What Are We Playing? [July-Aug 2021]

Every month or so on this blog we highlight a handful of tabletop and digital games to spread the word about interesting experiences and support other creators -- here is our summer roundup!

The Fairy Tale Files: The Curious Case of the Poisoned Apples by Society of Curiosities

I enjoyed Society of Curiosities' first “Fairy Tale File,” The Cinderella Murders, and the second installment in the series was equally delightful; the goal in the story was to find out who killed two people with a glass slipper, given three suspects and various pieces of evidence. Although The Curious Case felt marginally easier, it still maintained a level of creativity that sometimes feels lacking in low-difficulty puzzles. While this may not be the game to choose if you’re looking for a challenge, the theme and complexity level make it an excellent option to play with kids or puzzle newbies. Plus, the lighthearted tone and witty writing put a great twist on a set of classic fairy tale characters and made it feel welcoming and accessible for a wide audience.

Time: <1h

Difficulty: 1/5

The Fisherman’s Tale (VR)

A Fisherman’s Tale takes place in a 360-degree virtual world, where the player takes on the role of a fisherman’s puppet, living in a tiny model lighthouse. The story was charming, and the puzzles mind-bending, requiring you to think outside the box (often literally!) Although the gameplay was rather similar to the spatial logic tricks of Maquette, which I wrote about in a previous post, the VR environment augmented the experience and transformed the game into something more singular. My only complaint is that at times it was unclear how to accomplish a task, and while there was occasionally a voice to help “guide” you, it often wasn’t very helpful. I would have preferred clues I could access at will rather than unprompted comments that would only occasionally get me back on the right track, but this is a relatively minor issue in what is overall a polished game full of beautiful and surprising moments.

Time: ~3h

Difficulty: 1.5/5

Retro Rad Pizza Adventure by Trapped Puzzle Rooms

This game arrived in an actual pizza box, which made for a delightful arrival (but a less-than-delightful process of unrolling all the paper sheets inside...) The gameplay was di