Escape Kit: The Mysterious Murder review

Published by Escape Goats on

A mysterious escape room kit for families and adults which turns your home into a giant murder party. Download and print the kit to begin an investigation that shook the Thompson’s Family! On Sunday, November 15, at around 9pm, Berkshire police received an alarming call from an anonymous guest who stayed at the Thompson’s Mansion where the wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson took place. Mary Thompson was found dead in her room, cause of death unknown, with no signs of break-in.
60 minutes
3-5 players
Difficult
$20 per team
Play at home (based in France)
escape-kit.com
Played by Daiman, Paul, Bharath
May 2020
Completed in around 50 minutes

Theming

6/10Mileage may vary on this one! The company is called Escape Kit for a reason – everything you need to host your own escape experience exists within the pack that Escape Kit electronically deliver. From invites to those whimsical cards some games give you to hold up for your victory/failure photo, everything is present and accounted for. So, on that hand, it’s really cool. The flipside to this is where we suffered – if you’re not going to play the game in the spirit that it’s intended, its a fairly weak offering. That is to say, the way the puzzles are presented, they really use the ancillary materials as a crutch. Given that we played this from three different locations, all we interacted with was the core game elements and from that perspective, it didn’t feel as complete as other play at home games have done. Fully recognise that some of that falls on us for not playing it the way that it was designed to be but obviously, we can’t right now and even if we could, I’m not sure we’d go to the bother of going all out with it. It’s something to bear in mind, this game is very dependent on you fully embracing the concept of transforming your home into an escape room for an hour or so. If you don’t, the experience rings slightly hollow.

 Daiman

7/10The Mysterious Murder is a print at home puzzle game from French-based Escape Kit. They specialise in family-friendly escape experiences, but I’m not sure that this murder theme, albeit quite mild, is particularly suitable for children! You must all be in the same location to play this, and you need a double sided printer. The PDF materials are well designed in a childlike style. Either one person becomes the host and sets everything up, or everyone can play if you’re careful to avoid the answers. You’re also sent bonus printable items like funny messages and awards, and there’s a YouTube playlist to soundtrack your game, although the link to it didn’t work. These all aid in making the game more immersive and experiential.

Paul

6/10[score only]

 Bharath

Puzzles

4/10Speaking to my earlier comments about the theming, this line of thought extends to the puzzles too. They are very simplistic, to the point that overthinking is entirely possible and solving them wasn’t particularly rewarding. Again, I’m willing to concede that some part of that is down to us playing it in a stripped-down manner when it clearly isn’t meant to be engaged with in such a fashion. But, I also cannot see us viewing them any differently if we were in a dressed room. It would definitely help but fundamentally it feels as though the game contents are underdeveloped, lost in the noise of the supplemental material. As though the overarching experience has been designed first and the actual gameplay shoehorned in around it.

 Daiman

4/10I didn’t know what to expect because Escape Kit’s website is quite childlike, but The Mysterious Murder is quoted as being difficult and suitable for older children and adults. It turned out to be a very easy game that I feel is suited for older children with a bit of help from their parents, or escape room novices. The puzzles rarely challenged me, with some taking mere seconds to solve. The reason we still took around 50 minutes to complete this was because of the pill puzzle which I still don’t understand the logic behind, and the fact we were all in different locations so had to play directly from the PDF’s which were designed for printing only. For the right audience, the puzzles are fine, but I was left wanting.

Paul

5/10[score only]

 Bharath

Enjoyment

4/10With the puzzles being extremely simplistic, the game itself wasn’t terribly fun to play. Flow was non-existent and it didn’t feel cohesive as a whole. I think there’s potential for sure, I genuinely love the idea of a party-in-a-pack and a fair bit of fun could be had with it. But the game itself needs to be worked on. There’s no denying that Escape Kit are on the right track with the overall concept, the gameplay itself just needs some development. Spend a bit more time beefing up the puzzles and this could be more of a contender.

 Daiman

4/10This game confuses me. The visuals are for kids, the gameplay is for older kids with the help of adults, the theme is for adults and the website makes out it is for both families and adults. It seems they are trying to cater for everyone when they just need to pick a target audience and fully embrace it. I was disappointed by the simplicity of the puzzles, considering they class them as difficult. Unless they just mean it’s difficult for children? Although it wasn’t for me, I can see The Mysterious Murder being a fun family activity to bring everyone together, as long as the parents don’t mind the murder theme! They provide you with add-on items like birthday messages to print out, so it would be good for parties.

Paul

5/10[score only]

 Bharath

Value

3/10You know, it’s only been a few weeks but I’m suffering by being the only member of this site who has a printer. Printing I don’t mind but cutting out is the Devil’s work! Admittedly, for a remote game, there was only one part that we really needed to print out but other bits are recommended otherwise you won’t be able to avoid seeing answers throughout your time playing! Which is actually a side-note – this game needs to be prepared by someone who isn’t actually playing or I can’t see how they can avoid spoiling the majority of the game for themselves. That part of the design needs some thought… But, anyway, for the price that it is, you effectively have to supply your own paper and do the hard work of cutting everything out which would get tiresome very quickly! Long-winded way of getting to my point; for the cost, you still have to bring a lot more effort to get it to the state that it’s intended to be in. Yes, electronic delivery obviously has the benefit of being instant but, to my mind, the price is too high considering all of that plus the fact that the game itself is very basic. At half the price that it’s currently offered at, the proposition is more appealing though still with all of its flaws. I do completely understand that a lot of work has gone into piecing together all the elements but, as a complete package, I don’t think it’s a competitive product.

 Daiman

4/10Confusingly, their website shows two different prices for this game. Although some parts say $22, it’s actually $20 per team currently. But even at $20, it’s the most expensive play at home game that I’ve played so far, despite it not actually containing that much. There’s just some PDF’s of images and simple puzzles that you need to print, cut and glue at your own expense. An immersive house party escape kit that turns your house into a crime scene is a great idea and with some tweaks and in the right hands, it could do really well. But this was too simplistic for me, and I felt the subject matter didn’t align with the target market.

Paul

5/10[score only]

 Bharath

Overall scores

  • Theming - 6.33/10
    6.3/10
  • Puzzles - 4.33/10
    4.3/10
  • Enjoyment - 4.33/10
    4.3/10
  • Value - 4/10
    4/10
4.8/10