Finders Seekers – Mexico City, Mexico (September Box Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players: We recommend 1-4

Price: $30 per box

This one made me want to watch Coco again.

Theme:

Each month, Finders Seekers invites you to accept a mysterious mission from the head seer. These “finds” are located in cities around the world and involve high stakes, cryptic puzzling, and shadowy societies! You’ll need a clever mind and some google-fu in order to piece together the puzzles and complete the find! And when you do, you might even receive a reward!

First Impressions:

Each month we’ve noticed that Finders Seekers has upped their game, and this month is no exception! Even more items were delivered this go, and the quality of the props continue to improve. I was also very excited to see an Aztec calendar included as I have my own sitting in my living room!

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The props just keep getting better and better!

High Points:

The vast majority of this box is extremely hands on, and the tactile nature of many of the puzzles really allow this adventure to Mexico City to shine! Some of my favorite puzzles ever for this subscription are inside this box, and range from folding and crafting to painting, to using an Aztec calendar to deciper codes! Many of the interactions involved are also brilliant in their design, offering elegant solutions and intuitive ah ha moments, something we felt was sometimes lacking in other finds provided by Finders Seekers. The dreaded boring process puzzle that we’ve come to expect in every box has finally been eradicated from this one, and it’s a trend that I hope continues to hold, as the game flow doesn’t break down severely during this experience, and held up for a good three hours for us! The online component is, as always, an excellent supplement to what is provided in the box, and includes a bevy of excellent facts about the history and culture of Mexico City. It’s always a lot of fun to learn about the exotic locales that Finders Seekers helps us visit from the comfort of our own homes!

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Spoiler Alert: You get to paint!

Low Points:

One of the most fun puzzles in the box, (the painting puzzle seen above,) only provides enough tools to allow for one person to interact with it. I’m sure a good many people could scrounge up another paintbrush, but for those that don’t have one handy, it might be much less fun just watching as the other player paints. This puzzle also has a fairly ambiguous answer, as the answer required leaves out one of the words commonly associated with the phrase. There is also a typo in another of the puzzles, which tripped us up, but since the overall solution was fairly long, we were able to manually correct it. The hint system for Finders Seekers leaves much to be desired still, as a fairly simple puzzle tripped us up pretty massively, and the hints were too vague to provide any direction. Though it was the only hints we used, we’ve run into poor hinting in the past, and have noticed that many of the puzzles provide none at all, to the frustration of some of our compatriots in the Finders Seekers Facebook group.

Verdict:

This was easily the best Finders Seekers box we’d done yet! It seems they’ve been improving each month, and I am now more an more excited to see that a new adventure has arrived from these guys! At this point, I’d definitely recommend subscribing if you love a good puzzle hunt. Order your next adventure here! If you sign up through our link, we’ll earn credits towards a free box, and can bring you more content! They also provide a fun free Chicago mini hunt if you’d like to get a feel for their style of puzzles. You can read the rest of our Finders Seekers reviews here!

8.5/10 (Great)

Finders Seekers – Athens, Greece (July Box Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players: We recommend 1-4

Price: $30 per box

By the gods!

Theme:

Each month, Finders Seekers invites you to accept a mysterious mission from the head seer. These “finds” are located in cities around the world and involve high stakes, cryptic puzzling, and shadowy societies! You’ll need a clever mind and some google-fu in order to piece together the puzzles and complete the find! And when you do, you might even receive a reward! This month, it’s time to head to Athens, Greece! The Society has been contacted to restore an antique amphora depicting the gods of Olympus, and if you can, you might even be able to discern some ancient wisdom passed down by the philosophers themselves!

First Impressions:

I previously went back and forth as to whether I wanted to continue my subscription to Finders Seekers due to some ambiguity and weird logic in initial boxes, but after the great (almost 3 hour,) Petra, Jordan puzzling adventure, I decided to resubscribe to give them one more shot to wow us! When I found out we’d be heading to Athens this go, I was excited for yet another exotic and ancient city to explore!

