Updated: Oct 16
Photos provided by Crack-a-Nut Mysteries
Company: Crack-a-Nut Mysteries
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail
Date Played: 7/19/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 4.5/10
Size of Team: Unlimited
Price: $87 US/$97 CAN/$102 Everywhere else (includes shipping)
S.O.U.P (Society for the Observation of Unknown Phenomena) is Crack-a-Nut Mysteries' newest game. We played this game right after "Root of All Evils".
If you are tired of your boring life and want to travel the world for a change, join S.O.U.P. You'll be taken on a journey of your life time to exotic places, research lost legends, investigate the unknown, and they even promise you a job after. As if that wasn't enough, you're also being assigned as a "detective" to dig out the dirt behind S.O.U.P.'s headquarters. Are you up for the challenge?
The game came in a thick Fedex envelope. Inside there were one intro letter, one postcard, five color coded assignment envelopes and finally a sealed letter-sized envelope. Each assignment packet had an intro letter along with an assignment letter. There were various clue props included within the envelopes. We were very excited to receive our very own personalized S.O.U.P. membership cards and a pin in the first assignment's welcome packet.
The Game Play
We loved how organized the game was. It was very easy to follow either the color correlation or context to where we needed to go next. There was a little notepad for you to take notes while you're in the "field". The game truly made you feel like you were an agent on various missions. One minute you could be in a remote village in Hungary and the next, you'll be in the desert sands of Libya. Even though there was a lovely meta puzzle that integrated the story together, we quite enjoy the mini puzzles along the way. Since the story was referencing back to a lot of historical findings or strange ancient tales, clues like ancient manuscripts and taro cards really enhanced the immersion. Just when we thought we've completed all the assignments and completed the game, we were surprised with a final exam. It was a great way to tie the story together and also spiced up the ending with a twist.
You'll be surprised by how many little hidden finds you'll discover in this game. We enjoyed the common cipher puzzles but our favorites were the ones that we haven't seen in awhile. Things you wouldn't think was a puzzle would eventually "wow" you at the end. There were moments where we felt that the game had a "chose your own adventure" vibe and other times where we followed strict orders in order to complete a mission. Some puzzles were as simple as piecing scrap together where others have multi-steps that would mix your skills of logic, deductive reasoning and even a bit of Math. We were quite stuck on one puzzle and even with the cluing (there's a self guided hint system online if you do get stuck) we were confused with how we got the answer at the end. But majority of the puzzles were very entertaining and kept us going at a steady speed.
If you are like us and love to open envelopes to see what surprises are contained inside, you'll have a lot of fun with this game. There are lots of envelopes for you to open and every envelope is a different flavor. S.O.U.P's taste could go from mild to spicy in a moment's time pending on where the puzzles" takes" you. We love the different ingredients (puzzles, props, story lines, imagination, etc...) that were thrown together to create the ultimate "S.O.U.P dish". You'll definitely find something in there that's to your liking. Maybe you won't undergo the same "taste" sensation as your teammates, but that's the beauty of S.O.U.P. Everyone will acquire their own unique experience at the end!
(If you do decide to try this game, please remember to let them know that you heard it from"ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank Crack-a-Nut Mysteries 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.