Updated: Oct 16
Videos/ Photos provided by PostCurious
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail
Date Played: 7/21/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 7.5/10
Size of Team: Unlimited (Recommend 2-4ppl)
Price: $69.00 -The Emerald Flame, $23.00 - Leatherette Journal, $90.00 Alchemist Pack (The Emerald Flame + Apprentice Pack)
*Please note that the below review is based on the prototype of the game. Some items may look a bit different from the final version.
You have been commissioned by the Koschei Historical Society to investigate and find the recipe for a fabled elixir. On the journey, you'll encounter exotic fruits, colorful butterflies, poisonous mushrooms, precious gems, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, mysterious clock tower, peculiar constellations, gorgeous flower species and much more! Are you ready for this exciting 3 part adventure?
The beautiful illustrations and colors on the game box was what drawn us to the game initially. When we got the prototype, we couldn't believe these were hand-drawn. The colors and details on the buildings, flowers, and butterflies were so vivid. The props that came with the game were also quite authentic and each had its own unique purpose. Whenever we picked up a prop, there was always this mysterious aura surrounding the item. It's waiting for us to unravel its secret.
The game came with an instruction booklet which gave you a little hint on the starting point. There was also a link to Koschei Society's website that provided more details on the back story. Hints could be easily retrieved by scanning a bar code on the instruction booklet. If for any reason you're missing any documents, you could easily download them from their website. There were 3 separate envelopes provided (January, February, and March). An Epilogue (April) envelope was also included in the game. Besides documents, each envelope also contained various "tools" that would assist you on cracking the puzzles. A refill kit will also come in the final version of the game.
The Game Play
Since there's no time limit on the game, you're free to play the 3 part game however you like to. Each installment may take 2-3 hours. We blocked out an entire evening and played it all the way through (which probably wasn't really a good idea since our brains were pretty much fried after part II). The story line was definitely intriguing enough for us to want to see the ending. We liked the fact that that the game was not linear as it was fun to play it together as a group and tackle on different puzzles at the same time. Each part of the game would start with a letter from Koschei Society. It'll give you a mission debrief on what's to come in the adventure. You'll then have to use the clues given along with the "tools" to solve the puzzles. Once you think you know the answer, you'll reply to the society via a chat bot. If you solved all the puzzles for that section, an alert will inform you that you just received a new package from the society. If you decided to continue on with the game, open package #2.
Every part of the puzzle sequence have been closely tied with the story line, therefore the game flow was great. If you did get stuck, the hint system was pretty comprehensive to assist you onto the next step. There were quite a few innovative puzzle ideas we haven't seen in other games before since some of them combined different ciphers/codes together. We enjoyed discovering these new challenges. Puzzles varied in types like cryptic, logic, pattern, riddles etc...It was nice to see the wide range of puzzle choices put into one game. The highlights for us were how we're able to utilize the various props with the puzzles. They were able to bring out the different characters that we could portray throughout the game. We felt like we've took on roles like entomologist, architect, anthropologist, archaeologist, mineralogist, astronomer etc...It felt like we were traveling through time.
The Emerald Flame took us on a journey into a fantasy world filled with mystery and astonishing moments. We didn't feel like we were playing a tabletop game. The fact that the story was also build on some historical events made the game felt more tangible. The puzzles were not repetitive and every one of them was special in their own way. Some of them gave us "wow" moments and others gave us "duh, I should have seen that" moments. Most of the of puzzles were multi-step puzzles. For players that just started with table top games, you might need to use hints from time to time. Some of these puzzles were quite challenging. It was nice to see the different levels of difficulties in a game. Our favorite part of the game was the last puzzle when we questioned ourselves and said: "wait, are we really suppose to do that?" In terms of the aesthetics, this was probably the most beautiful table top game we've ever played. At one point, you probably wouldn't want to solve the puzzles because you don't want to destroy the illustrations. An easy way to solve this problem would be to buy two copies. We can't wait to hear what you guys thought about this game when you receive it in 2021!
PRE-ORDER HERE (Delivered in 2021)
(If you do decide to try this game, please remember to let them know that you heard it from"ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank PostCurious 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.
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