DarkPark Games - "Conspiracy-19" & "Witchery Spell"
Photos provided by DarkPark Games
Company: DarkPark Games
Country: Netherlands 🇳🇱
Language: English, Dutch
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail 📬
Date Played: 11/17/2020
Size of Team: Unlimited
Price: €49/ €9.99(Refill Kit)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Detective
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 6/10
Doctor Schmitz has discovered a deadly virus that's currently being produced by a secret agency. He's currently in hiding because they are after him. He has send you a box of evidence he's collected so far. Hopefully you'll be able to assist him on stopping this deadly attack.
Conspiracy-19 came in a nicely packaged cardboard box. On the box cover, there's a mysterious barcode. In the box you'll find various documents, photos, a lock, blood vials and other clue components.
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
We really enjoyed how the game began. It's a great way to get the player intrigued right from the beginning. There are 4 folders which essentially divided the game into 4 segments. It's best not to mix up the materials in each folder. Each folder contained a storyline from a different character. You can play the first three in any order but leave the green folder towards the end.
Other than the clues that came in the game, you'll also be led to various websites so make sure to have internet ready. The clues used to build around each character made the game feel realistic. At times, you might think you're really ordering food from a restaurant or getting your fortune read.
The choices the game pieces like vials, a nail, menus, etc...also made the game very different and more interesting than just paper documents. The storyline was easy to follow with the help of these elements as well.
The puzzles ranged widely in terms of difficulty. There were some that were quite easy and reminded us of things we would see in an escape room. Others like Math puzzles did take us awhile to figure out. We were confused by two puzzles in terms of the clarity of the clues but there's a hint system on their website that'll explain the solution with nudges. We liked the usage of the websites to add in the immersion factor with the tabletop experience. Some puzzles were actually interactive and the interface was really easy to use as well.
This game had a good balance of use of physical props, paper clues and internet resources. All the items used stuck with the storyline and made it more immersive. Our favorite puzzle was the one that made us feel like chemists. There will be components that you will need to buy the refill pack if you decide to gift or resale the game. Don't miss the ending video! It definitely added a nice conclusion to the whole experience.
Game: Witchery Spell
Genre: Mystery, Magic
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 6.5/10
Margaret just turned 23 and has gone missing. Her friends are very worried. They've been friends since they were kids. The disappearance might be because of the ritual that they've performed when they were young. Will you be able to help to lift the spell and save her from the dark magic?
Witchery Spell arrived in a cardboard box package along with a note on the box that said "start here". Inside the box, you'll find an intro letter, black folder, photos, small pouch with stones, tarot cards, posters, ritual props (candle, salt, etc...) and other small objects. We really liked the added hay straws on the bottom of box. The smell of it added to the immersion of the theme of this game.
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
Dark Park always have an innovative way to start a tabletop experience and this time was no exception. We started with a puzzle before we were even allowed to open the box. This gave us some context to the backstory and our adventure began soon after. Since there were a lot of items and documents packaged into the box. You might get lost as to where the starting point is. Our suggestion is to start with the website. Once you get into the website, you can use it as a guide to find out what you'll need to for the remaining of the game.
The puzzles were very different than some of the other tabletop games we've experienced. Every single item in the box is to be used in some form with a puzzle (although they also helped with building the backstory). We were impressed by how some of the props were used (too bad we can't explain further due to spoilers). Every time we decoded something, more of the story will unveil. The usage of other character's voice recordings also made the story feel more realistic to the audience. If you get stuck, there's a nudging hint system on their website.
We really enjoyed the "secrecy" that's being portrayed throughout the game. There were many incidences where we had to find the secret saying or symbol in order to prove ourselves worthy to the coven. There was a nice build up to the storyline. Each character had a little backstory. The use of the witch's family tree, mythical creatures and tarot cards captivated us throughout the game play. Our favorite puzzle was of course yet another one that required physical interaction with the puzzle components from the box. Other than taste, we were fully immersed through the other 4 senses. If you want to make a nice "witchy" evening date with your family or friends, we highly recommend the Witchy Spell.
Check out our unboxing video below of "Conspiracy-19" and "Witchery Spell" to see what exciting items you'll receive in these two games! Puzzle Spoiler FREE!
Check out our interview with the creator to understand more on the development side of these game:
(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank DarkPark Games 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.