Sleuth Kings - "Case 201: Abducted" & "Case 301: Dog Gone Mystery"
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Company: Sleuth Kings
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail 📬
Genre: Detective, Mystery
Sleuth King offers two types of mystery boxes: Master Detective and Rookie Detective. The major difference between the two is that master detective usually will take longer to solve with more puzzles and increase level of difficulty. Rookie detective cases will provide an epilogue letter at the end of your mission but Master Detective comes with an additional reward. You can purchase the individual cases when it becomes available in the archives or subscribe on a monthly bases for their most recent story series.
The games arrived in an eye-catching cardboard box with drawings of the contour of a detective in various settings. It immediately sets the tone for "mysterious". Our doorman was intrigued and asked us: " What's inside?" to which we replied with "It's a mystery". Inside the box you'll find a large envelope containing a folder with all the necessary documents needed for the cases and a small envelope containing the epilogue.
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
The game came with a checklist for case file contents. We always like to make sure that we received everything before we begin our game play. Once we've done that, we resorted to the instructions on how to start the case. The progression of the story, hint system and solution submission were all done with an automated email system. Once you email the person you're suppose to contact on the case file's link, it should be self explanatory from there. The investigation report will give you a more extensive back ground story than the one provided in the email. The game provided us with three choices on how we would like to receive the hints: email, web link, or written clues at the end of the investigation report. Since the puzzles were not linear, you could tackle them in any order (although it was recommended in the game to start with clue 1). With numerous instructions embedded in various parts of the game, there's no way you'll get lost.
Game: Case 201 - Abducted
Date Played: 8/11/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 7/10
Size of Team: Unlimited
"Case 201 - Abducted" is the first case in Sleuth Kings' newest story series "Monster Madness". This new series is about Sullivan king trying to take down a new criminal group (filled with self-proclaimed zombies, vampires, and other monsters). It's categorized under the "Master Detective" cases.
Sullivan's fiance Celest had gone missing. She never showed up for their wedding planning meeting. We were hired to help to retrace her footsteps and see if there's any clue that would lead us to her abductor. Our goal was to find the location where she's being held at.
Since we were trying to trace her steps on the day she had gone missing, the puzzles were build around the story. From finding a post card in her apartment to the brochure outside studio to a magazine article in a trash can to a memo note on a beach at her favorite park, it all came together to paint a complete picture about the investigation. It felt like we're real detectives on the case collecting evidence and then piecing them together for the final "aha" moment. Since the puzzles were not linear, we did not do them in order. We actually solved Clue 2 before going back to 1. For some puzzles you'll need additional information that's not contained in the mailer so it's better to try to play the game in the sequential order. We enjoyed the humor build into the story line. Our favorite part was the alien quiz and the funny answers given by the various types of aliens. This was also the most confusing puzzle we thought for the game. We had to use the hint system since we thought there could be several answers that would work based on how the clues were written. There were puzzles involving Math, decryption, ciphers, etc. It was nice to see there were so many different types of puzzles incorporated into one game. In comparison to the Rookie Detective below, the difficulty level was definitely a step up.
This was the first Sleuth Kings game we've ever played. We really liked how organized they are with instructions, clues, puzzle elements and packaging. Usually mailer games would come with a lot of documents and other components so it really helps to have a guide that assists the players on how to organize their thought process. The meta puzzle at the end took us awhile to get but it did make sense ultimately. We liked how every item was utilized and intertwined within the story. The epilogue was a nice way to give us an insight to what had happened to the victim but more importantly a great way to leave a cliffhanger! Now we are very curious to how Sullivan will be able to take down this mysterious crime organization and what he will encounter on his next case!
Game: Case 301 - Dog Gone Mystery
Date Played: 8/11/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 5/10
Size of Team: Unlimited
"Case 301 - Dog Gone Mystery" is the first case in Sleuth Kings' newest story series "The Time Traveler". This new series is about Brian Knight, a self-proclaimed time traveler, trying to save the world from a catastrophic event. This all starts with finding a lost dog. It's categorized under the "Rookie Detective" cases.
Brian wanted us to help him find a missing dog for a lady named Debra. He doesn't personally know her but claims that if we don't find this dog something really bad will happen. Looking at the cute pug (Yogi)'s face and the fact that our third agent Lili - "The clue sniffer" is the love of our lives, there's no reason why we would reject this case. Our mission this time was to find the dognapper's identity.
Debra provided us with 4 clues in total (similar to the Master Detective case above). We had to work with a missing dog poster, an adoption agency flyer, a newspaper clipping and a page from a story book. Perhaps it's because we are such dog lovers that the theme instantly had our attention. The puzzles were easier and most were one step puzzles. There were more on the searching and observing side rather than logic puzzles. The final puzzle still gave us a bit of thinking and the "tool" that was used was quite clever. Ultimately, we were able to connect the solutions to the 4 clues and catch the dognapper.
This was such a cute story involving a delightful "cast". We were glad we played the "Master Detective" case first since we were able to fully understand how Sleuth Kings' operates and was able to enjoy this at a much better game flow level. We didn't use any hints for this case as everything made sense (also because "the clue sniffer" was great at sniffing out the solutions). With the colorful illustrations and kids friendly puzzles, this game would be perfect for a family night!
(If you do decide to try this game, please remember to let them know that you heard it from"ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank Sleuth Kings for providing us with samples of the game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.