Location: Your Home!
Players: We recommend 1-4
Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping
From The Deadbolt Mystery Society website:
A group of co-workers employed by a Valley Falls travel agency have been given an incredible opportunity. The Refuge at Emerald Island is an isolated and exclusive resort that, ironically, none of the travel agents have ever heard of. What makes this opportunity even more special is that they will be the last group to stay at the tropical resort. The week after their stay, the resort is scheduled to be demolished by its owner and rebuilt as an industrial hub. Once the group arrives, they are excited for sand, sun and relaxation. That quickly changes when a member of their team is found dead with a harpoon in the back. The person who committed the crime must be one of the travel agency guests or the resort staff. Trapped on an island with a bloodthirsty killer, the body count is certain to go up as the suspect list goes down. Will you figure out who the killer is before it’s too late?
We really enjoyed Last Resort! It reminded me a lot of an updated version of Cabin, as the story is very well written, placing you directly into the situation rather than investigating an after the fact murder. If you like slasher films, this one definitely plays out similarly. One new thing that the designers at Deadbolt have implemented is the casting of players as a specific main character, rather than a detective with the Will Street Detective Agency. This opens up greater avenues of storytelling, and it shows brilliantly in this box. From the start, there is a sense of unease built by that continues to build, and as we are drip fed revelations that all may not be as it seems, (and it seems pretty dire already,) the mystery deepens until we reach the explosive climax! As a side note, this box can get really brutal at times, which we actually really enjoyed, as it gave a sense of urgency to the proceedings. Overall, I love how the box started off very light, and quickly became much darker! On the puzzle side of things, we liked how the game flow alternated between linear and non-linear, depending on how the story was gate-kept, and we never felt like there were any major blockages to the flow, ensuring that the experience remained smooth throughout. Puzzle density was great, as there were a ton of interactions to work through, and the variety included kept our team occupied and entertained from start to finish. The final line of puzzles does an excellent job of dropping us into a frantic end sequence that really drove home what was at stake! I felt as though all the puzzles were designed in a truly intuitive way, and that the clues allowed us to make connections without feeling as if our hands were being held. There is a lot to figure out at any one moment, but Deadbolt always does an amazing job ensuring that clues subtly point the way. All in all, the combination of great story, original puzzling, and slasher movie vibes definitely delivered one of my favorite puzzle experiences this year!
This box had a lot more math than usual, and I know the puzzle community either loves or hates math, with very little in between, so make sure to take that under advisement if you fall into the latter group. One puzzle in particular was a pretty large leap of logic for us, and could easily be interpreted in several different ways as is, so I feel like another small clue is needed to create a more direct puzzle. Finally, this was definitely one of the easier boxes, which isn’t so much a low point as a heads up for veteran solvers looking for a bigger challenge. I will say the story absolutely makes this one worth it, however.
Last Resort is definitely one of Deadbolt’s most innovative new boxes; remaining familiar while switching up the formula in an exciting new way! I highly recommend checking this one out as even though we found this adventure to be on the somewhat easier side, the story and experience was more than worth the price of admission. 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!
Full Disclosure: The Deadbolt Mystery Society provided a complementary box.