Editor’s Note: The following review is for the updated and “remastered” version of Case 001 that was released in August 2018.
Location: Your Home!
Players: We recommend 1-4
Price: $29.95 per box
Going back to the case that started it all.
Dictator Sin is coming… again! In this remastered version of the classic first Sleuth Kings case, a mysterious terrorist who goes by the name of Dictator Sin has been threatening to punish the guilty souls of Dayton, Ohio! With police baffled by the cryptic messages that have been posted all around town, Sullivan King has taken up the case. However, he’s having some trouble figuring out the clues, and has enlisted your help to stop the madman before he hurts anyone!
Dictator Sin is here, and he loves dog poetry!
When I heard that Sleuth Kings’ first case was being redone in order to fit the current case structure, I was definitely excited to get to investigate one of the cases we had initially missed! I was further thrilled when the Sleuth Kings Facebook page put out a call for dog poems to be included in the special book/clue “My Dog, the Man-Beast,” and my masterpiece poem entitled “Pugicorn” was accepted to be published in this esteemed compilation!
I don’t mean to imply that the best part of this box is the inclusion of my impeccable verse, but it totally is. Feel free to hang this poem on your wall to get you through hard times.
My glorious haiku aside, this case is filled to the brim with awesome puzzles and props, as well as a few excellent surprises! Per usual, Sleuth Kings delivers a well oiled flow of layered puzzles that build upon one another towards the intense finale! The stakes are high with this story, and the ending is appropriately climactic and satisfying. One of my favorite puzzles combined tactility and perspective in order to clue us into a solution that I initially did not see coming. The props included are a lot of fun, and the book in particular was enjoyable to read through even after the case was over due to the inclusion of so many fan poems and cute dog pictures!
It is clear from this first case that the story and world building of Sleuth Kings has always been a carefully crafted and integral part of the experience, which is further bolstered by the puzzling. The engaging and sometimes wild plots, the excellently fleshed out characters, and the enjoyable interaction with Sullivan can be traced back to this first entry, and while it has been remastered, all the signposts of the great storytelling to come are evident here. The taunting nature of Dictator Sin’s clues is excellent, and throughout the story, he plays a interesting Moriarty to Sullivan’s Holmes! With his reappearance in Case 014, the Sleuth Kings world becomes ever more complex and engaging! I hope to see more of their mental battles, and perhaps a thrilling final showdown in the future.
This being the first case, there are some references made that seem to denote that Sullivan has never worked with you, so it can be ever so slightly jarring if you’ve been part of the Sleuth Kings universe for a while, but it’s not that big a deal. Some clues are very slight, and could benefit from a smidge more direction overall to tighten up the connective tissue of the investigation.
There is a particular point in the game that veteran puzzlers and escapists might skip a huge portion of the game by virtue of spotting something a little out of the ordinary, but we held ourselves back for the sake of the game flow. I only mention it here in case you’re tempted to skip ahead, don’t! You’ll miss out on some great puzzling.
Case 001 is and excellent case, and can serve as an explosive introduction to Sullivan’s world or a fantastic entry into his continuing adventures! I highly recommend checking it out even if you’ve previously solved the case, due to the high quality update that has been executed here, as well as the inclusion of some really fun props! This case can be purchased from the Sleuth King’s archives here, and if you’d like to subscribe to upcoming adventures, 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!
Full Disclosure: Sleuth Kings provided a complementary box.