Puzzle Post: The Split | Review

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Siena Sudlow hits upon her dream when a music producer spots her at an open mic night and asks her on tour with her favourite band. The dream doesn’t last long as she becomes embroiled in the scandalous activities of the lead singer, and the bands dispute with their management. Siena lives the high life for a wild week of photo shoots, award ceremonies and launch parties before the hearsay and gossip gets too much, the paparazzi is surrounding the hotel and she needs out. She stashes your message in an online vault and leaves a series of clues to reveal the passcode.

Rating: Challenging!
Completion Time: 52 minutes
Date Played: 8th May 2021
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: Music fans, puzzle aficionados!

What are rainy mornings for, if not puzzling? I received Puzzle Post in the post and waited the whole week for a ‘sunny day’ to play it on and take some lovely photos. But you bet it rained the whole week! So I took a hint from the universe, made a huge mug of hot chocolate, and got stuck into the The Split early on a windswept Saturday morning.

…And, actually this was just the ticket! Puzzle Post is set in an ‘alternate reality’ where the pandemic didn’t happen (I think). I say that because the dates on the puzzles in the game are March 2021 and the location is London. I was definitely here in London in March 2021 and things were still shut *sobs*, but being able to play this reminded me of the vibrant music scene in neighbourhoods like Soho…. Which is actually where I used to live! Woah! Small world. It was almost like the world was back to normal for the hour I played this… Almost!

How Puzzle Post Works

The Split is one of Puzzle Post’s harder games in their series, but the idea is the same as The Missed Flight: You purchase a copy and hide a hidden message in the game. This might be a video, or a plaintext message. Your message is then stored behind a login and a password, the latter for which is hidden in the game. So, when your recipient receives a mysterious envelope, they must first crack the code before they can access the message. So cool!

For this reason you should probably purchase a copy as a gift for a friend, rather than for yourself. But if you’re itching to play it, no judgement for ordering one for yourself, haha!

The Story

The story in The Split centres around the young Siena Sudlow, a musician invited to play with a band on tour – her dream job! But what she didn’t count on were all the paparazzi! She had intended to deliver a message from a mutual friend to you, but she’s trapped in her hotel, unable to go out without having cameras shoved in her face. Instead she stashes the message for you in a digital locker and, using the items around her, concocts a puzzle for you to gain access to the message.

After all, you wouldn’t want the message falling into the hands of any prying journalists, huh? Who knows if her email has been hacked. This way is much safer. It’s a good job I’m up to the challenge of solving puzzles. The funny thing is, my brother and I frequently snail mail secret codes to each other- mostly talking about our favourite type of cheeses. This feels a little bit similar. It’s unique, it’s a little old fashioned, and heck we can all agree its 100000% more fun to receive something in the post than an email anyway.

*partner disagreeing with me next to me on the sofa*

The Gameplay

If you’re familiar with Puzzle Post, you’ll probably know the drill by now! All of their puzzle experiences follow a similar route. It’s been a while since I last played one, so I have to admit I’m out of practice, but after using a clue to get me started on ‘where to begin’, I was off to a flying start!

Besides the introduction letter setting the scene, there’s no ‘instructions’ in the traditional sense of the word. These too, are a puzzle to be solved. The first big step is to find out the correct order. In this game there is one item in the pack that clearly suggests an order the others follow in.

From here, each puzzle solved will give a single or double digit code that when strung together makes a password. This part is important! It means you’re always looking for a simple, numerical solution. Don’t overcomplicate it – or maybe do overcomplicate it!

The Puzzles

The Split is supposedly the hardest of the Puzzle Post series so far – I’d definitely recommended for someone who is familiar with the ‘play at home escape room’ genre, or at least is fairly quick at picking these sorts of things up. However, even though it is the hardest, it’s not insurmountable. I used around 3 clues throughout the whole experience just to nudge me along in the right direction, and only got one of the numbers incorrect – something quickly rectified by going back and actually reading the puzzle properly! Oops!

A lot of the puzzles in this experience revolve around reading through things and properly understanding what is happening and what you’re looking for. For example I spent a long time looking through the magazine on completely the wrong page wondering whether something looked like Morse Code, only to realise I wasn’t thinking about the plot of the game. I’d missed the ‘real’ puzzle!

As it’s a physical game, a few of the puzzles relied in manipulating the materials you’re giving. A very clever jigsaw style puzzle gave one code, whilst overlaying items on top of each other gave me another code, and so on. In some parts, in an exciting twist, I got to venture out onto the internet in search of… Well, music, really! I thought that was a super cool touch and the puzzle that followed was definitely my favourite (and the one I got wrong the first time round! Haha!).

