Location: Your Home!
Players: We recommend 1-4
Price: $29.95 per box
Fight for Justice!
Sullivan King’s newest case is a doozy! Martial Arts Instructor Travis Burnett has retained the services of our favorite Private Detective in order to clear his name of a crime committed 6,500 miles away! Accused of stealing a sacred scroll during his dojo’s trip to Japan, he has been kicked out of the dojo, and become persona non grata to all his friends. He’s spent twenty years forming relationships and teaching martial arts at the Dragon Dojo, so he’s understandably desperate to clear his name. The only problem is, most of this evidence is in Japanese! Sullivan needs your help to crack the case, or Travis will remain disgraced and friendless!
Dear subscription box companies, if you all start adding small desserts to your boxes, I will love you forever. It’s almost embarrassing how delighted I was that when I opened up this box, a fortune cookie dropped out. I guess all the puzzles were interesting too, but we’re here for the cookies. Send more.
A mystery that starts thousands of miles away and… A FREE FORTUNE COOKIE??? SOLD.
Beyond the nice inclusion of the fortune cookie, there’s a lot to like about this box. As usual, Sleuth Kings packs their box with some really creative stuff, and this mystery is no different. Containing several interconnected clues, and a few standard puzzles tweaked to hold more secrets than usual, there is truly a lot to work through with this box. In fact, it took us a good hour or so longer than usual to work through this one, which is a testament to it’s density and challenge level. Many puzzles require looking at the props and clues in an out of the box way, presenting some excellent ah ha moments. The props are well integrated into the theme, and there are some fun easter eggs to hunt down for long time sleuths. There is a particularly fun moment where a pretty standard puzzle is used in a creative way, providing the satisfaction of solving the base problem, (which I’m actually a pretty big fan of,) and then the layer underneath. The game flow works well to reveal further mysteries as you progress, and the connections between stages of the game keep everything rolling in a satisfying way.
The story itself is more of a one off, with less tie in to the overall Sleuth Kings universe, but it’s still an engaging adventure that presents a few twists and turns as we solved. The idea of solving a crime committed so far away from home is an amazing idea, and we enjoyed going back through Travis’ trip to Japan, as well as trying to find more current clues using Sullivan’s tried and true method of breaking and entering for the greater good.
This mystery started out a little rough for us, as the first clue was a chore to work through. We liked the idea of this puzzle in theory, but felt it didn’t quite translate well in practice. Some of the elements that tripped us up involved language translation, and while we were given a hint sheet to help with this, overall, the sheet had too much on it and was somewhat small, making it hard to compare the writing to the characters. Further, the handwriting had a few distinct differences, making it more difficult to determine what was what. I am glad, however, that everything we needed to translate the puzzle’s text was included within the box, as we’ve seen others that just throw foreign languages in for “difficulty.” (Looking at you, Blowback.) Two specific puzzles will feel familiar, as these types have been used previously, however, they’ve been updated, and still manage to feel fresh, as a new twist has been added to each.
The Stolen Scroll is definitely a good mystery, outside of the tedious start. People who are interested in Japan and the Japanese language will definitely get a kick out of the very well themed puzzles, and though that isn’t quite our niche, we still appreciated the highly interesting theme presented in this box. I recommend giving it a go, especially if the theme seems like it would be up your alley! 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.