Finders Seekers – Mont Saint Clair (October Box Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players: We recommend 1-4

Price: $30 per box

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Theme:

Each month, Finders Seekers invites you to accept a mysterious mission from the head seer. These “finds” are located in cities around the world and involve high stakes, cryptic puzzling, and shadowy societies! You’ll need a clever mind and some google-fu in order to piece together the puzzles and complete the find! And when you do, you might even receive a reward! This month takes place on the island of Mont Saint Clair in Normandie, France! A site of great historical importance and geographical interest, it seemed like this would be a very interesting visit.

First Impressions:

I was a little disappointed to see that the props within this month’s box were quite a bit less involved and immediately engaging as those we received in last month’s superb Mexico City box, but since Finders Seekers had markedly improved from month to month recently, I wasn’t too worried. Then we started the first puzzle, and it all went mostly downhill from there.

High Points:

There’s one excellent and intuitive puzzle near the end that plays with perspective a bit, and is set up cleanly while still presenting a challenging interaction. Another puzzle dealing with perspective allows for a fun solve that also provides the only tactile prop within this month’s box.

Low Points:

Where to start with this? Of the usual eleven puzzles presented within this box, I enjoyed only 2. Usually, there’s a vague and/or frustrating puzzle within a Finders Seekers box, which is a symptom of having so many puzzles, but it’s easily overshadowed by the abundance of better puzzles and tactile interactions. Here, it seems like every other puzzle is built to frustrate through vagueness and artificial difficulty that is clearly the vast majority of the 4-5 hour recommended solve time. We took a little over 3 hours to solve this box, and unfortunately, most of that was wandering off to play with our cats because the hunt just could not hold our attention or interest for very long. By the end, I don’t think either of us cared any longer, because we left the last puzzle unsolved due to a combination of frustration and complete boredom with the whole thing. The hint system continues to prove subpar, and this boxes attempts at hints were a complete disaster when we needed them.

The initial puzzle I previously referred to is presented without any real context, and the solution is mind numbingly insipid. It’s a difficult one to figure out, but only because it breaks the usual conventions of a Finders Seekers Find, and gives you no reason to expect that it would. Further on, there’s an algebra puzzle of the type we’ve seen several times before and still groan upon uncovering, a maze filled with inexplicable red herrings, (and I actually like mazes,) a banal word puzzle of the sort one would find within a variety puzzle book for five bucks, and enough anagrams to fill an extremely boring lifetime. The box as a whole just feels like so much filler in order to pad the gameplay, and never really engages the player in any meaningful way. If anything, this experience is an exemplar of the fact that quality does in fact trump quantity.

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Longest advertised solve time, lamest puzzles.

Verdict:

Mont Saint Clair was bad enough that the poor quality of the game experience, coupled with the notice Finders Seekers put out stating that over the next two months, they would be rereleasing older boxes instead of new content, I cancelled our subscription. For 30 dollars, the experience just doesn’t hold up this month, and it’s bad enough to erase the good will built over the last few months. I don’t recommend this box, and would be wary going forward. If you want to subscribe regardless, you can order your next adventure here. If you sign up through our link, we’ll earn credits towards a free box, and can bring you more content! You can read the rest of our Finders Seekers reviews here!

3/10 (Poor)

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