The Detective Society
The Detective Society
- Played November 2020
- 120 minutes
- 3-4 players
- What People Say
This first installment of The Detective Society reviewed by the Escape Room Addict team was an excellent experience to play. The game consists of three starter puzzles that lead to a locked bag entailing the crux of the story – what happened to Claire? All these game components were excellent and very well crafted. Whether it was a professional city map or photos to be examined, or an embassy letter embossed with professional card stock and seals, the stationary quality did not disappoint! Although the game experience is heavy on paper, this did fit the narrative theme very well because you and your team are detectives on the paper trail for the missing girl. The overarching highlight in terms of component quality was the use of technology including making real phone calls, sending out real emails and exploring real websites designed to assist you on the puzzle solving journey. Every website created for the purpose of the game felt like a complete and legitimate website! The fine touches and nuances done on each website were not missed by the ERA team. Although we understand the reliance on paper with the puzzle solving, we would love to see the game further evolve by using more adaptive technology to replace some of the more traditional paper solving components.
The ERA team thoroughly enjoyed the immersive experience created with The Detective Society. The storyline and the hunt for Claire had an authentic development and the tasks made sense for the role of a detective on the paper trail hunt for a missing girl. As the storyline evolves, the player builds empathy and a relationship with Claire. The use of emails, phone calls, websites and photos only helped to add to the rich immersive experience. In the first half of the game, the player has to prove their skills as a detective before they embark on the search for Claire. This unique strategy allows you as the detective to find your own place in the story line as a new sleuth on the streets of London! While the first half of the game is less storyline dependent and is more a test of your skills as a new detective, we would love to see a more seamless integration of the main storyline between the two halves of the game. This would help the player to be more engaged in the puzzles in the first half of the game. Overall though, the focus on a deep character development leaves the player wanting more when the game reaches its pinnacle climax!
The puzzles in The Detective Society were truly enjoyable. The puzzles all had a decent flow to them: each one took a reasonable amount of time to complete, without leaving the players frustrated or at a complete loss for any puzzle. For a group of three to four players, we would expect that each player would bring to the table their own unique set of puzzle solving skills that would complement each other to solve these unique experiences. With a variety of visual, math, and logic puzzles, the best way to describe the puzzles here are that they are “logic puzzles but logical” to complete, meaning that all the puzzles are solvable, achievable and enjoyable! As mentioned in the game components, these puzzles are reliant on paper, but with the use of exploring websites, it felt as though you were the detective at the office working to solve this mysterious disappearance with the appropriate tools given to you. We would love to see the developers add further audio/visual clues and puzzles to vary up the puzzle delivery. At some points in the game, we needed to do some internet research (again, as any detective would need to do!) and we feel it would be good to include this disclaimer in one of the introduction letters to the new detectives so they know that outside research is welcome. Overall, these puzzles were solid and accessible to complete. This would be a great first time or 100th time escape game experience for any player!
Fun Factor… the fact that our faces were shocked with the final cliffhanger and desperate for the second installment says it all! This was an incredibly enjoyable experience to play. The player truly feels as though they are playing an active role in the story. We would encourage the developers to look for more ways to augment the audio/visual experience so the game is less reliant on paper. However, overall, the pace of the game was excellent, and the immersive storyline with the targeted use of websites, phone calls, and emails allows for the player to feel as though they are truly a detective on the search for Claire that they come to know and want to help. And that cliffhanger… oh, that cliffhanger! We are desperate to play the second installment as soon as possible and know you will be too!