Location: Your Home!
Players: We recommend 1-3
Price: £168.00 for a full season, £30.00 a month for a subscription (Six episodes)
From the Detective Society website:
Timothy Lee has fallen into a coma and no one can work out why. His doctor suspects foul play, but there’s one thing that’s missing: evidence. There’s more to Timothy’s condition than meets the eye.
You’ll need to use the tactics of a real detective, solving puzzles and using your investigative skills to discover the truth about Timothy Lee.
I’m always excited to hear about new subscription boxes, and a lot of folks seemed to love The Detective Society Season 1, so when the creators reached out about reviewing Episode One of their new season, I was excited, to say the least! Once the box arrived at our door all the way from the UK, I couldn’t wait to get started!
The first thing that really stood out to me about The Detective Society is their amazing sense of humor. I absolutely loved reading over every little bit, and taking part in a few optional interactions that didn’t move the game forward, but were definitely worth it for the chuckle. Though it was immediately obvious the experience would be much more investigative than we are used to, it was clear that this experience wouldn’t be forcing us into Sherlockian deductions or one and done guesses as to what the solution would be, instead taking a much more engaging and entertaining approach by encouraging us to make deductions as we progressed and not revealing the answer if we happened to guess wrong. Putting together the many clues and following up with characters via email was excellently implemented, and ensured the entire experience remained immersive from start to finish.
Though we received many of the clues up front, it was easy to determine what was relevant at any given time, and there were no red herrings to be found. Though the game is pretty strictly linear, (we did work on one step a little before we knew the significance, but that was more us feeling out the flow of a new game,) it doesn’t feel restrictive, and while we did not use the clues during the game, having a look afterwards confirms they are exhaustive and well layered for each part of the experience. We really enjoyed the narrative experience, and were pleased that instead of being a strictly story based adventure, there was still plenty of thinking and interaction required on our side, something narrative games sometimes tend to leave out. Overall, this first episode is a solid start, and we are very interested to see how the story and the difficulty curve develop from here!
The box itself is beautiful, and thin enough for easy storage, but even without being taped closed, the tabs did not want to give up the prize inside. We had to cut it open, which means it doesn’t close back very well, but it’s a minor thing in the grand scheme. We had a little trouble starting off, mostly due to not knowing quite how these boxes work, and it wasn’t totally clear that what we assumed was the ultimate objective was actually the first thing we needed to do. Mostly our bad, but it’d definitely help if it was clearer that this was our starting point. As more experienced players, this box took us a bit less time than average, and for players who are very experienced, this might be more suited as a solo adventure, just based on how things are presented. The game is more narrative and making connections based rather than outright puzzling, so folks who are looking for a more puzzle focused adventure may be disappointed. Overall, however, pretty much everything in this section is a very minor critique.
The Detective Society has delivered a truly exciting start to their second season with this episode! Delivering a mystery that immediately snared our interest, well designed clues that tie into each other beautifully, and a bevy of websites and characters to interact with, this is certainly an adventure that can’t be missed. I’m intrigued to see how this mystery develops, and can absolutely recommend this one without reservation! You can join the Society here!
Full Disclosure: The Detective Society provided a complementary copy for review.