The Fugitive’s Trail

7.8 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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The Fugitive's Trail

  • Played January 2021

  • 2-4 hours
  • 1-4 players
  • $13.50 CDN
  • Great for families

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With three people missing, the FBI is getting desperate for answers… especially since the most recent one happens to be one of their agents. You are asked to help look into the disappearances as a trail of evidence has been left by the missing agent in their home. Can you crack the case?

The Fugitive’s Trail was the first of two play-at-home games we reviewed that were sent to us by the folks at Wacky Wheels. Before we really get into things, we want to say that while the game itself is advertised as a play at home/print and play, we thought it was more of a virtual experience and would recommend it as such.

The game components are pretty simple, yet incredibly effective in the sense that upon purchasing, you are sent a PDF file along with a link to a scorecard that is opened on a computer, phone, or tablet. As we mentioned earlier, the game was described to us as a print-and-play, but we would advise against that. While everything found in the PDF file is very aesthetically pleasing, the booklet itself is around 40 pages long and has a dark blue background on every page. If you do choose to print this game, be forewarned.. you might run out of ink. That being said, all of the graphics/information found within looks great, the way the game is laid out is fantastic, and it can all be accessed online. Another thing we really loved about the game was the electronic scorecard which awards you points based on the amount of questions you get right. The same scorecard also acts as the place where you input your answers to each specific puzzle and the hint system. So often with play-at-home games, you spend a good chunk of time maneuvering the game switching back and forth between different papers or screen tabs so having it all in one place was truly appreciated.

In terms of how immersive The Fugitive’s Trail is was something that was hard to determine. On one hand, the story is quite good, develops throughout, and actually has a satisfying conclusion. On the other hand, the game is entirely online so it is hard to become fully immersed which we felt could easily be rectified by adding some physical components or a soundtrack to the game. One thing we especially loved about the was the “Whodunnit” aspect of the game in which we spent a solid half an hour recapping the events that unfolded and going over them with a fine tooth comb which really forces you to relive the whole experience which we found to be a ton of fun.

Where we found The Fugitive’s Trail really shone was with its puzzles. The game itself took us approximately two hours to complete as it contains around 20-25 puzzles. As we said, half an hour of that time was spent recapping the entire game prior to submitting our answer for the last puzzles but that just added to the experience. While none of the puzzles are overly hard, there is a great variety of them found within the game. All of the puzzles made sense and were thematically correct to the story which found a way to tie each one in nicely. The way the game is laid out is linear in the sense that you go form crime scene to crime scene but how you choose to tackle everything once at the scene is completely up to you! Most of all, we loved the input/scorecard that the game comes with. As we stated earlier, the electronic scorecard acts as a scorecard, hint system, and input system all in one allowing you to see just how many puzzles you have done and how many you have left. It also updates after each puzzle to show how you are stacking up to anyone else who ever has played the game which is a fun touch. The only complaint (if you can even call it that) was how some of the answers needed to be input. On a few occasions, most noticeably the address puzzle (the game is European in which the address is displayed in a different order) we found ourselves marked wrong for the answer, due to the way it was input which ultimately cost us points. As you can see our competitively bitter natures never make an appearance! We would think this could be a simple fix though by just allowing any combination of the correct answer to be marked correctly. Aside from that, the puzzles were incredible and we constantly looked forward to seeing what was next! Just a side note, when you purchase the game, you are sent a code to set up the online scorecard. This can be shared with as many people as you wish as they will all have access to the same scorecard. Do keep in mind you can only answer each question once though so even if you try to answer correctly from a different device, it will know.

So, without further ado, did we have fun? Absolutely! We did and would absolutely recommend this game, especially at the incredible price point of $13.50 CDN. We would recommend 2-3 people play together but you could easily have up to 5 or 6 if playing online. Overall an intriguing story, great game mechanics, a fantastic price, and a simple yet incredibly effective approach on a play-at-home game make The Fugitive’s Trail a must play in our books.

Have you played The Fugitive’s Trail? If so, we would love to hear what you thought. Thank you everyone for reading! Stay safe out there and as always, happy escaping!

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