A follower of the blog recently got in touch and recommended that I do a review of the Balthazar Snapdragon adventure box. I hadn’t heard of it before so I did a little googling and thought it looked interesting. It’s a bit like an escape room in a box that you do over 7 days. Kind of, in that you have to solve lots of puzzles along the way. But also sort of not as you’re not actually escaping from anything!
The other thing I really liked about the Balthazar Snapdragon adventure box is that it’s created by The Big Tiny which is a small theatre production company. I thought this was a really interesting way to support an industry that has been really badly hit by Covid.
What it’s all about?
Meet Balthazar Snapdragon. He’s a wannabe magician who has landed himself a job as a postman in the magical Valley of Trix. Over the course of 7 days you help him to deliver the post and solve a mystery. You do this through a mixture of online content and physical props that are in the box.
What age is the Balthazar Snapdragon aimed at?
Apparently it’s suitable for ages 7-12, with some adult supervision. I’d say you could also get younger children involved, as long as you had some older children as well. If you’re anything like me though you won’t want to just supervise!!! I think a child could do it just you and them, but it also works well with a few kids. You just have to get over the arguments about who gets to open today’s envelope and type on today’s password!
What’s in the box?
First things first, DON’T OPEN THE BOX! There’s a video for you to watch before you open the box.
When you do get to open the box you’ll find a parent’s letter, some numbered envelopes and scrolls, some items of post addressed to certain residents of the Valley of Trix, a booklet, a box of dominos and a scroll that says DO NOT OPEN. Throughout the course of the week we kept everything in the box so we didn’t lose anything. You will need to refer back to things from previous days so don’t throw anything away.
Make sure you do have a proper look through Balthazar Snapdragon’s notebook. There’s plenty of things that won’t make sense yet, but it’s good for you to know what’s in there in case it helps you later in the week. Hint – it WILL help you later in the week. Not all of the puzzles will be used during the 7 days though.
One very small niggle – one of the scrolls is double sided and, even though I was really careful removing the sticker, it ripped the scroll slightly. You could still read it but it was a bit annoying.
How does it work?
Each day you’ll open a numbered envelope (in order) which will usually help you solve that day’s puzzle. There are various houses in the valley that you have to visit and you can only access those houses with a password. Your first task of the day is to figure out the password! Hint – the resources you get each day will help you work out that day’s password. You don’t need to figure out tomorrow’s password.
Each day there are various videos that you’ll gain access to and options for you to choose from. You’ll use these in conjunction with the video content. You’ll also have things to practice or do outside of the adventure box.
I’ve seen people who have worked their way through the box in just one day. For us that doesn’t feel like it’s making the most out of the box. Part of the appeal was that you only did a little bit each day, and then had to wait until tomorrow to find out what happened next. I’d definitely recommend doing it properly!
How much does it cost?
The Balthazar Snapdragon adventure box costs £35 including postage. You’ll spend approx 30 minutes each night on the day’s activities and puzzles. Plus there’s the activities you can do outside of the game. The resources are decent quality and well thought out. Both Hubby and I think that, although not cheap, this is really good value for money. He’s seriously considering buying the other box they have available. You can buy your box here.
Our Balthazar Snapdragon adventure box review
The entire family LOVED this. Me, Hubby, the kids, me, all of us. I really enjoyed it as well. We already like escape rooms such as the Harry Potter one we tried out at The Works. We’ve also done several escape rooms in a box since lockdown but I don’t think you need to like escape rooms to enjoy this. You just need to enjoy puzzles really.
There’s a password protected parents area if you get stuck (turns out we’re all tone deaf which was a big problem towards the end). Other than for the noise related problem we didn’t really use the hints. If you do need to use them then they’re broken down into small pieces so you’re not getting more help than you need, but can also get all of the help that you might need.
The story line is really good, it’s engaging and easy to follow. The actors are good, although one of them is a bit scary (not actually scary, but crazy scary if that makes sense). Think panto style acting. Do you remember the TV magician Paul Zenon?? Well he’s in it! I recognised the voice but couldn’t place it until I saw the credits. There are a couple of places where the video quality is a bit sketchy BUT that’s only a minor thing and, for the most part, it all works really well.
There are several items that you’ll be able to use again in the future, plus there’s some tricks and games you’ll learn along the way as well. That means that, even once you’ve finished the Balthazar Snapdragon adventure box, you’ll still be able to use the resources.
I definitely recommend the Balthazar Snapdragon adventure box as a great activity to do with the kids at home.
For lots of other children’s subscriptions and activity reviews have a look here.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch email@example.com or get in touch via Facebook