The Deadbolt Mystery Society – Blast From The Past (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping

Theme:

From The Deadbolt Mystery Society website:

The 80’s were a decade of big hair, MTV, video games, outrageous clothing, and fun. The Valley Falls High School “Class of ‘86” is having a Blast From the Past reunion to relive the glory days of their youth and see old friends that they’ve lost touch with over the years. The reunion is a roaring success until the principal is found strangled to death in his office. Only someone attending the reunion could have killed him. But who? And why? Take a nostalgic step back into the 80’s, find out who killed the principal of Valley Falls High School, and experience a Blast From the Past!

High Points:

Everyone loves the 80’s, right? Although I am only a child of the 80’s in the most perfunctory sense, having been born in the later months of 1989, I did greatly enjoy the music and media of the 80’s as a kid. Though a knowledge of 80’s pop culture helps to appreciate this box further, in no way is it required, though one puzzle will definitely be a breeze if you’re well versed! The box itself is super dense with puzzles and 80’s nostalgia, and does a really good job of integrating some of this nostalgia into the puzzles themselves. The puzzles are also varied to a degree that even with a larger group, (though we recommend no more than 4,) everyone will be able to work on something without any dead time. Deadbolt again does a brilliant job of breaking the game into separate stages, while still allowing for a bit of non-linear detective work. I really love how there are a fair amount of items to go through at any given time, but not so many that players are drowning in evidence. A small touch we really loved in Blast From The Past is that the interviews with suspects, which usually involves a large chunk of reading we generally go through at the beginning of a case, are a bit more spread out, and feel more integrated into the game flow. I think this is a great shift, and would love to see how these are spaced out in the future. One particular puzzle we really enjoyed was spread out throughout the course of the mystery, which began with a simple, but enjoyable logic puzzle, and evolved during the later stages of the game. The props that were provided to facilitate this interaction were great, and we loved the tactile nature as well. Speaking of props, they were all used well, and were excellently woven into the game leaving no room for extraneous objects or red herrings. While there is some decoding, it isn’t arduous or basic, with one particular puzzle using a beloved 80’s item to create a really cool code. Overall, we really loved the density of puzzles and the challenge provided by Blast From The Past, and it afforded us a fantastic 2 hours of play time!

Low Points:

One particular puzzle included an audio clue that emphasized a direction that we thought was part of the game, but in the end didn’t mean anything, leading to a bit of unintended confusion. The epilogue on this one gets a little cheesy with all the on the nose references to the 80’s, but overall ties things up well. Not really a low point, but this is one of the more challenging Deadbolt boxes we’ve played recently, so new players might want to get some Deadbolt experience under their belts, or at least be open to using a hint or two!

Verdict:

Blast From The Past is a tubular new entry into the Deadbolt Mystery Society archives, and delivers an 80’s adventure that shouldn’t be missed! While it ranks on the more challenging end of things for us, we highly recommend this mystery to players new and old. 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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