Shine On Collective - "Welcome Home"
Updated: Jan 15
Photo provided by Shine On Collective
Company: Shine On Collective
Game: Welcome Home
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail 📬
Date Played: 1/6/2021
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 5/10
Size of Team: Unlimited
Time: 90-120 Minutes (Approximately)
Price: $55 (game & dessert for up to 4 ppl)
You've just moved into town and the neighbors seem to be quite friendly. You even got a box of baked goods from your Neighborhood Watch president. Strangely. you've also received a box of belongings from the former resident of the house, Eli. This is when all the mysteries started to unveil...
"Welcome Home" came in a beautifully packaged box. It literally felt like a welcome gift dropped of on our porch by our neighbors. On top of the box you'll see an instruction card, a welcome card, 2 packs of crayons and 4 pieces of coloring paper. Once you open the box (after instructed), you'll get a bunch of information including a journal, town map, pins, phone tree etc...Since there are many items and at one point we did question if we had everything we needed, our suggestion is to perhaps have a check list just incase there are things missing from the actual packaging. We like how the props are prepared in a very realistic way where the package was already ripped open and he paper was crumpled up like they were all used items.
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
If you read through the instruction before starting the game, you'll know to not to open anything until instructed. There are stickers labeled "private" throughout the game which should remain sealed until you've been prompt by phone messages to open them. Since the phone is a "must have" tool for the storytelling and password input, international players would not be able to play this game. There was only one part we were a bit confused about as to where the prompted message was for us to open up a "private" message. We really enjoyed the writing. There were parts that gave us goosebumps as we imagined the scenes in our heads.
The puzzles are not too difficult. Think of it more like a murder mystery. It's more about collecting evidence rather than deciphering codes. I really enjoy that as I'm a big CSI & Criminal Minds fan. The mystery trail was done really well. We're constantly surprised by discoveries. We also enjoyed guessing who the culprit was but changing our theory as new information was revealed. One thing we would suggest for the creators is to have a hint system online rather than having a manual hint system where the players may have to wait until the next day to get an answer. I know it might take away from the immersion in some aspect but the players will also need to find time the next day to remember where they left off in order to finish the game. It would also be helpful to have an online portal for the phone messages incase player's wanted to replay them so they don't have the dial the same number numerus times. But then again, I might just be one of those impatient players.
Overall we found that the way "Shine On Collective" connected the characters and the story really made us feel like we're watching a movie. The voice actors on the phone were great at painting the community right before our eyes. There were nail biting moments and "wow" moments throughout the game play. This might not be your typical puzzle heavy game but it was definitely an well made murder mystery thriller!
(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 Shine On Collective 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.