In short, there’s a lot to do. Even though there’s an order, you could follow this game fairly non-linearly. I played as a solo player, but I’d have enjoyed it just as much in a small team of 2, or even 3. There’s enough puzzles to keep people busy, and enough delightful “aha” moments to make the whole game exciting.

Overall

I enjoyed it a lot! I’m a big fan of Puzzle Post and they’re one of the few companies I keep seeing “out in the wild”. A friend recently received a copy of Missed Flight for her birthday and loved it so much she went on to order one for her friend, that friend enjoyed it so much that at dinner the other week we couldn’t stop chatting about it! It’s really cool and it shows that the word of mouth that surrounds Puzzle Post is excellent too!

Whenever one of my puzzle friends’ birthdays come up I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to order an envelope (or 2, or 3), and the company even have a special kids game which my brother adored. The Split lived up to the hype and as ever, I’m so excited to see what Puzzle Post do in the future.

The Split can be purchased for £12.99 on Puzzle Post’s website.

Scarlet Envelope: Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri | Review

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Mr. Ferri, the extravagant animal lover and the owner of the creepiest mansion in town, has suddenly passed away. The word on the street is that he was killed…by his own lion! But…was he really? And why is his wife hiring you to get him back home, while his son is talking to Ferri’s spirit through the ouija board? Looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands!

Rating: Unique!
Completion Time: 1:45
Date Played: 3rd May 2021
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: Curious folks who want to unravel a unique narrative mystery!

📢 ANNOUNCEMENT 📢

You can win a copy of Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri from now until May 5th by heading to our competition page. Good luck!!

Woohoo, we are back with Chapter 5 (I feel like I’m really powering through these lately!) in the Scarlet Envelope series. Inching ever closer to ‘the truth’, AKA finding out more about your mysterious Scarlet Envelope master and why, oh why has he been sending you throughout time to solve mysteries?

Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri is unique in every sense of the word! It’s true, this game sticks with the general ‘mystery’ theme but steps away from the crime-y / whodunnit vibe of Breakfast for a Serial Killer and Cabaret in Lapin Blanc. Instead, you have a lot of information to sift through in what feels more like a scavenger hunt and a ‘grand finale’ minimal online interface that rounds out the story nicely. It’s more narrative heavy than I expected and we spent a lot of time with each individual character understanding who they are. Despite the lack of murder, I felt like I was on the set of the film Knives Out, complete with colourful and eccentric characters!

The Story

The rich old Mr. Ferri, an animal lover and owner of an almost certainly haunted mansion, sadly passes away. The only problem? Nobody really believes he’s actually dead. Every year Mr. Ferri sets up an audacious prank for his family members- a scavenger hunt if you were. The winner each year gets a larger portion of the Will.

Even with no body found, a very satisfied lion and scraps of clothing is enough for the detectives to call this an accidental death-by-lion. But you’re hired to figure out what really happened. Could it be possible Mr. Ferri is dead, or is this just some elaborate ruse? The game is afoot!

I love it! It’s light hearted, funny, and utterly charming. If he were real, I reckon I’d be great friends with Mr. Ferri.

The Experience

Almost everything you need to complete Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri is in the envelope! Unlike the previous games, this one I believe relies the least on an online interface, and besides an introductory voicemail, I only used my laptop at the very end of the experience to input my final answer.

The game, in a slight twist I haven’t seen in another escape room experience STARTS with a logic grid puzzle. I say I’m surprised because I’ve played (and designed, hah!) a few which use logic grids as the anchor but usually end with the successful completion of your grid. Instead, Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri begins with the completion of the logic grid. You can’t even begin to solve the puzzles until you’ve done this step.

The reason being, one of the key ‘pranks’ Mr. Ferri plays is that he’s assigned each member of his family a totem animal. But until you figure out who is who, you can’t do a lot with the information!

Once this IS out of the way, you then must work methodically examining each of the totem animal puzzles one after the other and solving the tasks that have been set for them. The bear, the crow, the snake, the cat and the horse. Each puzzle solved gives a solution, which when taken together gives another solution which completes the game! It’s a nice structure and again, a cool concept!

I had a minor tech issue at one point – specifically the web interface which requires you to assign each family member their animal, but this was quickly solved by finding a link in the clues page.

