Sleuth Kings – Case 023: Search for the Hidden Treasure (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $29.95 per box

The real treasure is the friends you make along the way.

Theme:

It’s a slow day at the Sleuth Kings offices, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mystery afoot! Asuna Yukimura, president of the Young Detectives Club at Flyer High, recently uncovered a map that promises to lead to hidden treasure somewhere around Dayton! Unfortunately, some of her bullies have stolen the map, and are on the hunt as well. Using Asuna’s notes and copies of the clues, it is up to you to decipher the cryptic treasure map and claim the booty before the bullies!

First Impressions:

Another case starring one of our favorite supporting characters, Asuna, is always welcome! Her previous two adventures have been some of our favorites, so we were excited to get started on this newest caper! The light hearted nature of this new case is a great moment of levity before next month’s much more intense Framed as well.

High Points:

Asuna’s treasure hunt is set up in an engaging way, with vibrant clues, an intriguing mystery, and an impetus to work quickly. Though it certainly is a much lighter theme, don’t expect to get too comfortable, as Asuna’s bullies are no slouches when it comes to solving mysteries as well. Each puzzle has multiple levels to solve through, so even those which look basic on the surface have another layer to peel back, and a couple of them provide truly great moments of revelation. One clue in particular is very clever, and provides a great tactile experience during the solve, providing two different clues, and using an innocuous item in an interesting way. This particular case is much more destructible than others, and while it may not be playable again straight out of the box, it creates a highly interactive, Exit The Game type experience that we greatly enjoy.

The world building of the case is great, as players are introduced to several new and old locations throughout the Sleuth Kings Universe, some of which contain fantastic call backs to previous cases for long time players. This case is definitely a highly original idea, taking the theme of a treasure hunt, and mixing in a compelling addition to the story that heightens the engagement. There are also some really dad-joke level riddles on one of the clues that I enjoyed annoying my wife with. Those little details are always excellent to uncover during all the Sleuth Kings cases. The climax is fantastic, and the epilogue letter adds in a great ending and souvenir for completing the treasure hunt that I thought was a fantastic touch.

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Time to join the hunt for the treasure! You’re sure to be richer by the end!

Low Points:

Asuna is definitely one of our favorite characters, but we didn’t get to interact quite as much with her during this case as earlier cases. Her dialogue is easily the best of the series in our opinion, so we missed the mid case interactions that usually come up. Like Case 022, we emailed Sullivan fewer times as well, so most of the story was loaded into the beginning and end of the mystery. We generally enjoy the interactions peppered in between clues, as it makes it feel more like the case is moving forward in real time as we solve, as well as providing a break from the action. This case is also a bit more simpler than usual for the most part, with a lot of the clues being variations of some of the more prevalent puzzle and code breaking types. Most times, there are good twists that go along with these however, so they don’t feel too basic. A late game clue began to feel a bit tedious due to the process of solving, but didn’t go overlong into frustration. The meta puzzle is a fun idea, but the directions felt somewhat vague to us, and we felt as though the cluing could have been a bit tighter there to keep us from going too off rails.

Verdict:

Asuna’s treasure hunt is a somewhat easier mission for veteran sleuths, but is definitely worth checking out for novel puzzles and another great adventure with one of the best co-detectives Sullivan’s got! For new players, this is certainly a great jumping in point, as the case is exemplar of the sort of enigmas you can expect to find in tougher cases, and is really a lot of fun as a light hearted stand alone mystery. You can purchase it 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!

7.5/10 (Good)

Full Disclosure: Sleuth Kings provided a complementary box.

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