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What Are We Playing? [June 2021]

Each month 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 this month's roundup!

CryptX Adventure Postcard by Inside the Box Games

With the long delay from this Kickstarter campaign, I was happy to receive the Adventure Postcard as a teaser of what’s to come in the game and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was not just a postcard but a handful of items hidden inside what appears to be a postcard at first glance. These were nicely designed and served as an enjoyable mini-mystery and introduction to the play style. Although one item could have benefited from greater precision, it was fun to puzzle through and made me look forward to the release of the full CryptX game.

Time: ~1h

Difficulty: 2/5

Stokes Barker Chapter 1:The Invitation by Sherlock’s Mysteries

This was another mini-mystery that arrived as a precursor to the full Sherlock’s Mysteries game and involved solving the disappearance of jazz legend Stokes Barker. It contained a surprising amount of materials in such a small envelope, which allowed for some clever solves and fun interactions. There was a good progression of cluing and discovery, and we enjoyed the little bits of humor sprinkled throughout. It seemed to be lacking a hint system, however the puzzles were intuitive enough that we didn't need one to complete it. It also contained a personal touch, which was a pleasant surprise and a nice note to finish on.

Time: ~1h

Difficulty: 2/5

Escape Mail by Mobile Escape #6 - Quiet as the Grave

This installment from Mobile Escape had us cracking codes to open up a safe in a cemetery and included several video segments. While most of the puzzles in this episode felt relatively straightforward, a couple also left us backsolving for the solution and could have used a little more clarity in execution. Thankfully hints are included in this series, and we appreciated the use of the physical prop in the puzzle.

Time: ~1h

Difficulty: 1.5/5

LEGACY: Quest for a Family Treasure by Argyx Games

LEGACY was a two-part game in which a letter from a notary revealed the existence of “our” family’s treasure, hidden somewhere in Europe. The first part, Eiffel 1889, took place in Paris and had us puzzling through some beautifully designed props, including a newspaper, map, and various trinkets that were fun to manipulate. The second part, Hellas, took place in Greece and likewise contained some small objects and locally-themed materials. Both of these were enjoyable to solve through and felt like a step up from Argyx’s first game, Apocalypse. The only issue we encountered was an international phone number, which didn’t work for us, but thankfully a hints page was available to allow us to proceed past this part.

Time: ~1.5h for Eiffel 1889, ~1h for Hellas

Difficulty: 2/5

Scarlet Envelope #4 - Breakfast for a Serial Killer

Breakfast for Serial Killer was a change of pace from what we’ve come to expect from Scarlet Envelope, as it presented a deductive murder mystery rather than just a series of puzzles. We were trying to solve the murder of a waitress in a 50’s diner, given some paper materials, evidence from the crime scene, as well as some recordings of the suspects, presented digitally. Although we found the puzzles in this chapter enjoyable, some of the clues to the overall mystery felt a little too subtle for our team. That said, we’re not the greatest Sherlocks out there, so those more familiar with the murder mystery style will probably feel right at home with this episode.

Time: <1.5h

Difficulty: 2/5

What have you been playing this month?

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