The Puzzles

I found this game… Really hard! I think whizzing through Breakfast for a Serial Killer lured me into a false sense of security because this one was fiendish! Sure, sure, I think I’m playing on “difficult” mode, but heck I also think I used a hint on almost every puzzle *hides with embarrassment*

The part I enjoyed the most was the logic puzzle. The game gives you a table, but I chose to draw out the full grid myself. After all, if a logic grid is going to be done properly, you may as well draw the whole thing out! And actually, it was a good shout! I needed it. There’s a lot of information (I believe 6 separate categories to track), and only so much you can do without drawing it out.

Another puzzle that was a lot of fun involved some physical manipulation of paper, but I’m not talking about cutting or folding! One of the items in the envelope, when solved correctly, gives a hint at what you should do with it next. I spent a good 15 minutes being like “surely not”, before checking the hints and realising oh yes, I literally have to do this thing. It’s hard to explain without spoilers, but put it this way – it’s a quirky use of printed material I’ve only ever seen in one other play at home escape room and I am very impressed!

Besides these two puzzles, the rest of the pack was typical Scarlet Envelope: “Wow this is so difficult to solve” to an immediate “Oh wow!!” when you finally do crack it. Players can expect to encounter a wide range of things to do and mysteries to solve in this game.

Other Cool Things

  • To access the clues page, you must always first solve a puzzle. This one was actually pretty tricky, in a good way! I almost gave up and emailed the creators and them *boom* I suddenly saw the solution that gave me the access to the hints.
  • There’s a playlist! Yay! I love a game that comes with a good Spotify playlist and this one really set the mood.
  • Another nice touch was that I was super pleased to see see some minority representation in this game. I may be wrong but I think it’s the first game in the Scarlet Envelope series to feature a POC main character

Overall

A brilliant little game that really challenges the brain! I’d recommend this one to anyone who wants to play something a little different. It’s funny, good for a small group, but it’ll still really challenge you and provide some wonderful “aha!” moments. When playing by myself I tend to request clues sooner and faster, but I reckon this game might be their longest yet and could easily give you 3 hours of fun!

Don’t forget, I’m hosting a contest with Scarlet Envelope right now where you can win a game of your choice! Enter here! But if you can’t wait that long, you can subscribe to Scarlet Envelope for $20 CAD (~£12) per month on their website.

Tick Tock: A Tale For Two | Review

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In Tick Tock: A Tale for Two you and your friend find yourself trapped in an eerie world created by the skilful clockmaker Amalie Ravn. Your mission is to escape! But to do so you need to navigate a mysterious, sinister clockwork world filled with secrets and cryptic puzzles. To find the truth and ultimately escape this place, you must combine the information on both players’ screens.

Time Played: 80 Minutes
Console: PC / Nintendo Switch / Mobile
Recommended For: Two players, for a relaxed and spooky 2hr experience.

Ever since I first heard about Tick Tock: A Tale for Two (ironically, through my work – I work in videogames and mutual friends and colleagues cannot stop recommending this one), I’ve had it on my “To-Play” list. For me, the problem was finding a second player, but that’s where my good friend Borderline Puzzler came in!

We sat down together in a Friday night from totally opposite corners of the United Kingdom and absolutely aced the game in 80 minutes, but how was the game? Simply magical!

The Story

Tick Tock is a hugely narrative driven story which makes sense – it’s won loads of awards for creativity and inventiveness and they’re all very well deserved. When you first open the game you’re not quite sure what is going on. The space is moody, atmospheric and most of all: very mysterious. But slowly the game unfolds through a patchwork of floating words and letters.

If the name ‘a tale for two’ weren’t a giveaway, you’re given half of the story. Every time a mysterious sentence appeared on my screen, floating like smoke, I only understood the meaning in context with that BDP saw on her screen. Together you work through both puzzles and story alike, for a truly brilliant conclusion.

On the topic of the conclusion… No, no spoilers here but there’s an incredible sort of ‘twist’ at the end I can’t help but mention. Even now, writing the review a while later, I can’t shake the ending out of my head. Like a memorable film, or piece of art, or tune you can recall vividly, the ending is clinging to me. Great art!

The Puzzles

Overall, I don’t think either of us found the puzzles particularly challenging, but that might come with the territory! The key thing to understand is that you can see half of what you need to see. We didn’t use a single hint in the game and it was, in most cases, fairly straightforward to figure out what we needed to do. As I say, the key (no pun intended) to solving everything for us at least was staying in constant communication. In other words we both literally described everything all the time:

“Right ok there’s a speck of dust, and a slight shadow and the artwork on this page is a little rough, and I think the colour of this plant pot is sepia-“

“-Yeah none of that helps but keep going!”

