Society of Curiosities – Madok’s Lost Treasure (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-3

Price: $39 plus shipping every 3 months, or $149 per year (4 mailings.)

Good things come in small packages.

Theme:

From the Society of Curiosities website:

You receive new information that could lead to the discovery of the lost treasure of Captain Edus Madok. Study the artifacts, articles, and expert resources to track down the location of the treasure and dispatch your team to dig it up.

First Impressions:

Society of Curiosities sent along a mysterious envelope recently, and I was already impressed by the attention to detail and passion for immersion the second I had a peek at the weathered mailing and strange looking objects inside. Though when I first emptied out the contents, I was wondering how much gameplay there could actually be. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised!

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Magic card not included.

High Points:

Society of Curiosities may be one of the most brilliantly immersive at home games I’ve played in a while. The absolutely stunning attention to detail of the props, the inclusion of some great reveals, and reality questioning research items discovered later truly immerse players within the Society of Curiosities like no other game has for us. It reminds me a lot of the AR PC game Missing: Since January and its sequel Evidence: The Last Ritual. I whiled away many hours with these game researching using myriad provided resources you could never tell were real or not, and Madok’s Lost Treasure captures that same feeling perfectly. So many of the puzzles incorporate things you never really would think would be part of a subscription puzzle game, and the experience is made all the better for it. Every single bit of the game is not only important, but woven into the story itself, and while other games generally had moments where I think, “we have to overlook this out of place bit due to the nature of the experience,” I never once felt that during our time searching for the Lost Treasure! Everything is just so well connected and navigation within the game world feels so natural; the designers should be commended on that alone, and we haven’t even touched on the puzzles yet!

The game flow works incredibly smoothly, and after a big dump of items and information at the beginning to sort through, it becomes easier to make connections and begin solving. This game is amazing, as though we had to engage in a fair amount of research, it is presented in a way that makes the googling and poring over information fun rather than an arduous exercise in tedium. I was absolutely thrilled that what is usually one of my most hated chores in any game became engaging, immersive, and purely fun. That alone proves to me that Society of Curiosities knows exactly what they’re doing. Puzzles are filled to the brim with great moments of revelation due to this masterful game design, and both my wife and I were very pleased with ourselves as we put together the pieces of some really masterfully designed and subtly clued interactions, sometimes even before it seemed like we should! The adventure taken as a whole was easily one of the most satisfying games to solve we’ve come across, and truly raised the bar when it comes to world building!

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It may not seem like much on the surface, but there’s a lot of content hidden about!

Low Points:

The first stumbling block most folks will come across with this experience may be the price tag. At $39 plus $6 shipping for quarterly purchasers (one game is released every three months,) that may be a steep cost for the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I do think the adventure is worth it, and absolutely understand where that price tag comes from, but I do know as veteran players of these sorts of games, we did blow through it, coming in a bit below the lower end of the estimated 2-5 hours of game time. However, newer players may find themselves taking longer, so your mileage may vary. Again, the experience is very worth it, but I want to mention it for those for whom cost matters greatly, myself included.

For us, the final puzzle got a bit convoluted, and though we had come across the items required to advance, one in particular is VERY deviously hidden. As a non-spoiler hint, make sure you look at literally everything, as it is all important. It’s a small thing, but that one item started to become frustrating due to how immediately well it was hidden, and how early on it was introduced. We were able to skip over one key point of the game, as my wife is brilliant at codebreaking, pulling out one of the quickest unintended solves I’ve seen in a game. The clue we skipped was therefore easy to miss, and is important later for another puzzle, but the set up seems to encourage players to take the route we did. These are both small quibbles related mostly to gate keeping of clues, however, and were the only in game shortfalls we came across.

Verdict:

Madok’s Lost Treasure is the start of something special for Society of Curiosities. Though there are some bumps in the road at the end, we had a gloriously fun time playing through. The many moving parts required to provide this type of experience go off without a hitch, and I really look forward to seeing where the journey takes us with their next adventure! Start your journey seeking the buried treasure here!

8.5/10 (Great)

Full Disclosure: Society of Curiosities provided a complementary mailing.

 

 

 

One thought on “Society of Curiosities – Madok’s Lost Treasure (Review)

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