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Mysterious props and a dense puzzle quest to enjoy!

High Points:

Athens is a great location to explore and as always, Finders Seekers provides great pictures and historical tidbits about the locations provided in order to flesh out the story of the city itself while we hunt! The metapuzzle is identified immediately, though putting the pieces together and figuring out what it could mean slowly evolves until the very last moment, creating a satisfying climax to the adventure. Each prop is high quality, and ties into their respective puzzles excellently. Though Athens is a mite bit easier than some other boxes, the experience doesn’t suffer for it, and the game flow is, on the whole, really quite tight and runs like a well oiled machine. (Until it doesn’t, as detailed below.) I really enjoyed playing around with a few of the props, and particularly liked one more banal item due to how we realized what its use would ultimately be. I held onto it for the majority of the hour and a half we spent puzzling, and discerning its use was a wonderful ah ha moment! The variety of puzzles is amazing, and there was something to cater to both myself and my fiancé! I always have the most fun with boxes that allow us to solve in tandem, playing to different strengths as the game moves along, and this one was very good at challenging us both.

Low Points:

There’s always that one puzzle among the usual 11 for Finders Seekers that frustrates and annoys and Athens is, unfortunately, no exception. While the rest of the puzzles are blessedly fun, the game flow screeched to a stop when we came upon the dreaded church puzzle. We figured out what we had to do immediately, but the process of the thing was not only highly tedious, but demanded a level of measurement no one but the most sadistic would find enjoyable. Process puzzles in general do nothing more than pad the solve time at best, and cause immeasurable frustration at worst, so I always dislike seeing them rear their ugly heads. When heading to the facebook help group for direction, we found that more than half the calls for assistance were for this puzzle. After hammering away at it for a while, we decided that we’d rather just skip this one entirely and go back to having fun. Unfortunately, the linear nature of this hunt forced us to ask for the answer and move on. There is also one point during a later puzzle where a particular item is called by several different names, however, only one is deemed correct by the website, causing frustration as we repeatedly found a new name for it, then typed it in only to be greeted by another pop up telling us we were “wrong.”

Verdict:

Athens, Greece furthers the improving quality of Finders Seekers boxes, and definitely vindicated my decision to renew my subscription! I’m hoping this trend of visiting more ancient and far off cities continues next month, and can’t wait to see what puzzles are in store. Order your next puzzle hunting adventure here! If you sign up through our link, we’ll earn credits towards a free box, and can bring you more content! They also provide a fun free Chicago mini hunt if you’d like to get a feel for their style of puzzles.

8/10 (Great)

Finders Seekers – Petra, Jordan (June Box Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players: We recommend 1-4

Price: $30 per box

Theme:

Each month, Finders Seekers invites you to accept a mysterious mission from the head seer. These “finds” are located in cities around the world and involve high stakes, cryptic puzzling, and shadowy societies! You’ll need a clever mind and some google-fu in order to piece together the puzzles and complete the find! And when you do, you might even receive a reward! This month, we travel to our most exotic city yet, Petra, Jordan via an invitation to prove our worthiness and uncover the secrets of the ancient city!

First Impressions:

I have previously completed Finders Seekers’ London and Washington, DC boxes, which were decent puzzle hunts, but didn’t really blow me away. The cities themselves were interesting, but nothing that stood out, and there was always at least one puzzle that just made no logical sense. I decided to give the subscription one more go before cancelling, however, and when I found out the next adventure would take place in Petra, I was already excited!

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Soap! Incense! They think we smell!