Leave no stone unturned, no plant pot un-shaked, and no puzzle unsolved, that’s what I always say!

Particular puzzles players can expect to come across include Morse code, and conversely something that looks like Morse code but isn’t. There are a couple of ‘directional’ style puzzles to watch out for, and one particularly fiendish pattern puzzle which probably took up 20% of our whole gameplay time but felt super satisfying when we did ‘clock’ it. There’s a little bit of time travel in this game too, which is a nice mechanic not possible in real life but believable (and wonderful) in a video game.

Other Notable Stuff

Firstly, the artwork! Seriously, wow. This game is be-you-tee-ful. If you like dark forests and vintage phones and lights and clocks and keys and trains all rendered in a beautiful hand drawn style, then this is for you. In fact, stop what you’re doing! Go play it now! The images I’ve included in this article speak for themselves.

Secondly, the atmosphere. The night I played this I was home alone and wearing headphones. Every tiny creak in the game as I moved around a dusty room and every distant bird call I assumed somebody was in my apartment and about to murder me… Thankfully, I’m still here! Just a little spooked.

Overall

My experience of Tick Tock: A Tale for Two was absolutely magical. A combination of playing the game with excellent company, a spooky Friday night in and just a general sense of “wow the developers of this game should be so proud” makes this an exceptional game in my book. Plus, it’s such a good price. I picked it up in a Steam sale but it’s the kind of game I want to go back and re-purchase for full price. 100% worth it.

Tick Tock: A Tale for Two can be purchased for £5 on Steam or the Nintendo eShop. You can find all links on their website here. All images for this article are from Tick Tock: A Tale for Two’s press kit.

SCRAP: Escape from the Two Base Stations | Review

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The two of you have infiltrated a secret organization’s communication base stations, one located in the North Pole and the other in the South Pole. Your mission is to stop the completion of a terrifying weapon being developed at these base stations. Using a smartphone to communicate with each other, the both of you finally make it to the deepest level of the facility…

Rating: Really Different!
Completion Time: ~1hr 15m
Date Played: 24th March 2021
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: People who want puzzles… But not how you normally know them!

How to describe Escape from the Two Base Stations? SO DIFFICULT… And yet SO FUNNY!

Just like The Demon Fortress and The Strange Village, SCRAP have taken the concept of an escape room and completely turned it on it’s head: defying all expectations and delighting me along the way. Whereas the other two I celebrated for their excellent plots, this one’s “special magic” is in the puzzle design!

The Story

You and your other player, whoever you choose that to be, are stuck at opposite sides of the world! One at the North Pole and one at the South Pole (oh hey, that’s me). As such, you’re meant to play this from two different locations- but more on that later.

There’s a terrible weapon being created that threatens the whole world and of course the two keys to stop it are as far away from each other as they could possibly be. But, just when you grab hold of the manuals, an “Intruder Alert” siren sounds and you’re locked in. Oops!

The Experience

In this whole game you have 50% of what you need to succeed. Your partner has the other half and they’re a long long way away, so you’re going to have to work together as best you can to crack the case! I took on this with my partner, and regular Player 2 on this blog but, as we live together, we had to go into separate rooms and close the door. That works too, just as long as we weren’t tempted to open the door or shout through the wall.

Each ’round’ starts with a short script to read back and forth – we went massively off script, hurling cheeky insults at one another at every opportunity. From there, you’ve got a couple of collaborative puzzles to solve and then clues to where to go next. For example, within your pack are a number of other envelopes with small images on them and big letters saying not to open until prompted. But- that’s not all, you also have a helpful chatbot guiding you through the experience and telling you what to do and when which is- helpful! Especially helpful considering you’ll get no answers from the hints page. Only hints!

The Puzzles

So here’s the really juicy bit! Escape from the Two Base Stations essentially takes the idea of the party game ‘charades’ and turns it into a packed puzzle game. What I mean is, at different points in the game whilst communicating with your Player 2, you’ll either lose access to:

  • Your video feed, meaning you can’t see one another
  • Your audio feed, meaning you can’t talk to one another
  • Your keyboard, meaning you can’t type to one another

The real panic starts when you lose access to more than one of those at the same time. Or *gasp* all three! Yep, the final puzzle will have you screaming (into the void, as your partner won’t hear you) as you lose access to almost everything. Reckon you can communicate information by using ONE SINGLE CHARACTER? Yeah, no. It’s not easy.

