The Deadbolt Mystery Society – The Last Laugh (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping

We all float down here.

Theme:

From The Deadbolt Mystery Society website:

Fall is here, and The Wandering Monster Parade has come to town, bringing its variety show of teeth and claws to the town of Valley Falls. At about the same time, a strange clown has been showing up around town in various unusual places. Most people assume that the clown is a promotional tool used to help spread the word about the Monster Parade, and buzz for the event is high. That all changes when Savannah Pierce, reigning homecoming queen for the Valley Falls Druids, is found dead with smudges of greasepaint on her neck and cheeks. After repeated questioning, officials from the Monster Parade deny any knowledge of the clown and claim he isn’t part of their organization. The Pierces, one of Valley Falls’ wealthies families, has hired you and the other members of The Will Street Detective Agency to locate the mysterious clown, uncover his identity, and find out what really happened to their daughter. Will you be able to solve the mystery of Savannah Pierce’s murder before The Wandering Monster Parade leaves town…or will the fiend responsible get The Last Laugh?

First Impressions:

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and my favorite season for subscription boxes, because almost all take on a spooky vibe, embracing the supernatural and macabre! Last year’s Halloween box from Deadbolt, The Cabin, remains one of my favorite experiences overall, so I couldn’t wait to see what was in store this year!

High Points:

The best part about The Last Laugh is how the game flow works. For this box, we worked through the evidence methodically, and as we moved through all the information, everything started to fall into place by the end. Most of the connections were intuitive enough, that once we completed our review of the facts, puzzles rolled into solutions, which rolled into other puzzles, which rolled into further solutions until the suspect revealed themselves. This triggered a cascade of satisfaction as the solves intuitively built one upon the other, progressing the story nicely, and culminating in a fascinating, and bold climax! The storyline builds the creepy vibe, and reintroduces S.T.A.L.K. to add some excellent supernatural flavor to the experience. The story also leaves the door open for more spookiness in the future due to the implications of the ending, which I’m absolutely looking forward to. The characters, especially the deranged members of the Wandering Monster Parade, are excellently fleshed out, and their quirks and proclivities really add dimension to the story that kept us immersed in the mystery.

The Last Laugh is the first Deadbolt Mystery Society box to come in the new, smaller sized boxes. Over half the size of the old box but just as sturdy, there is just as many, if not more puzzles packed into the mystery! In fact, there are loads of fun pieces of in theme swag as well, which is a fun inclusion. The new size allows for better protection from the elements, as it will fit into most mailboxes, and reduces the space requirement for those of us who like to save each box. The puzzles themselves are great mixes of code breaking, connection making, and investigatory conundrums. Some are classic codes, but none feel repetitive, as all have been given a new twist in order to keep things fresh.

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Smaller box, but just as many, if not more, puzzles!

Low Points:

Two points stuck out as confusing for us, one was worded in such a way that it seemed to imply there would be a specific exclusion that never really materialized, and the other was a clue that seemed to exonerate a particular suspect that, on reflection, was meant to point elsewhere, but the connection between those two points was somewhat loose as they could’ve been easily interpreted in other ways. One of the QR codes was somewhat more vitally important to check out earlier in the case, but since they usually are password protected, we did not check them all until we had a solution that seemed to match. That’s partially on us, but it might help to have some way to differentiate password protected QR codes from those that link to evidence.

Verdict:

The Last Laugh delivers a freakily twisted mystery that delivers a great Halloween experience, some great puzzling, and a story that’s truly to die for. Delivering a great challenge that remains approachable for new detectives, I absolutely recommend checking this one out! 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!

8.5/10 (Great)

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

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