Updated: Nov 19
Videos/ Photos provided by The Detective Society
Company: The Detective Society
Game: ES01E01: The Disappearance of Claire Makova
Country: United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Type of Game: Puzzles By Mail
Genre: Detective, Mystery
Date Played: 11/12/2020
Difficulty (based on 2 players): 5/10
Size of Team: Unlimited (Recommended Age 14+)
Time: Unlimited (Suggested 90 - 120 Min)
Price: £30 (Individual), £27 (Monthly) , £144 (Whole season)
We've been hired by Dolosus Global to investigate on Claire Makova's disappearance. As we dug deeper into her file, it seems to be much more than a simple missing person's case...
The game box felt a bit flimsy for mailing as ours was kind of destroyed when it arrived in our mailbox. We would recommend looking into heavier paper stock especially for international shipping. Although the packaging was quite consolidated so it probably saves players a good amount of money on the shipping fees. Inside the box was a large envelope containing 3 small envelopes (marked X,Y, and Z), the instruction envelope, a very cute pin and a locked zipper pouch.
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
Prior to receiving the game in the mail, we got an email message from Dolosus Global informing us a package was coming soon. In the email was a little back story and the first "puzzle" to start the adventure. This was a great way to get us get intrigued about the incoming package and raised our anticipation.
Since the email did say that we couldn't do anything with the information until the package arrived, we just waited for the package and solved everything together. If you did not get this email for some reason, you'll be able to get this information on the intro letter of the package once it arrives.
The instruction envelope contains the password you'll need for the online hint system. A business card with QR codes was also provided for easy access of clues and rules via your cell phone. Although we didn't use the other resources, there's also a FB and reddit group that you can find assistance if you get stuck on the puzzles. This is the first game we've played that really got their hint system covered. I'm sure you'll be able to finish the game with no issues.
Once you've read the intro letter, you and your team can simultaneously work on envelope X, Y, and Z together. When you figured out the solution to that part, you should have access to the lock on the zipper pouch. I would consider this to be the start of part II of this game. Part II had a different vibe than part I. Right away we felt like we had to put our detective hats on and sift through all the clues that's been presented to us. This game will actually take you out of your physical tabletop space and make you go into a virtual world where you have to search for clues on the internet, make calls to suspects (international players can look at the hint section for the voicemail recording instead of paying for international rates through texting), look up evidence, etc...
The puzzles in Part I were not linear and two of them were quite simple. We did spend a quite of amount of time on the third one as it was significantly more difficult in terms of logic than the other two. I'm sure Math lovers will have a blast with this one. In part II, there were less logic involved and more of a "search and find" kind of adventure. It was a nice mix up and transition to go along with the story line.
The thing we really liked about this episode of The Detective Society's game is their three part game play design. It was nice to get an short email prior to the game arrival to get us intrigued about the package first, then start the game with a non-linear puzzle segment so each player could get a chance to work on something separately and then coming together as a team effort to find out the mystery all together at the end. They also used nice elements of virtual components to make the story in the game more believable to the players. We were surprised at how much effort they put into some of these website designs but we only got to use a little piece out of the information for one puzzle. But after solving the final puzzle, I'm sure there's more to come in the future episodes that we'll be able to dig deeper into these resources. This is the first time we solved a mystery but didn't feel good about it (you'll have to find out why after playing the game yourself). Playing The Detective's Society's game is like watching a great TV series where you love it but hate it at the same time. Good thing they have an option to purchase the entire season so you can binge through the game and find out what happened at the end! Please do let us know as we're dying to find out! 😭
(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 The Detective Society 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.