Mob Treasure

7.1 Overall
Component Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
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Mob Treasure

  • Played March 2021

  • 1-4 players
  • $15

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Mob Treasure is the first puzzle book by Crux Club, a New York based company who specialize in interactive, location based games. We had an opportunity to play the sample review copy to coincide with its recent release on Kickstarter.

This book is inspired by the true story of a missing treasure hidden by New York City beer baron Dutch Schultz. Over 15 chapters the players move from location to location on the hunt for the missing treasure.

Like most puzzle books we’ve reviewed, Mob Treasure could’ve had more of an eye catching cover, but it’s not the end of the world because the strengths of the book were between the pages.

Each of the 15 chapters played like an escape room, where we moved from location to location, gathering information, and taking notes of the cleverly interwoven story. This made the game more than just a puzzle book for us. The author did a great job of making us feel like the protagonist, adding to the immersion.

Each chapter holds around five puzzles with a meta puzzle at the end. There was a good variety of puzzles throughout, with most of them integrating into the backstory. The difficulty of the puzzles varied, with some being quite simple, while others had us stumped and heading to the hints in the back of the book. We also appreciated the uniqueness of some of the puzzles, with some puzzles relying on information provided within the story while others required a little outside research.

One of the more noticeable ways this book did a great job of capturing the ‘escape room experience’ was by making sure the puzzles required us to ‘’look around’’ and gather information instead of just jumping straight into the next puzzle. Compared to most puzzle books, Mob Treasure has managed to come closest to the same “game mechanics’’ as you’d experience in a real live escape room. The only thing that fell a little short for us was the meta puzzles not leading to a bigger grand finale.

We loved the flow of the book and preferred this style over similar puzzle books. Having designated stopping points at the end of each chapter gave us an opportunity to take breaks without feeling like we were compromising the experience. We enjoyed the story and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the New York mob underworld. Having the hints and solutions provided at the back of the book make this book a great device-free experience.

It doesn’t usually need to be stated but in this case we want to add a bit of a disclaimer:
This was a sample review copy – not the final product (it will be improved upon).
We had to play this game online together as a team, which impacted the experience.
We played under time constraint which isn’t how the game is designed to be played.

Final Verdict:

7.1/10

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