Mother of Frankenstein Volume 1

8 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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Mother of Frankenstein Volume 1

  • Played August 2020

  • 6 hours
  • 2-4 players
  • TBD

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Take a journey back in time to nineteenth century England to the world of Mary Shelley, the Mother of Frankenstein! You find yourself in possession of the first installment of the Shelley Volumes, left by Mary herself, given to her son Florence, upon her death. However, these journals have remained hidden and untouched in an attic… until now! So, dim the lights, prepare the candles, and get ready to immerse yourself in a rich journey exploring the Victorian Era in an authentic and gripping experience.

Mother of Frankenstein, Volume 1, is the first game that the Escape Room Addict team has reviewed in the Shelley Volumes. In terms of component quality, we appreciated the effort and hard work put into this game! MoF (Mother of Frankenstein) is still in the prototype stage, but we were very pleased with the quality of the game so far. Since the narrative takes place in 19th century England, this game had many game pieces, with lots of paper puzzles. The game consists of three envelopes that lead to a final puzzle. The paper puzzles were written on beautiful stationary, incorporating vivid colours and pictures that are authentic to the time period. The graphic designs were excellent throughout the game. One major aspect of this game is building a jigsaw puzzle, and while this was enjoyable to complete, we found that the pieces either didn’t fit properly, causing the puzzle to buckle, or that the pieces were too small and that the puzzle portion took a longer time to complete than some might people may care to devote. However, we assume that since this is the prototype that the final game will be more refined once it goes to production. Another example of this is when we went to the website to look for a hint, as we were told to do so on the instructions, we found that the website didn’t have the hints as mentioned.

MoF, Volume 1, is to be commended for its excellent immersive experience. The ERA team thoroughly enjoyed the immersive atmosphere created by the developers! One of the most enjoyable aspects of this game was the incredible narrative. The narrative takes place over many years, which intrigued us to find out what happens next and see where the story took us. The clues and puzzles were all integrated seamlessly into this semi-autobiographical story of Shelley herself. The game pieces themselves were authentic for the time period, whether it was using authentic examples of poems from the 19th century or having seals on the envelopes! We’d recommend that players enjoy this game with the lights low, candles burning brightly, and some gothic horror music in the background! For those players that are more interested in a story with a deep progression over time that makes the players want more, this is definitely for you. The envelopes can be completed in any order, however, because they reveal information about the narrative story, we’d recommend that players are given the option to open them in a specific order if they don’t want to read the story out of order. However, we do understand too that the premise is that the player has stumbled across these letters in an attic, so having them out of order does add to the immersive experience in a way. We all agreed we would like to see that an option be given to best meet the needs and wants of the players.

The puzzles in MoF were another highlight for our team. While challenging, they were accomplishable and thematically correct to the time period – although did we mention- lots of paper! The three envelopes built on one another in terms of narrative which led to the game being concluded in very a satisfying way. Every puzzle was inclusive for the whole group and never felt like a chore to complete. As mentioned in the component quality review, we feel that the physical jigsaw puzzle can be refined more to allow for a smoother completion. We would also love to see a team building puzzle added in the next volumes as well!

To conclude, this game was lots of FUN! MoF Volume 1 provides a whole evening or afternoon, or maybe many evenings, of entertainment! The game may be too long for some in one sitting, but as clearly stated by the game makers, this game should be enjoyed like a fine wine, over time, rather than a shot of tequila! We found that with four experienced players on the ERA team it took us 6 hours to complete, rather than the recommended 3-5 hours. Due to this we would recommend this game for players who are familiar with at home games as MoF may be daunting for newer players and this may hinder the flow of the game. For groups that have an appreciation of artistic Victorian antiquities and narratives, games is an absolute must! So would we recommend it? Let’s just say, grab your closest friends and get ready for a night of dinner, mystery and entertainment! We cannot wait to play Volume 2 and continue the story of Mary Shelley, Mother of Frankenstein!

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