Updated: 3 days ago
Videos/ Photos provided by BlueMatter Games & ThinkFun
Company: BlueMatter Games Manufactured by ThinkFun
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail
Date Played: 9/30/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 5.5/10
Size of Team: 1-4 Players (Ages 13+)
Time: 2 Hours (Approximately)
Price: $42.99 (Shipping starts on 10/1/2020)
Every since Mr. Garrity's daughter went missing, he's been spending more time in his shed. You noticed strange lights coming from the shed at odd hours. Recently, many local children have been reported missing. Could these events be related? You decided to check out the shed. As you entered, you noticed there's a bench in middle of the room and on top of it, there's a creepy dollhouse. You slowly began your approach...
"The Cursed Dollhouse" came in a cardboard box that's double the size of their previous games: Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat and Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor. Right on the cover of the box was a scary looking doll giving you a sharp inviting stare. The entire set up of the game was printed inside the two sides of the box. When you completed the build, you'll actually create a 3D looking dollhouse with a living room, bedroom, attic, bathroom and kitchen. We were surprised by how many "secrets" and puzzles they were able to hide given the limited real estate space. Besides the two-story house setup (and an attic), the game also included 3 punchboards with furniture and components, instruction manual, component envelope and a solution wheel. Most of the items were made with high quality thick cardboard that felt like it would last for many game plays since the game is designed to be replayable. We especially liked the details and colors used in the graphics for this game. Besides a few obvious discoveries that certain items were able to open or come off, we definitely missed a few due to how the items were placed. There's also a music list for you to set the mood of the game. A website link with hint system and reassembling instructions was also given.
The Game Play
This game set up was a bit different than the previous two games we've played. Other than the usual way of solving the puzzles and entering the answers in the solution wheel, the story line was provided in the instruction manual rather than on the scene cards. The first part of the puzzle was attesting our assembling skills. The instructions were quite easy to follow so I up the challenge for Brandon and had him build the house without looking at the instructions. It was definitely doable until I noticed the headboard and footboard were switched on the bed. Since there were a lot of components in this game, it was important to check all the items' positions before starting the game. Once the house was completed, the story in the instruction manual will point you to the right direction on what to do next. As you solve the puzzles, you'll unlock the doors to another area.
We've gotten quite comfortable with how we would play a BlueMatters Games' "Escape the Room" box as they always make us feel quite relatable to a real escape room experience. The searching and discovering of hidden places/items stood out the most for us in this game. There was even a "special appearance" of a certain common "tool" that players would use a lot in escape rooms. We did see some repeated concepts used in previous games being implemented in this one. One particular one felt better used in the other game especially with its association to the story line. My favorites were the crafty type of puzzles in this game as I was finally able to put my high school "Origami Queen" title to use. There was one puzzle that would definitely benefit people with smaller hands. Brandon did most of the constructing and thoroughly enjoyed those integrations (especially when no cutting/gluing was needed).
This game was our favorite out of the three. We have not played any box games that would be able to transform into a 3D game yet. This one was very well executed with the story line (adding the eerie feel), puzzles and design. If there was one thing that we felt could use a booster it would be a stronger ending. Perhaps a hidden compartment in the box that gave us that final goosebumps moment or a visual conclusion. Now that we've experienced 3D, our next request to BlueMatter Games is 4D and beyond!
Discount code: 25% off Oct 1 - Nov 1: "25CRAVOTTA"
(If you do decide to try this game, please remember to let them know that you heard it from"ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank BlueMatter Games & ThinkFun for providing us with a sample of their game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.