Finders Seekers: Ireland

7.1 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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Finders Seekers: Ireland

  • Played March 2020

  • 2-3 hours
  • 2-4 players
  • Varying subscription rates ($20-$25/game)
  • Good for families

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One of the things we enjoy most about the escape room industry is how rapidly diverse it’s become. Not only have we seen advances in technology and set design, but we’re also seeing a multitude of creative interpretations on what an escape room looks like. It feels like only yesterday when the ERA team was first to advocate for a broader more inclusive definition of what escape rooms were, while other insider groups, reviewers, and owners were trying hard to define which companies belonged (or didn’t belong) in the escape room industry. It’s been just over six years since the introduction of escape rooms in North America, and thankfully the industry has since outgrown the need for anyone to define what it is (or isn’t). Some of the best surprises for enthusiasts have been through the introduction of in-home escape room and puzzle based games. Although it’s difficult for a $20-$25 in-home game to pack the same ‘wow factor’ as a real escape room, we’ve generally been impressed at the creativity from most game designers. Some have even gone on to create some game series that caught our attention… one of which is the Finders Seekers in-home game series.

Finders Seekers is an in-home game series where you purchase a subscription to receive one of their game boxes delivered to your door each month. Each game box has the same attaché briefcase style of design, makes it appear that each game is the exact same… that is until you open the box. Once opened you’ll notice each game in the series is set in a different geographic location (most times a particular city, but in this case a country). Each game is also different in its presentation, game components, and to a moderate degree how the game itself is played. You’ll typically receive a collection of puzzles, props, gadgets, and all sorts of assorted goodies… never really knowing what’s inside the box until you open it and discover your mission. Finders Seekers: Ireland was our first game box and inside was a large, white envelope with a bunch of different pieces of paper, documents, pictures, and well… we don’t want to go much further (spoilers), but a whole variety of things were in there! The quality of the game components was fairly good and thankfully avoided the trap of reducing the quality level of the components for the sake of cheaper production costs (e.g. printing everything on cheap plain white paper). Included in our game (and every Finders Seekers game) is a ‘start page’ that sets up the story, your character, and your mission as you make your way through the puzzles and interesting items. The start page also provides an introduction to the city (or country) you’re in, the game’s difficulty level, and the expected game duration. In the case of Finders Seekers: Ireland, the game has a difficulty rating of 3 out of 5 and projected game duration of 2-3 hours. Part of the game is also played online through the Finders Seekers website where you’ll input answers, receive hints, and read more story components as the game goes along.

Looking specifically at the puzzles, you can tell this game was designed by someone familiar with escape rooms. Some of the more common puzzle types you’ll find in an escape room are also found here. There are a few interesting twists and variations, but for the most part, escape room enthusiasts will feel ‘at home’ with these puzzles (oh the puns). In general, the puzzles were inclusive for a group size of 2-4 players, but do require a certain amount of game etiquette rules to be in place… there’s nothing worse than the player who wants to keep lifting the puzzles up to their face so others can’t see it. Unlike some in-home games, these puzzles DO NOT require you to take the puzzle away from everyone else (most of the time)… we suggest making a rule where everyone has to keep their hands away from the puzzles or else they’ll get a whack from your shillelagh (Irish walking stick)! In total there were about 10 puzzles and tasks to solve which we completed in two hours and fifteen minutes (falling within the projected game time). The 3/5 difficulty rating was pretty accurate, but some puzzles were easier for us than others based on familiarity. On the downside there was one puzzle that was a complete disaster and even with us understanding how to solve it, the answer wasn’t very apparent, and we had to ultimately use the ‘reveal answer’ button on the website (frustrating). Again, to avoid spoilers we can’t really say more but we did want to point out that even though we enjoyed the puzzles, they weren’t without flaws.

The immersive aspects of Finders Seekers: Ireland were fairly good, but also came with some mixed impressions within our group. On the one hand, we enjoyed how the puzzles and story incorporated historical, cultural and geographical learning into the game. By the end of the game our knowledge of Ireland, its history, and its culture had probably doubled. There’s also a map for you to use both within the game, and afterwards should you desire to do some more learning on your own. Although the puzzles didn’t necessarily grab our attention by pulling us further into the story, there was at least an ongoing reminder of the main story in between each of the puzzles. The game’s online interface provided some bright and vibrant pictures of the places we visited within Ireland which helped us further connect to our mission. The absence of music and a bigger variety of visual imagery is noticeable however so we strongly recommend you listen to some traditional and modern Irish music as you’re playing this game. But as we said already, for the most part, we enjoyed the slight pull we felt into the lands and people of Ireland, so it’s a decent immersive experience.

Ok, the big question… Did we have fun, and if so how much? For sure! It’s a good 2+ hours spent with a game that has some excellent theme presentation as well as some educational (and physical) components you get to walk away with. Having played several of the Finders Seekers games now, we have to say Ireland wasn’t our favourite, but it was definitely worth the time invested. The Ireland box is ideal for 2-4 players depending on how much of a challenge and hands on experience you want. As mentioned before, it also accurately fits the difficulty rating and expected time duration (sadly this is rare for most in-home games, so we’re quite impressed by the Finders Seekers team)! Would we recommend purchasing a Finders Seekers subscription based on this game? Yes we definitely would. Is it the best one we’ve played so far in the series? No, but there could be an argument made for Ireland above some of the other locations… One thing this game did well was it got us interested in the whole Finders Seekers series and now we’re on a worldwide quest to be full members of the Finders Seekers society (an online community of players who have subscribed to the games)… wish us luck!

We want to hear your thoughts! Be sure to comment in the section below or send us a message via ERA’s email, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter… As always, happy escaping!

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