The Deadbolt Mystery Society – The Watcher (Review)

Kara’s Note: This review is brought to you by me! 😀

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping

I always feel like… somebody’s watching me… and I get no privacy!


From The Deadbolt Mystery Society website:

Allison Zeller has a secret admirer. She thinks the mysterious guy is sweet enough at first until his behavior escalates past simple admiration and spirals into full-blown obsession. Someone is stalking her and growing impatient that they can’t have her. This infatuation culminates in a full-blown attack on Allison’s life, leaving her at death’s door. It’s likely that whoever did this to her will come back to finish what they started. Can you find out the identity of Allison’s stalker before it’s too late? Can you unmask The Watcher?

First Impressions:

*Trigger warning!* We really enjoyed solving this case, but due to the subject matter, it is unfortunately probably one of the more realistic “everyday” scenarios. As it pertains to stalking, I do want to note that this case could be triggering for some individuals, so just keep that in mind before doing this box.

Yay Points:

Deadbolt has remained steadfast in being one of my favorite subscription boxes, and it’s amazing to see how they’ve grown over the years. Not only have they been able to churn out quality content each month, but also, they’ve been able to refine and improve upon what I would’ve already considered pretty good set-ups. “The Watcher” is a fantastic example of how they’ve been able to take the best elements of previous boxes and apply them to provide a really fun puzzling experience.  

This was one of the longer Deadbolt boxes we’ve done recently, containing a multitude of conundrums that were all very intuitive. It was very clear which clues matched with their respective puzzles (even with some items containing elements for different puzzles), and their uniqueness ensured the gatekeeping of each solve was built into the experience. There wasn’t any “run of the mill” code breaking and you really get to use your detective skills to piece together the different bits of evidence to find out who the suspect really is. We were pleased to find that the suspect elimination method was more involved than previous boxes, and it was a very interesting way to flesh out the story while keeping us in suspense for who the culprit actually would be.

The story was presented in a more non-linear fashion than that of recent boxes, and was well crafted with intriguing characters. The design and style of props were varied and fit excellently into this story’s theme. In particular, the method of learning background information from and about the suspects was a thematically appropriate and effective way to learn about them. The thoughtfulness behind the design of another multifunctional item was appreciated and it was interesting to work with.

Pondering Points:

We found ourselves stumped at one point and weren’t sure what we were missing. After consulting the hints, we realized we completely overlooked what the answer was (despite recently solving it) due to its more ambiguous nature.

One of the items contained multiple pieces of evidence for the story. Although this approach was certainly efficient, it may have been helpful for some of the items to exist on their own, rather than just as a visual. This presentation made some a little easier to overlook when we were looking for what went with their respective puzzles.


“The Watcher” is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a well-designed case to solve! But don’t just take my word for it, 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.

The Curious Correspondence Club – Chapter IV: The Moonlight Escapade (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $19.95 Monthly, $179.00 Yearly

Join the Club!


After escaping in a hot air balloon from our mysterious pursuers in Chapter III, we traveled with the Tinker to a campsite that we suspected held another of the strange items we’ve been tracking across the world. Unfortunately, that campsite is inhabited by the same organization that’s been chasing us this whole time! It’ll take some sneakiness, quick thinking, and most importantly, clever gadgetry in order to come away successful!

First Impressions:

Super special thanks to the folks at The Curious Correspondence Club for sending along another copy of Chapter IV when our original was lost in the mail. They were quick to respond and mail this one out when I notified them, and their customer service was brilliant! This ended up being a Tarantino-esque prequel for us, since we received Chapter V first and couldn’t not solve it immediately, but nothing was lost in the experience, in fact, it was a lot of fun to find out what bridged the gap between Chapters III and V.

High Points:

The Curious Correspondence Club (henceforth CCC due to laziness,) creates some of the most amazingly original experiences out there for the absolute best price! Even though more expensive experiences may have fancier props, the sheer originality of The CCC cannot be beat! In fact, putting together the paper craft items included in every envelope is one of the most entertaining parts, especially when these items are so intuitive and well crafted. Chapter IV includes some of the best items thus far, and figuring out how they work is so amazingly satisfying. Not one piece of this grand puzzle is left unused, and every single thing is important. It is so fantastic how tight the game play is, while still ensuring a dense, multilayered puzzling experience. The adventure is mostly linear, though everything is given to players at the start, so connections can begin to be made, even before you have fully overcome the previous conundrums, which ensures that you’re never one hundred percent bottlenecked into one place. So many of the items included are also multi functional, popping up again later on, and it is brilliant to watch as one thing becomes another, making the game a tactile delight!

The story is fantastically written, and while the brunt of it is delivered via the opening text and excellent closing video, bits of narrative are always hidden within the game itself, ensuring that everything is woven together well, rather than shifting back and forth between story and puzzle. The world building and characterization employed within The CCC’s games is second to none at this price point, and I can say that without reservation. My favorite thing about these games is that there is never a point at which I think, yes, I’ve seen this sort of thing before. Each and every puzzle is a revelation, and presents an original puzzling experience that I’ve never seen before. I can always rely on them to deliver something wholly new with each Chapter! And the amazing thing is that they seem to top themselves every single time. Though we thought this Chapter was probably the easiest so far, it was still an excellent challenge and required a lot of outside the box thinking to complete!

Low Points:

It is generally very difficult to find any fault with The Curious Correspondence Club, and Chapter IV is no exception! Our experience was, as always, brilliant, but there were a few points at which we think the instructions could be tightened up ever so slightly to ensure that no vagueness remains. Otherwise, this episode was a flawless romp!


Chapter IV of The Curious Correspondence Club was impressive, and it’s always so exciting to see what sorts of paper craft props and immensely original puzzling will be included with each installment! One of the few subscriptions that can combine a well told story with immersive puzzling without sacrificing the quality of either, this subscription remains one of my most anticipated every single month! I highly recommend subscribing, and you can join The Curious Correspondence Club here!

9.5/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: The Curious Correspondence Club provided a complementary envelope.