Agent Jones needs help! She’s the chief spy in the Secret Service and she’s discovered a series of clues to unlock a secret message, but she can’t crack the code on her own. Have your secret message stashed in Agent Jones’ vault, and the lucky child will need to work through the puzzles in order to uncover it.
Rating: Great Fun!
Completion Time: 40 minutes
Date Played: 5th October 2020
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: Kids
It’s here! The clever people behind The Missed Flight (one of my top play at home games) have a brand new Puzzle Post – this time for kids. As such, this is a little bit of a tricky review to write, as I actually gifted it to my brother for his 11th birthday. My part in the gameplay was snapping photos and offering helpful hints! What are big sisters for if not embarrassing you with photos?
The Secret Service is a fun concept. Your designated child (your own, somebody else’s, or no judgement if you buy one for yourself!) receives a mysterious and very shiny letter in the post. It’s from Agent Jones at the Secret Service and she needs help to crack a code! Waiting at the end of the game is a secret vault to log into where they’ll receive a custom message from the true recipient of the letter. It’s the perfect place to stash a “Happy Birthday!” message, or tickets, or even a video.
Puzzle Post recommends The Secret Service for kids aged 7 – 10. We played it together as a 24 and 11 year old and honestly had no problem solving the puzzles – in a good way! If you’ve got a kid in your life you’ll know they often don’t have buckets of attention span, so for an 11 year old it was the perfect length of time and difficulty level: Complex enough to spark some real thought about each puzzle, but easy enough not to be frustrating at any point.
The puzzles have a wide range too – no two are the same. There are a few that involving cutting and assembling, one that’s a folding puzzle, a few are direct ciphers, some “spot the difference” style ones and a really, really brilliant use of UV lighting too. Yes, that UV light pen was a huge hit here!
Player Two: “Can I write all my answers in invisible ink so the enemy can’t read it.”
Me: “Um, sure. Great idea!”
I wouldn’t be surprised if my thank you note gets written in invisible ink now too – lets hope the postman who delivers it has a spare UV light 😉
In a nutshell, this game is fun! I am as ever super impressed with Puzzle Post. From the absolutely wonderful interactions I have with them each time (great customer service!), to the care and quality that goes into every one of their letters – I just love it! They’re my favourite letter/gift puzzle service (is that the correct terminology? I’m not sure) here in the UK and if you’re ever stuck on what to get someone for a gift, you can’t go wrong here.
The Secret Service can be purchased for £10.99 on Puzzle Post’s Website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.