Sleuth Kings – Case 007: Without A Trace (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $29.95 per box

Gone Girl.

Theme:

Sullivan King needs your help with a new case, this time it involves the disappearance of Olivia Jamison. The young woman accepted a mysterious invitation to attend a job interview for the position of her dreams, but never returned, and her fiancée Doug Masters is worried! The police have chalked it up to Olivia’s wanderlust, but Sullivan isn’t so sure it’s that simple. Follow the clues and retrace Olivia’s steps before she disappears for good!

First Impressions:

Sleuth Kings has a spiffy new box, and the case file inside is just as exciting! A enigmatic prop was included outside of the case file itself which intrigued us immediately, and the printed materials were top notch as usual, bolstering the mystery. We couldn’t wait to get cracking with another case!

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Coffee table not included.

High Points:

Along with the amazing presentation, the story was engaging and tense. While the stakes of Case 006: The Show Must Go On were appropriately, pardon the pun, dramatic, this case upped the level of danger greatly! We weren’t just saving a theatrical production this time, a life was possibly on the line! Puzzles were, as we’ve come to expect, more difficult than your average mystery subscription box, and demand a good amount of brainpower to work through, while still delivering a fair challenge for the most part. Last time, it felt as though Sullivan took forever to respond to our emails, but on this case, he seemed to get back to us more quickly. I’m not sure if the response times have actually been adjusted, but overall, there was less downtime, even though we emailed him more frequently during this case. Some old code cracking standbys have been used, but updated in such a way as to feel fresh and present a new challenge. This was an excellent surprise after having used some of these solving methods several times in other boxes and puzzle hunts. Puzzles layer upon each other deviously and grow appropriately more sinister as the story continues. The story’s pivotal moment was exciting and ended climactically, paying off the high stakes mystery satisfyingly. That wasn’t all she wrote, though! As always, one of our favorite things about Sleuth Kings is that the story doesn’t end when you reach the end of your initial box. A few days later, the ending and extra puzzle arrived in the mail, closing out this part of the story, and continuing the meta-narrative about Sullivan’s father. There was also a great set-up within Case 007 that leads into Case 008, and we cannot wait to find out what happens next!

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A perfect denouement.

Low Points:

The puzzles, while we expected them to be difficult, were a bit more esoteric on this case. Hints provided through Sullivan’s notes and emails were helpful, but in some areas, we felt like they were almost required in spots without making Herculean logical leaps. This is not to say the puzzles weren’t enjoyable, but we felt there could have been a bit more direction and cluing, especially with the initial puzzle. The story started out slowly, and with the frustration of trying to get started with Clue 1, the immersion faltered, but the latter half of the case more than made up for it when things kicked into high gear.

Verdict:

Sleuth Kings continues to impress with their original and highly immersive brand of puzzling storytelling! I like the direction the story has taken with this box, and definitely recommend checking it out, especially since it provides such a great payoff and setup for a future storyline. You can use the promo code ESCAPEADVENTURE to get $5 off your subscription here!

8/10 (Great)

Full Disclosure: Sleuth Kings provided a complementary box.

5 thoughts on “Sleuth Kings – Case 007: Without A Trace (Review)

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