But by and large the puzzles are really light hearted and funny! As an example, one player will have something on their screen they need to describe to the other player. Through your descriptions, or hand gestures, you’ve got to figure out what on Earth the other person is trying to say! It only gets funnier from here. We found ourselves standing up and jumping around on camera trying to act out animals without being able to talk. In another mission, I enthusiastically sent “ES ES ES” 24 times in the chat box to which my partner said next time our mics were allowed to be turned on “If you type ES one more time I swear to God..”

Overall, just SO FUNNY. For this reason I’m going to go out on a limb and say that even though this game is recommended for 2 players (1 in each location), I think you could go further and do it with 4, or even 6 (2/3 in each location) for added hilarity. I only wish I’d caught some of the madness on camera.

It makes sense the game would be so funny though, one of the directors is comedian duo Savanna’s Shigeo Takahashi. He, and the whole team, really capture the absurdity of malfunctioning technology and how hard it is to communicate. So if you’ve ever played charades, you’re probably going to love this. It’s like that but with more puzzles.

The English language version of Escape from the Two Base Stations can be purchased for $37 USD on Amazon.

Ratings

Breakout Unboxed: The Wizard’s Apprentice

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Do you posses Magic within you? Are you ready to go on an epic magical journey to find out. Maybe you are the next Wizard’s Apprentice!

Rating: Magical
Completion Time: 1hr 45 mins
Date Played: 20th March 2021 – 22nd March 2021
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: Families, Enthusiasts and real life Wizards.

The Wizard’s Apprentice is a simply MAGICAL play at home game perfect for families, aspiring witches and wizards, or pretty much everyone growing bored with lockdown and looking for something more interesting to do *cough cough* it’s me. Despite the fact I massively messed up the order of the puzzles (more on this later), the game still managed to be a complete delight, packed with “aha!” puzzles and, dare I say it, real magic?

The Story

Your story begins with a mysterious letter from your great, great, great (more greats) grandmother, a powerful witch of her own right who needs your help. As a descendent, you hold the potential for great power yourself – but first, with the help of this box, you must learn to use it. By harnessing your own magical abilities, it’s your job to find the long lost Power Spell.

The Exciting Stuff

So this game is really special in one particular way… Unlike every other magic-themed play at home game I’ve ever done, this one actually IS magical. No seriously, let me explain. There are a couple of really, really clever puzzles in this that feel just like you’ve just done a pretty cool spell. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but with a wave of a wand and the touch of my hand this game let me reveal unseen things and read the minds of others.

Another fun part about the game is the overarching puzzle. It’s *whispers* a logic puzzle! The game works in this wonderful way where each individual puzzle you solve adds up to one larger, logic based puzzle and if you know me you know I love drawing logic grids. This ticked all the boxes!

I also loved the modern touches. It’s 2021 people, of course wizards have websites! Did you know you can mail order your wands and broomsticks online? Well, this game also introduces you to that side of the wizarding world. A great touch!

In fact, I loved it so much I actually wish I hadn’t done this solo. I’ve got an 11 year old brother on the other side of the city who would ADORE this, but thanks to lockdown I had to settle for sharing the “wow moments” with the ‘big kids’ people I live with instead. Even though I say it would be great for families – aren’t we all just big kids inside?

My ‘Oops’ Part

Okay so here goes… How I royally messed up! And please, take this with a pinch of salt, because your experience probably won’t be quite like this:

Within the box there are two envelopes locked with a padlock. Somehow, I got into the second one first, did all of those puzzles first, and then hit a massive roadblock. To this moment I can’t say if it was my mistake or not, but I’m giving the game the benefit of the doubt. I have a track record of rushing into puzzles in the wrong order.

After contacting Breakout Unboxed for help, they got back to me fairly quickly and from here I realised my error, oops! Even after fixing it, I HAD messed up the flow of the game a bit – I mean no major disaster but it’s worth mentioning.

One example of this was a puzzle involving shields and maths. With only 4 shields and 4 possible mathematical symbols I deduced the answer before finding the actual key (hidden in the envelope I should already have opened) to solve the puzzle.

Another example was a potions puzzle. I didn’t have the recipe yet (you guessed it, it’s in the envelope), but as only some ingredients were able to be mixed with others, there was a finite amount of solutions and I guessed it correctly. Emphasis on ‘guessed’.

