Sleuth Kings: Case 012 – Dark Secrets (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $29.95 per box

Mini-golf Mobsters!


Picking up right where Case 011 left off, Celeste St. Claire owes some dangerous folks a lot of money. She also owes the Dayton Art Museum no less than three paintings she stole. It’s a pickle that Sullivan King has graciously agreed to help extract her from, but it isn’t going to be an easy task. The mob boss Giovanni Moretti is her main debtor, and he’s not known for his patience or even-keeled handling of those who cross him! Celeste has a plan to bring this mobster to his knees, however, if you can figure out how to find his little black(mail) book!

First Impressions:

Sequels are always a good time; the last time a sequel was produced, Case 008, it became one of my favorite Sleuth Kings boxes! This time, we were going against the mob boss that was coercing Celeste into stealing fine art for him on his own (astro)turf at The Playground’s mini golf course! Oh Sullivan, you bring us into the most insane circumstances.

High Points:

Per usual, each clue we received along the way ranged from clear cut decoding to delightfully devious metapuzzling, offering a full range of interactions and enigmas to keep us fully entertained. Setting a mafia mystery within a putt putt course is a stroke of hilarious genius, keeping the tone lighthearted and fun. The banter between Sullivan and Celeste is great, and continues to prove that Sullivan is at his best when working with an on site partner. I’d definitely like to see more from this reformed art thief in the future! Props are snazzy and most are much deeper than originally thought, leading to great ah ha moments. Almost every puzzle included still contain another layer of puzzling hidden within later clues that work towards the metapuzzle, and every prop opens up new avenues of investigation. One piece of the puzzle in particular has an astounding amount of clues included, which lead to so many satisfying conclusions!


Case 012 Alternate title: Putt Putt and Mob Bosses.

Low Points:

Unlike the previous sequel in the Sleuth Kings universe, I think it is more required to experience Case 011 beforehand. Though this one can technically be played stand alone, the story would suffer more due to not having quite the investment in the art thief’s plight. The main puzzle of this case also comes across as vague, as two key parts of the puzzle itself aren’t quite clear. It took us several readings to determine a particular key piece of information that is given a bit later in the game flow, and as a result, the clues themselves didn’t make sense initially. It would’ve helped immensely had this information been presented earlier, as for the initial parts of the experience, we were under the impression that there were fewer moving parts than there really were.


Dark Secrets is another excellent addition to the Sleuth Kings universe, adding compelling characters, layered and challenging, but ultimately satisfying puzzling, and another fantastic story line. I highly recommend checking it out, and ordering Case 011 as well in order to get the full experience. You should also subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any of the fun! Use the promo code ESCAPEADVENTURE to get $5 off your subscription here! You can also read the rest of our Sleuth Kings reviews here!

8/10 (Great)

Full Disclosure: Sleuth Kings provided a complementary box.