The Deadbolt Mystery Society
Solve a new stand-alone mystery each month from The Deadbolt Mystery Society.

Plans as low as $22.50 / month

Subscriber Reviews

by Bernadette, Jul 02, 2018

I am an inveterate puzzle solver, and a huge fan of break-out-of-the-room puzzles, scavenger hunts, and paper puzzles of all kind. This is the fourth puzzle-box subscription that I've tried. The box has a few very positive features compared to the others I've tried. First, there's no need for an internet connection, which allows the family to unplug from electronic gadgets while solving the puzzles. It also allows the box to be played if you're out on vacation or in a place with spotty Wi-fi. Second, there were a lot of independent pieces to the puzzle and all of them were available from the beginning of the game. Other puzzle boxes we've played in the past were much more linear, forcing us to work on just a few puzzles at once. This one gave us all the puzzles in one shot, so we could all grab papers and work on puzzles simultaneously without having to fight to read the two or three clues available. There were four of us working the puzzles, and the first 20 minutes of solving were really fun, as we poured over clues and swapped suggestions. The big problem with this box for us were the poorly-clued puzzles. We did the Nero box, and found several alternative solutions to the puzzles that seemed equally valid. With no real clues to help us determine which solution was correct, we ultimately turned to the online hints and solution, only to discover that even after looking at the solution we couldn't determine how we should have deduced at least one of the puzzles. Of the other puzzles, at least three were ambiguous, leaving us feeling very disappointed overall. Overall, I think this box has real potential, and it's possible that this month's puzzle was a one-off, given that the other reviews are so positive. However, the Nero puzzle box felt suspiciously un-playtested, lacking the 'a-ha' feeling that you get when you finally solve a well-crafted, fully playtested puzzle. We were constantly wondering whether we had found the correct solution, or whether there was more to the puzzle, and that killed most of the enjoyment for our group.

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