Escape The Room: Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor

7.8 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Quality
Immersion
Game Experience
Users (0 votes) 0

Escape The Room: Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor

  • Played March 2016

  • 90 minutes
  • 3-8 players
  • $22 USD
  • Hints available online
  • Great for families, recommended for ages 10 and up

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Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor is another at-home style escape room. We had the privilege to try it out as Thinkfun reached out to us for a review.

The story is set in 1869 and the town’s astronomer has been missing since the death of his wife. It is up to you and your team to go into the manor and try to figure out all the mysterious activity occurring in the manor as well as figure out where the astronomer has gone.

We did not open the box prior to play as there were no clear instructions on whether the game started as soon as the box was opened. However, there is a card in the box for the host of the party containing a brief outline as well as tips for setting up and helping guests get immersed into the experience. Upon opening the box, we found that the components were well designed and had great graphics that fit well with the story. As with our other at-home review (found here), we broke down the review into different components.

Component Quality: Is the game well made with good quality components and impressive features?

Puzzle Quality: Although it isn’t an escape room, puzzles are still central to the experience. Are the puzzles in this game fun, challenging, interactive, and original?

Immersion: Did we feel immersed, was there an emotional connection to the game, did we feel in character, did the story compel us to know what comes next?

Game Experience: Did this game achieve what people want from a party game? Did it make people interact, did it provide shared laughs, struggles, teamwork, and moments of accomplishment?

The flow of the game worked really well for an at-home style escape room. ThinkFun managed to pave a path that delivered each puzzle in a creative and fun way. Each step had a unique answer which allowed you to verify your answers before moving onto the next puzzle. The pieces in the puzzle itself were well made with quality materials and immersive designs that helped keep you in the story. The game used heavy card stock and materials that you would find in regular board games which allowed us to successfully maneuver through the puzzles with minimal trouble. The one small kink we ran into was with the assembly of one of the puzzles. It did not come with anything to hold the pieces into place so we had a bit of difficulty using that particular piece. Otherwise, the quality of the components was good. The one thing we noticed was that the outer packing for each puzzle was more of a one-time use as they weren’t resealable and the game did not come with any instructions on how to reset the game for another play.

We found that although the host can go out of their way to maximize immersion, the game itself was successful in presenting puzzles that remained true to the story around the astronomer’s disappearance. The only factor that didn’t really work for us was the time factor. The game is stated to be about 2 hours with the notion that you are on a time crunch. We ran through the game with quite a bit of time left and felt that the allotted was too long to truly give players the sense of urgency suggested in the story.

The couple things that would have made our experience better was for the puzzles to have more of a teamwork aspect. Although you can work together to solve the puzzles, they didn’t quite require teamwork as much as we would have liked for an at-home game as everyone is gathered around the one box. Also, the variety of puzzles was a bit limited as they didn’t offer a large variety in their puzzles (i.e. spatial, word, math, etc). We found most of the puzzles to fit into a couple categories so it didn’t quite work to all the different strengths in our group.

Overall, however, we had a fun time playing this game. We felt like the puzzles offered good quality and fun for those who wanted to try an escape room at home. Hints are available online should anyone get stuck. The answer key provided in the game allows for smooth game play and had a unique design. The game flowed like an actual escape room where the puzzles lead from one to another seamlessly and were related to the theme. If you are interested in an at-home escape room game, this would be a great one to try!

Final Verdict:

7.8/10

2 responses

  1. Alison says:

    Hi!

    Just wondering if this game is replayable by the same team or by another if passed on or is it more of a one play game?

    • Dan E. says:

      Much like a real life escape room, the same team couldn’t repeat it (or rather you could but it would be extremely fast and not very interesting!).

      However, you can definitely pass it on to another team. Think Fun have specific detailed reset instructions on their web site, so you can put everything back for another group to play, as long as you’re careful with the pieces and don’t tear the envelopes or mangle the contents or lose anything. So it can get repeated play that way.

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