In 2021, after years of unstoppable success in their meteoric rise, the renowned band ASHWELL suddenly vanished. Due to start a year-long world tour, they left their family, fans and sizeable fortunes behind. Clues about their disappearance have started to be identified in their tour brochures and prolific output by their fans, some of whom want the truth revealed and others who are determined to keep it buried.
A secret behind the band's success.
A secret which would ruin them if it was revealed.
A secret that the die-hard fans would do anything to protect from being revealed.
The Ashwell project came from a belief that puzzles with a narrative held more depth and interest for players. The Ashwell Tour Brochure is a professionally-designed and beautifully printed realisation of this belief. With a real-world reveal, the puzzles combine maths, logic, wordplay and decoding.
Behind beautiful but innocuous pages lie puzzles and secrets.
Players can also continue the story with their own fanzine, using our keepsake elements booklet and hand bound notebook. We want the answers to the brochure puzzle to be the stepping stones for the next part of the story. We have three possible storylines for creators to adapt, or you can generate your own - we would be delighted with either.
Use Ashwell Keepsake Elements to create a fanzine, a continuation story, a springboard for the puzzle investigation. Let your creativity explore all bounds.
All physical rewards feature the full colour, glossy print tour brochure, professionally litho printed on 130gsm coated paper. An accompanying Hints App will help you along the way should you need a guiding hand.
There is a puzzle on almost every page, with each directly leading to a clue in the meta puzzle. You will require an internet connection for the final solution, but should be able to solve all the puzzles leading up to the final meta puzzle without one. We don't want to give anything more away, but they range from the easy to the very hard. We estimate the game play time to be 1.5 - 3 hours, dependent on your puzzle experience and hint use.
Also available is a booklet of additional logos, images and mini puzzles for you to use to create your own keepsake fanzine.
Use it to create a diary of solving the puzzles, logging the mysteries, or even continuing the story further. We have created three possible future storylines for those who would like them, but would be enormously excited to see which other directions players may take the story.
We are offering the option of buying an exclusive handbound A5 Notebook in which you can create your fanzine as part of the package. This uses high quality recycled cartridge paper, and is hand sewn with a fabric binding for a secure fit and beautiful finish.
Should you wish to become part of the tour crew and have your name in the publication, this limited reward is also available. If you really want to indulge yourself, you can even become part of the band! Included with this limited option is to have a significant date added to the tour dates list. An amazing birthday/wedding/anniversary present!
We have been so supported by the puzzle community that we have avoided spending any money at all on advertising. Instead, we are ring-fencing this money, and will use it to support a fledgling puzzle project. At £5,000, we will put £250 into this pot - enough for a puzzle startup to get some printed samples, carry out some product research, commission a designer. More details after the campaign, but this will be offered to anyone who has pledged for a physical product in this campaign, and will operate by application. If you have any thoughts on this, please do message us, and we will build up a FAQ in response!
We are The Escapages, writers and publishers of Escape Puzzle Games. We successfully funded Flatpak in 2019 (a puzzle book disguised as a furniture catalogue) and Full Deck in 2020 (a three-book serial killer and crime board collection), and this is the first of our Kickstarters for 2021. Both the brochure and hints app have been fully play tested.
This project was created by Stephen, one half of the Escapages, after a conversation with his music-mad son during a woodland walk in lockdown. It mixes high production values, music, puzzles, keepsakes, journaling, scrapbooking and a real-life event which has seemingly been hidden under the fiction radar!
Here are some lovely comments from some of our play testers:
Despite everything being essentially ready for print, the current climate makes us cautious to promise anything too quickly. For full transparency, we were a month late for sending out Flatpak (during the start of COVID), but were a month early for Full Deck. We would rather over-promise and under deliver. To that end, we aim to send out all orders by the end of July 2021.
We are offering a superb product at an excellent price, and would rather offer you the best product we can at an affordable price for this short-run project, rather than galvanise support using the carrot of stretch goals.
Having said that, if this project does gain a lot of support, we would love to be able to add little extras where possible. We would be keen to explore translated versions, wider (and purposeful) merch and even setting up a Creator Fund for future puzzle makers.
The buyer will be responsible for any import duties or taxes.
Risks and challenges
As said above, we were just one month late delivering Flatpak, during a pandemic, and ended up delivering Full Deck one month earlier than promised. We have produced and play tested all the elements of the game, and have good relationships with the printers.