I came across an intriguing boxed game, Escape The Murder Mansion. It purported to be a Murder Mystery combined with an Escape Room. “Solve the puzzles, find the killer” it said on the box.
As it was billed as a game for up to 8 people, we gathered a group of City Adventurers and opened the box…..
The box contains seven character cards for seven of the players, a notebook and a couple of pencils for taking notes and a decoder wheel. There is also an Investigators Case file and a special magnifying glass, which belongs to the detective (the 8th player).
Play begins like a murder mystery party.
- Seven players are allocated a character and the 8th character takes on the role of detective/organiser.
- The detective informs everyone that a body has been discovered (whoooo)
- They tell the party that they have managed to interview all the suspects (ie all the other players) and have collected their statements.
- Unfortunately, when the detective went outside to check the grounds, they became locked out.
- Now all the suspects are trapped inside the Murder Mansion with the killer!
- Luckily the detective had taken all the statements outside and has made notes of things to investigate.
- The detective posts their Investigators Case file and special magnifying glass through the letter box, along with all the annotated statements.
So far, so good. This was playing out like a murder mystery party.
The chosen players were given their statements to read to the group. Then, instead of questioning each other, we had to solve the puzzles indicated by the detective. In other words, it was time for the Escape Room part.
This was where the game fell down.
There was only one puzzle book – The Investigators Case file. It was quite small, with small writing. Well, I suppose it did have to fit through the letterbox. But it’s a small book to be crowded around by 8 people.
The puzzles themselves could be solved by one person. So seven of us were left hanging around with nothing to do, waiting for a turn with the puzzle book and magnifying glass.
Even when we found a short cut way to solve some of the puzzles for the decoder wheel, it made for a long wait. And using the shortcut meant we didn’t get the full puzzle experience. In short, we found it frustrating and gave up trying to play this as a party game.
All in all, this was not a good game to play as a group. Maybe we gave up too soon, but it seemed more like a puzzle pack you could work your way through over a number of evenings. After all, there were 7 suspects, with 4 puzzles each to solve, plus 4 victim puzzles.
If you fancy giving it a go, by yourself or maybe as a couple, Escape The Murder Mansion is available from Amazon