Jess: When I was in middle school, murder mystery games really intrigued me. I got to play in one and, sadly to say, the 8th graders I knew just didn’t do a very good job at portraying their characters and giving out clues. The game devolved and I don’t remember if we ever discovered the killer. Despite my lackluster start, live-action experiential games fascinate me. I have always wanted to try an escape the room game, but I have not yet had the pleasure, so when Thinkfun Inc. announced they are releasing the first ever Escape the Room game that you can play at home, called Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor, I got pretty excited.
Image Credit: Disney
In a typical Escape the Room event you must search an area for hidden clues, objects, etc… that will help you escape a locked room. In Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor, 3-8 players get scene cards, sealed envelopes, and a solution wheel that help you solve the puzzles of the game.
“To create Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor we studied Escape the Room events, and identified ways to bring that authenticity, challenge, and suspense to a game you can play anywhere,” said Bill Ritchie, ThinkFun, Inc. CEO and Co-Founder. “The game presses you to think critically and be creative, and calls for teamwork. It’s a great way for families to spend time together.”
The basic story of the game, According to Thinkfun’s site, is: “It’s 1869 and you are the recently-dismissed caretaker of the Stargazer’s Manor. You will be inviting your friends to join a secret investigation into the behavior of the well-known and respected astronomer in your small seaside town. The astronomer began acting very strangely after the passing of his wife several years ago, eventually disappearing into his estate. And now, strange things seem to be happening outside of his home—loud and unfamiliar noises, an unpleasant smell, smoke billowing from the observatory. You and your friends are on a mission to find out what is going on at the Stargazer’s Manor. But be careful, in the end, you may be the ones that need saving…”
Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor will be available in March 2016 for MSRP $21.99. I’m hoping to get to preview a copy at this weekend’s Toyfair.