Finders Seekers: Tokyo

8.5 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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Finders Seekers: Tokyo

  • Played May 2020

  • 1-4 players
  • Subsription rates vary

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It took us a while, but we finally assembled our top ERA agents for another Finders Seekers adventure. This time our mission took us to the beautiful and crowded city of Tokyo, Japan. As we opened our mission box we… wait a minute! We need to debrief you about Finders Seekers and make sure you’ve got security clearance first. Prospective agents for the Society of Finders Seekers can purchase a monthly subscription that allows you to receive a new mission box each month. A different world city (past or present) will be the location of each month’s mission, and in most cases will take you on a journey of the city’s culture, history, and interesting facts. You’ll need all of this information (plus whatever culturally appropriate props may be inside the box), to solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and tasks… If you can piece together all the correct missing information, your mission will be complete and you’ll win the admiration and respect of your fellow agents (like the ERA Team)!

So how did our two teams of ERA agents feel about the quality of those components in this game? In a word… UWA (‘wow’)!!! We obviously don’t want to spoil the surprise of what you’ll find when you open your Tokyo mission box, but to say we were impressed would be an understatement. There were some REALLY cool props and goodies in this game (one in particular that still blows us away). A good assortment of Japanese themed puzzles, props, and sheets of information will have you pulled into the atmosphere of this game from the get-go! If there was a downside that had to be listed, (and there isn’t much of one), it would be the amount of paper based puzzles. It’s more than compensated by the cool props and other types of puzzles included in this game however… it’s hard to imagine anyone not having that ‘UWA’ (wow) reaction when they open this box! Visually it’s appealing, the quality level is solid, and we’re off to a very strong start!

And the good times continued as we reflected on the puzzles. Let us say off the top, there are some very time consuming puzzles in this mission (compared to other Finders Seekers missions). If you’re not playing in a team of people who enjoy brainstorming together, there’s a chance you’ll experience a lot more frustration than we did. We were fortunate to have two different ERA teams play through Tokyo, and in both cases, they worked together really well in solving puzzles… but even with strong teamwork and puzzle solving, it took each of our groups 3+ hours to finish. We’d guesstimate most groups will finish this game anywhere from 2½ – 4 hours. Another aspect we noticed right away was the variety of puzzles. Although many of them are paper based (some but not all), Finders Seekers: Tokyo incorporates different skills and tactile experiences in solving the puzzles… you’ll even be moving your body and getting your groove on! How cool is that? We wish more games would think outside the box (pun slightly intended) like this! The puzzle set is linear and guided by the story which is nice. All of the puzzles are also Japanese themed and do a good job of staying relevant to the game. One final note that wasn’t applicable at the time we played this game, (but has started to become an issue for us) is Morse Code… we’ve come to the decision we don’t like Morse Code puzzles. We really REALLY don’t like it. There are probably people who can easily differentiate between a dash, a dot, a pause, and a repeat message when it’s broadcasted at a high rate of speed… but we don’t do well with them. The amount of time it takes for us to properly write a deciphered message in Morse Code is brutal. Thankfully Finders Seekers: Tokyo was at the beginning of a large wave of games we reviewed using Morse Code (so we hadn’t developed our extreme dislike yet). Enough said about that… overall these were some GREAT puzzles and possibly our favourite (as a set) from all the Finders Seekers missions we’ve played so far!

As is usually the case, the immersion is where a lot more subjectivity divided our impressions… Some of us really enjoyed the ongoing story and interface with the online components of the game. It helped keep some of our members engaged and actively curious about what was happening. Others felt the story development was one of the weaker aspects of the game, and there weren’t enough breaks in the game’s pacing to hold our attention. To varying degrees, most of us experienced both of these. Our teams did agree on the ‘wow’ moments with certain props and puzzles. This shouldn’t be taken too lightly either… it’s hard to make our team say ‘wow’ (with over 1200+ different escape games now played between all our members), but this game did a couple of times! One consistently strong aspect about all the Finders Seekers missions is how immersed and informed you become about whichever city the game takes place in. We learned a lot more about Tokyo and all the historical, cultural, and societal relevance that’s connected to the game. It’s fair to say Finders Seekers might even be the most educationally fun series of games we’ve ever played, and the Tokyo mission continues that impression! The puzzles were also well integrated into the educational aspect of the game which we liked. What’s missing from the Finders Seekers series (and the Tokyo mission) is an audio track or more commonly used auditory based puzzles so that we can ‘hear’ the culture we’re learning about, in addition to seeing and reading about it… Aside from that, and a few mixed opinions on how well the game can kept our attention, this was a solid immersive experience we really enjoyed.

So did we have fun in the end? Hai (yes)! Of the five ERA members who played Tokyo, this mission ranked as everyone’s favourite (or second favourite), from all eight Finders Seekers games we’ve played so far. We’re told from the Finders Seekers development team that Tokyo has some very divided opinions however. Some people (like us) absolutely rave about this mission, whereas others felt it wasn’t the most family friendly, or approachable within the series. We can definitely understand that impression also. This game is best suited for those who’ve played a few of the Finders Seekers missions already, and/or have a fair amount of experience with in-home escape games. It’s also best played in a group of 2-4 players (depending how well people share the puzzles, or perform in groups). The complexity and concentration level needed isn’t well suited for children, so we’d say a target audience of 16+ years is ideal. Although all the games in the Finders Seeker series are a bit different in how they play, we would definitely use Tokyo as the model example of what these games are when they are at their best! It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we LOVED it!

We want to hear your thoughts on this game! 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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