We ordered the latest puzzle game in a box from Raven Mystery Games – Murder On The Titanic. We had to wait for a while for it to arrive from the USA, but once it did, we were keen to play as a pair.
First off, it does not come in a box. It comes in a slim folder and comprises a newspaper, a cardboard deck plan for the Boat deck and A Deck for the Titanic, plus an additional paper copy of a partial deck plan for A Deck, a photograph of the murder victim, a cardboard invitation that has been sent to the victim, a paper copy of two letters plus three printed evidence booklets and an additional printed statement sheet.
There is also a note from the writers about the actual tragedy and an acknowledgement that their mystery aims to entertain, and not intended to disrespect the real people who lost their lives on April 14th and 15th, 1912. [My great-great-Uncle was one of those people]
The game components were good quality printing, mainly on card and in booklet form, with a few paper items. It was unfortunate that some of the papers had been folded in transit to the UK. And there was so much to read, we were glad one of the booklets stated “Start Here Guide” on the front.
The introduction explained this is an immersive murder mystery game and our goal was to uncover the identity of the killer of Lilian Frost and reveal the motive for murder. We were directed to read the assignment letter then go to a website to hear a short podcast. Following this, we could review the evidence in the pack and listen to recordings of statements on the website.
Unlike other puzzle games, we needed to read all the evidence individually. So we were not able to work together as a team in the way we usually do. Instead, we began to read all the information and take notes, ready to discuss later.
The first thing we noticed was that the invitation had a major error with the date – April 2012! Not off to a good start.
From then on, we were then watching out for other errors and things that may be missing…..and we spotted quite a few errors (a victim is named is Joseph Lancaster in the newspaper leading us to wonder if there were two murders) and omissions (there is no location given for the stateroom where Lilian’s body was found)
On the plus side, we spotted a message that needed decrypting so one of us set about solving the puzzle while the other carried on reviewing the statements and the suspect profiles.
It appeared that three additional statements had been added to the game later, as they were given separately to the main witness and evidence booklet.
After an hour and a half, having solved the message, listened to all the statements online and reviewed our notes from the written evidence, we found there were a number of things still unanswered.
Despite that, we were able to come up with who we thought the killer was and a motive. We looked on the website but there did not appear to be anywhere to enter our conclusion. It would have been good to see if we were right before playing the solution audio clip.
The solution podcast gives all the suspects in order and what their motive is. It gives the over view of the story and eliminates them one by one until the killer is unmasked. A good idea, but boy is the podcaster slow. He really needs to speed up his explanation before the listeners fall asleep.
A game with potential but unfortunately too many errors.
Full disclosure : The game was given to The City Adventurers by Raven Mystery Games to review. The City Adventurers paid for international postage from USA to UK. This does not affect our review.