High Points:

The choice of city was already above and beyond the last two adventures we had received, and that was enough to captivate us from the start! Petra is an ancient city that we don’t really hear a lot about daily, so it was a blast to learn about while immersing ourselves in the puzzles! Like the London box, this one was fully non-linear, which is a much better setup than the fully linear Washington, DC experience, as when we were stumped with a puzzle, we could step back, let that simmer in our minds, and move to the next challenge. Several times, once we’d done that, we were able to come back to the previous riddle fresh, and successfully complete it. The props included are great, as are the puzzles and interactions that they are a part of, and each bit is excellently interwoven with the style and history of Petra. The adventure itself provides varied enigmas to work through, and as it is fully non-linear, everyone can remain immersed in the experience and take on the puzzles that play to their strengths. All in all, this box is what I was originally hoping for when I first discovered Finders Seekers. A well crafted puzzling adventure though an exotic and interesting city that includes fantastic surprises and immersive props!

Low Points:

The first thing about this box was both a great touch, and a terrible addition for certain puzzlers. The soap and incense that is included make the box smell amazing, and really adds to the authenticity of the experience. On the other hand, however, the scent was so strong, it triggered an allergic reaction in my girlfriend! Though she was ok and the reaction was mild, we had to put the soap away and ask for the answer from a member of the hint group on Facebook in order to solve that one. While there, we noticed that a lot of people were having this issue, so it’s definitely something to look out for! One particular puzzle involved quite a bit of tedious cutting, and a ridiculous amount of our solving time was dedicated to this mind-numbing task. A couple of perception puzzles included with this box don’t quite line up as one would expect, and even though we eventually deduced the answers, we still weren’t one hundred percent certain as to how parts of the answer could reasonably be derived. At some points during the meta puzzles, things can become confusing, as some words have been accidentally included multiple times within the puzzle.

Verdict:

Though the Petra box still includes some tedium and an illogical puzzle, the pros well outweigh the cons for this hunt! In fact, it was enough to ensure I wanted to continue my subscription for at least another month. This is the first Finders Seekers box I’d definitely recommend to anyone without caveats, (well, maybe one regarding soap,) and I look forward to trying out their Athens adventure soon! Order your next puzzle hunting adventure here! If you sign up through our link, we’ll earn credits towards a free box, and can bring you more content! They also provide a fun free Chicago mini hunt if you’d like to get a feel for their style of puzzles.

8/10 (Great)

Finders Seekers – Washington DC (May Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-2

Price: $30 per box

Puzzling with the Freemasons

Theme:

Each month, Finders Seekers invites you to accept a mysterious mission from the head seer. These “finds” are located in cities around the world and involve high stakes, cryptic puzzling, and shadowy societies! You’ll need a clever mind and some google-fu in order to piece together the puzzles and complete the find! And when you do, you might even receive a reward! This month, we’re hopping over to Washington DC to take on the Masons in a Puzzle Hunt Challenge!

First Impressions:

I’d previously enjoyed Finders Seekers’s London box, and thought I’d sign up to give a new city a go as I do love a good puzzle hunt. Upon opening the latest box, the contents did feel a fair bit sparser, but the online interactions from the last hunt did make up the bulk of the experience, so I wasn’t too worried. What was included seemed to be of good quality, so off we went!

High Points:

There are a lot of puzzles to solve in this month’s box, which follows a linear puzzle hunt path towards a big meta puzzle reveal. There’s definitely a good amount to work on, though the sweet spot is 2 players due to the nature of the hunt this go round. The wooden coin props, and a couple of the nicely presented, historically based props are well done, and bring the storyline to life. Puzzles are varied and some are even nicely tactile, allowing for a well-rounded hunt that everyone at the table can enjoy. The origami puzzle in particular was a very satisfying solve, even though it seemed insurmountable at first!

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History meets puzzle hunting in this month’s box!

