packages at the same time, but the website has an inventory check and a recap of what happened previously in case you’re solving the packages over an extended period of time (which I ended up doing). It was also really neat that previous packages were used in the puzzles, so the material and story built on itself. Whenever I opened a new package, I was super excited to see everything in the package and then start solving the puzzles. And because each puzzle had multiple steps and was so involved, it was really rewarding and exciting when I would figure out parts of the puzzles. Some of the puzzles I had to use hints for, which was weird in an untimed game, since it was hard to justify when I’d spent enough time on a puzzle to use a hint. But the hint system was really helpful and broken out nicely so that I could get exactly the hints I needed.
A bunch of the puzzles involved really neat physical components that were included in the packages
Also, The Tale of Ord was the most immersive puzzle game that I’ve played so far. The first envelope started out like a generic story, but as I worked on the later envelopes, the puzzles and story worked together really well and I wanted to keep going on to learn more about all the intrigue going on. But the playthrough wasn’t non-stop excitement, because sometimes I would get stuck on a puzzle and it could get frustrating. Since each envelope takes about 3-4 hours of actual gameplay and I split it up over multiple nights, the long period of actual time between solving puzzles was disheartening. But whenever I went back to the game and made progress on a puzzle, the excitement came back.
The Tale of Ord has a lot of interconnected and multi-step puzzles that are pretty challenging to solve. You definitely won’t solve the puzzles on your first try, and there are plenty of different types of puzzles throughout the game. The story is also incredibly immersive and makes you feel like you’re actually a part of the events happening. If you’re excited for a challenging, open-ended puzzle experience where everything you do is interconnected, then The Tale of Ord is probably for you. But if you like more straightforward and quicker puzzles, then you may not like the experience of The Tale of Ord.
A few of the puzzles, like a scratch-to-win lotto card, are not reusable
Very immersive with high quality multimedia and clues using real world things
A lot of the puzzles have multiple steps and aren’t obvious right away
Really nice hint system on the website
High quality components (some can be a keepsake)
Requires a computer
No time limit
Not reusable (destructive to materials)
Puzzles are open-ended (I enjoyed this, but my husband didn’t)
Some tedious ciphers (can use computer to help though)
Some puzzles have a constraint on when you can solve them
Because of the open-ended and connected nature of the puzzles, it can be difficult to tell when you’ve “completed” a puzzle, and there’s not always an “aha” moment with the puzzles
It may be difficult to remember earlier clues to solve later puzzles due to the lack of time limit and spacing out of the packages.
The game even includes this really intricate puzzle box!