The best part about the game though? Despite my major mistake I still had such a good time solving everything! All it meant was that I overthought a couple of puzzles more than they should have done. So here’s a golden nugget of advice playing The Wizard’s Apprentice: You can also mess up and still have a great time. That’s testament to it being a great experience.

Overall

So overall, a good time was had by all! A delightful game, despite my oopsie! I had a nice time completing the puzzles spread out across a Saturday morning and a Monday afternoon. Plus, it comes packaged in a really nice and robust box AND now I have a gorgeous wand to keep as well? Despite being a Harry Potter fan I’ve never owned a wand before, eek!

In a rare one for The Escape Roomer, I realised I don’t feature my own face in this blog enough, so here’s a snap of yours truly, enjoying the game:

The Wizard’s Apprentice can be purchased for £27 on Breakout Unboxed’s website here.

The Detective Society: Season One, Episode One

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Can you help solve the case? The daughter of a high-profile diplomat has disappeared! The Detective Society have been hired to find her. A story filled with twists, turns and some laughs thrown in for good measure; the deeper you delve into Claire’s disappearance, the more secrets you uncover.

Rating: Fast Paced, Fun!
Completion Time:  1hr
Date Played: 14th February 2021
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: Armchair sleuths who want an immersive, real world experience delivered to their doorstep.

I have had this game sitting on my shelf for… Oh my god, MONTHS?! I genuinely cannot even remember how long it’s been, but if anyone wants to do the maths I received it a month or so after the Kickstarter backers did. Literally no excuse for not playing it sooner… Believe me when I say I’m kicking myself for waiting so long because I immediately want to buy Part 2, Part 3 and more.

The Disappearance of Claire Makova: Episode 1 (for it’s full, wordy title) is a game that exploded into the limelight in 2020, created by British company The Detective Society. It’s visually very impressive and super high tech, dipping into the real world in a sort of “I no longer know what’s real and what isn’t” way.

I guess one of the real standouts of the game is that it could not come at a better time. With the whole of 2020 being the pandemic write-off that it was, I’ve seen The Detective Society’s praises shouted from the rooftops for it’s bringing a 5* escape room experience into the homes of players around the world. So why did I wait so long to play it? Yeah I’m asking myself that question too. So if you’re like me and you also have this sitting on your shelf… Stop what you’re doing right now- I mean, finish reading my blog first of course, THEN go play this game right away!

So let’s get into it. The amount of story in Episode 1 is understandably short. This episode serves to set the scene and instruct players on how to navigate the mystery by presenting three short mini-mysteries to be solved. Each of those gives a numerical digit, that then unlocks a ‘final envelope’ containing the introduction to Claire Makova’s case. I say ‘unlocks’ and I actually mean it this time, the envelope is sealed with a padlock. Pretty cool!

From here, you’ve been tasked to track down a missing person who has purposefully gone off the grid. Enter: Claire Makova. You do this by a series of looking through her cellphone records, checking her bank statements, stalking her place of work, rummaging through photos from her flat. You know, the usual legally questionable detective stuff.

The puzzles are a lot of fun too. There’s a mix of treasure hunting, digging through the internet, and actually solving puzzles. I found the first three mini cases to be more puzzle heavy, for example in one of them you have to assemble a bomb (oh hello MI5 agent reading my blog, don’t worry it’s not real!) by solving complex maths and logic puzzles. Compared to the ‘find Claire Makova’ portion of the game, which relies more on cross-referencing data between maps, texts and bank statements. Neither ‘style’ of puzzle is better than the other, but it all mixes together for a fun experience!

The only tiny thing that made me cringe – and I hesitate even mentioning it – there was a “don’t get fat” joke, which felt slightly out of place, especially in these pandemic times. Just a friendly reminder that fat =/= bad and it would be great to leave body shaming back in 2020… But at least our heroine Claire Makova had the peace of mind to reply to the joke with a curt “Go to hell!

I chose to play this Episode as a team of 1. If you’re looking extra closely at my blog you’ll realise I chose to play this on Valentine’s Day. After a failed campaign of Civilisation board game, my regular Player 2 sat out on this escape game. But dare I say it? It worked really well as a team of 1. Overall just a lot of fun, a very impressive production quality and just enough of a cliff-hanger I’m itching to get my hands on Episode 2. Props to The Detective Society.

The Detective Society Episode One can be purchased for £35 on The Detective Society’s website.