The Deadbolt Mystery Society – The Body Farm (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping

What Lies Beneath

Theme:

The Body Farm is the spookiest urban legend in Valley Falls, telling the tale of The Gravedigger, presumed to be Jackson Montgomery, who snapped one day and buried his entire family alive, then vanished into the ether. Some folks say he still haunts the woods near his family farm, The Hall, waiting for new victims foolish enough to wander too close to the area. All this mystery is ripe for the members of S.T.A.L.K., a local group of paranormal investigators and the local Museum Nocturnus, who’ve decided to investigate the farm for their new exhibit. The entire staff of the Museum have suddenly gone missing, so it is up to you and S.T.A.L.K. to figure out what happened, and determine if The Gravedigger has truly resurfaced after ninety years!

First Impressions:

I always enjoy the Deadbolt mysteries that involve Valley Fall’s premier ghost hunting team, S.T.A.L.K., and this time instead of working with the Will Street Detective Agency, we were pleased to find we would be working directly with S.T.A.L.K.! Supernatural mysteries are always a personal favorite, so The Body Farm promised to be right up my alley, theme-wise!

High Points:

My favorite thing about The Body Farm is the presentation of the mystery as something that is happening around you as you solve. Much like The Cabin, The Seaside Strangler, and Infected, this adventure takes place right in the middle of the mystery, instead of during the aftermath, which ratchets up the excitement of the solve and ups the stakes greatly. There is a definite sense of urgency to this particular mystery, as players eliminate suspects in a way that is certainly unexpected. With two separate mysteries to solve, one a cold case from 1930 and one rapidly evolving around you, there is certainly quite a bit to uncover. The presentation and game flow of this adventure is completely open ended, and encourages players to delve into every bit of evidence, providing moments of revelation naturally as puzzles organically appear throughout the investigation. This is definitely one of Deadbolt’s most smoothly flowing mysteries, but it isn’t without a great challenge. Making connections comes intuitively, but sleuths will have to ensure they pay extra attention to each clue if they are to be successful. Deviously clever clues and wording are important, and it is completely satisfying when each conundrum is solved.

The story of The Body Farm is particularly fantastic. An urban legend that feels like it comes from the much beloved book series of my childhood, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Gravedigger and his method of dispatching his victims hovers as a specter over this mystery and the town of Valley Falls. It is a great bit of world building for the Deadbolt Mystery Society’s overall universe, and I’d love to find out more about the area’s folklore. I’d also like to find out more about the Museum Nocturnus, which seems to be filled with artifacts not unlike those found by Ed and Lorraine Warren. This box was highly immersive, and kept me guessing and hungry to know more even after it’s exciting conclusion!

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Enter the Body Farm, and hope you stay above the ground during your stay!

Low Points:

While the method of eliminating suspects was an excellent deviation from the usual formula, we didn’t get the chance to connect with their personalities like we do in other Deadbolt boxes. We also would’ve loved to find out more about our compatriots in S.T.A.L.K. who seem to remain in the background of the mystery.

Verdict:

The Body Farm is another immersive entry into The Deadbolt Mystery Society’s case files. Delivering excellent pacing, a spooky story, and a lot of great puzzles to solve, I absolutely recommend checking it out. With a focus on intuitive and organic enigmas, this is a great jumping off point for beginners, but delivers a fair challenge for long time members of the Society. If you’re not a subscriber already, you should be! Join the Deadbolt Mystery Society here! Right now, you can get 30% off your first box with the Promo Code ESCAPE30! You can also see the rest of our Deadbolt Mystery Society reviews here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: The Deadbolt Mystery Society provided a complementary box.

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