Sleuth Kings – Case 013: The Beast Within (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $29.95 per box

Wolf Kings

Theme:

Detective Cam Jones woke up to a bloody letter and some wolfish hair clippings the other night, and he’s convinced he’s hurt his girlfriend. Why? Because he’s definitely a werewolf! It’s a problem that plagues us all, really. Cam has contacted Sullivan to figure out what’s going on, but will turn himself in to the police before the next full moon if Sullivan cannot convince him he isn’t a creature of the night! Convinced Cam is absolutely not a werewolf, as any sane person should be, he enlists your help to solve the case and find out why someone wants to make Cam think he’s a raging best and for what possible purpose! It’s wild, it’s silly, it’s Halloween themed, and I love it!

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This is Cam. Cam thinks he’s a werewolf. Cam’s a moron. Don’t be like Cam.

First Impressions:

October truly is the greatest month of them all for subscription boxes! With so many jumping on the Spooky Train, the horror aficionado in me is on cloud nine! I figured that Sleuth Kings might come out with a haunted mansion case, Scooby Doo style, or perhaps a creepy serial killer, but what arrived on my doorstep was even better than I imagined it could be! Only Sleuth Kings could take such a ridiculous premise and really knock it out of the park!

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Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, spooky scary! (I know it makes no sense, but I needed to make the 30 Rock reference.)

High Points:

Most Sleuth Kings boxes contain a little bit of humor to either lighten the mood or just keep the fun going, but this one is the most absurd and humorous overall. I can’t say I was expecting it from the Halloween themed box, but I certainly didn’t mind it! The surface story itself is fairly predictable, but the underlying mystery of why all this is happening is actually pretty intense and engaging! The props included all tie in well with the spooky case, and are great fun to interact with, with each main item containing a great, multilayered puzzle. The game flow works excellently, per usual, but the layers and tie ins to other props feels more smooth and natural than usual. There are so many moments in which we were stuck thinking about the puzzle when we’d hit on that one intuitive line of logic and begin tearing through the clue, satisfied with our puzzler’s high.

One of my favorite puzzles from this box took a basic code breaking interaction that we’ve seen several million times at this point, mixed it up, threw a few challenging bread crumbs along the path, and created an elegant puzzle that takes some real thought to solve. It’s this sort of thing, taking a puzzle style that has become completely run into the ground and turning it on its head to make a really satisfying puzzle that separates Sleuth Kings from other boxes that prefer quantity over quality. As we progressed through this adventure, this quality held, with devious puzzles just pouring forth from the box!

Last but not least, the new hint system is awesome, allowing hints to become on demand without the pesky wait that depends on your email server! Not only does the hint delivery system improve, it’s done in a perfectly thematic way. It’s great to see this character still hanging out in the Sleuth Kings universe, and I’m glad that there was a way to continue to include her in future cases. For purists, the option to email Sullivan for hints is still available, so it’s a win all around.

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Oh Sullivan, you are just getting so sneaky, huh?

Low Points:

One puzzle involves sound which gets a little too obnoxious. Luckily, there’s a mute button that doesn’t affect how you determine the solution in the slightest.

Halloween boxes are apparently spot on the best! I don’t have anything else to say here!

Verdict:

Case 013, The Beast Within is such a great puzzling adventure! I absolutely recommend checking it out, as though the premise is completely ridiculous, it’s also completely compelling due to the narrative genius of the writers. You can get it from the Sleuth Kings archives, and should you decide to subscribe monthly, you can use the promo code ESCAPEADVENTURE to get $5 off your subscription here! You can also read the rest of our Sleuth Kings reviews here!

10/10 (Phenomenal)

Full Disclosure: Sleuth Kings provided a complementary box.

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