Finders Seekers: Chicago

7.8 Overall
Component Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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Finders Seekers: Chicago

  • Played March 2020

  • 1½-2½ hours
  • 1-5 players
  • Varying subscription rates ($20-$25/game)
  • Good for families

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Finders Seekers is an in-home game series where you subscribe to receive a Finders Seekers game box each month. Each box has the same attaché briefcase style of design, and every box looks the same… that is until you open the box. Each month your game box will be sending you to a different location (most times a particular city, but in some cases a country). The presentation, game components, and to a moderate degree how the game itself is played varies with each location you visit. 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: Chicago was the second box we played and inside we found an old police file filled with all sorts of information and pieces of evidence from former unsolved cases. Naturally there were also some very cool props that were uniquely Chicago included as well… we really enjoyed our first visual impression! The quality of the box components was impressive and thankfully avoided cheaper production values (e.g. single sided printing on plain white paper). Included in our game (and every Finders Seekers box) is a ‘start page’ that sets up the story, your character, and your mission as you make your way through the puzzles & interesting items. The start page also provides an introduction about the city (or country) you’re in, the game’s difficulty level, and expected game duration. In the case of Finders Seekers: Chicago, the game’s difficulty rating is 3 out of 5 and projected game duration is 1½-2½ hours. Unlike most of the other Finders Seekers locations, Chicago doesn’t have an online component and relies upon an interesting game mechanic which creates a cool final puzzle.

Having already played Finders Seekers: Ireland, we had a rough idea of what to expect this time in Chicago. In true Finders Seekers style however, the puzzle pattern was different, offered more variety, and had more visual and tactile props than our previous experience. The shorter game duration and easier difficulty rating was apparent in the Chicago box and didn’t cause us to struggle quite as often as we did with the other locations. Once again we could tell this game was designed by escape room enthusiasts simply by how familiar the puzzles were and how well they were incorporated into the game. And yes, the pun still applies… escape room enthusiasts will feel ‘at home’ with these puzzles (ok, ok, we’ll try not to use this joke in each of our Finders Seekers reviews… but no promises)! In comparison to the other Finders Seekers locations, Chicago’s open puzzle path (non-linear) style allows for more players to be included at the same time (we’d say you can go up to 4-5 players). This differs from most of the other Finders Seekers games which are linear and best played with no more than a group size of 2-3 players. We’d still recommend implementing basic game etiquette rules of not allowing people to touch the puzzles on the table because there’s nothing worse than having people constantly remind others “c’mon, stop hogging the puzzles!” which is an inherent weakness with most in-home puzzle based games. Again, there were approximately 10 puzzles and tasks to solve which we completed in two hours (falling within the projected game duration). Finders Seekers: Chicago’s 3-out-of-5 difficulty rating was also accurate in our experience, but it’s worth noting a couple of the puzzles were extremely easy to the point we just glanced at the puzzles and knew the answers. So all in all there’s nothing really bad to say about the puzzles here except that this set of puzzles might be too straight forward and easy for escape room puzzle enthusiasts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it allows younger minds and those less familiar with escape room puzzles to be included, but again it’s fair to say this is definitely the easiest and fastest of all the Finders Seekers games we’ve played so far. The cool game mechanic we talked about earlier, unfortunately makes this game non-replayable unless you use some clever thinking in resetting and repackaging the game like we managed to do. Ok that’s puzzles… what about the immersion then?

We felt the immersive aspects of Finders Seekers: Chicago were well done! Once again the Finders Seekers team did an excellent job of pulling us into the history, culture, and backdrop of the locations we visited within Chicago. By the end of the game we felt we’d gained as much information about Chicago as we would’ve had we taken a short walking tour of the city itself. What’s missing in Finders Seekers: Chicago however is an engaging and developing story. We enjoyed how thematic the puzzles were, how the game pulled us into Chicago’s ‘atmosphere’, and how the game ends… but in the end it really did just feel like some cool thematic puzzles. Additional immersive elements like a sound track and/or a hint system that keeps you in character would’ve been great, but all in all, the immersion still did a good job of getting our minds into the game setting, which is better than most puzzle based games on the market.

Yes, we definitely enjoyed Finders Seekers: Chicago… it’s fun! If someone put a gun to our heads and demanded (or just asked politely) for us to rank each location we’ve played, we’d say of the six Finders Seekers locations we’ve played, Chicago is our second favourite. Based on this game alone we’d also say it’s worth getting a subscription to Finders Seekers especially if you have two or three friends who like solving escape room style puzzles. From what we’ve seen, the series as a whole is well made and there’s always been something in each box every member on our team has enjoyed! Is the game for everyone? Mostly yes… but for those few who don’t like escape rooms (yeah we can’t believe there’s real people like that either), the Finders Seekers series may not be as appreciated as it should. Younger audiences (ages 10-15) will likely enjoy Chicago more than other locations, but we’re glad to see this game isn’t afraid to devote at least one month’s installment towards a ‘family friendly’ level of entertainment. We’re eager to finish off the rest of the series that’s been mailed to us, but for now, we can safely say Finders Seekers is a BIG hit with the EscRoomAddict team!

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!

Final Verdict:

7.8/10

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