Low Points:

While the previous Finders Seekers experience in London was a non-linear affair, Washington DC was a very strictly linear experience. This turned out to be a very big deal, as when we were stone cold stuck on a particularly poorly clued puzzle midway through, we had nothing else we could work on at all. The hint system for this puzzle was also very poor, as the hints only let us know what we already had figured out. We spent a good long while stumped on this one before we were accepted into the Finders Seekers Facebook group, where we had to pore through many messages before finding where we went wrong. This puzzle had not indication as to why it was set up this way and felt extremely arbitrary in it’s solving. Beyond this, there were only minor issues, one of which was due to the ambiguous printing of one puzzle in which it was hard to make out details in a detail oriented solve, and the slight let-down that some puzzles were just printed pages.

Verdict:

Washington DC wasn’t quite as fun as London,  but still presents a nice challenge for puzzle hunt enthusiasts who would like to enjoy a hunt from the comfort of their own home. This one I can only recommend to die hards, however, as it can get majorly frustrating when it does stumble. I’m going to have one more go at Finders Seekers to see where I stand on subscribing long term, however, as when the puzzles are strong, they’re really fun. Order your next puzzle hunting adventure here! If you sign up through our link, we’ll earn credits towards a free box, and can bring you more content! They also provide a fun free Chicago mini hunt if you’d like to get a feel for their style of puzzles!

6.5/10 (Alright)

Finders Seekers – London (March Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $30 per box

Puzzle Hunting at Home!

Theme:

Each month, Finders Seekers invites you to accept a mysterious mission from the head seer. These “finds” are located in exotic cities and involve high stakes, cryptic puzzling, and shadowy societies! You’ll need a clever mind and some google-fu in order to piece together the puzzles and complete the find! And when you do, you might even receive a reward!

First Impressions:

Another snazzy box gave me an idea of what enigmas might lie inside, while still giving off an air of mystique! Finders Seekers was one of the more mysterious boxes I’d received, as each month’s location and conundrum is veiled, ensuring that what you receive in each box is a surprise in itself!

High Points:

Finders Seekers is, at it’s core, a citywide puzzle hunt playable from the comfort of your own home! As someone who enjoys puzzle hunts, this was a great way to get that experience without having to travel or wait for one of the few great hunts to roll around. This is also one of those puzzle hunts that doesn’t just present obtuse, inaccessible riddles for the puzzling elite either. It presents a well crafted challenge, but provides just enough direction to get you started, ensuring a fun experience for all skill levels. Puzzle types also run the gamut from perception based, to logical, to word games, allowing different players to have their moment to shine! Several puzzles are presented all at once, and it’s up to you to determine which props sent to you belongs with each. These high quality items are fun to interact with, and figuring out which goes with which is sometimes an exciting puzzle in itself! This month’s find was located in London, England, and it was not only an enjoyable investigation into the Queen’s missing jewels, but an educational one as facts about the locations you explore are peppered within the clues themselves. Finally, once you complete the month’s find, you can enter yourself to win a mysterious prize! I’m not sure what prize is entailed, but I do hope I can win one for myself!

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Your tools for the hunt!

Low Points:

The story itself felt secondary to the puzzles, which isn’t a big deal, but we very much enjoy boxes that strike more of a balance between puzzles and story. Too much story, and there isn’t enough interaction to make the game worthwhile, but too little story tends to feel less immersive overall. We definitely prefer more puzzles to the alternative, but a little more narrative bread crumbs along the way couldn’t hurt the experience. One puzzle was slightly too obtuse, and while we had figured out the initial parts, getting to the solution from there wasn’t intuitive, but the hint system was very helpful in getting us back on track.

Verdict:

Finders Seekers is a great way to get your puzzle hunting fix if you’re into that style of adventure! I’m definitely intrigued by what new finds will come in the future, and look forward to virtually visiting new cities each new month! If you like an abundance of original puzzles and don’t mind story taking more of a backseat during your investigation, you’ll love these boxes! Embark on your city hopping adventure here! If you sign up using our link, we’ll receive credit towards earning a free box, and will be able to bring you more content!

7.5/10 (Good)

Full Disclosure: Finders Seekers provided a complementary box.