Bluefish Games – Hincks Gazette [Review]

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Puzzle newspaper is surprisingly satisfying!”

Location:  at home

Date Played: June 7, 2020

Team size: 1-2; we recommend 1-2

Duration: 1-2 hours

Price: $22 for 3 months, $39 for 6 months

REA Reaction

Quick, affordable, and surprisingly fun… with an emphasis on the surprise.

A copy of the Hincks Gazette being held up in front of a fireplace. The frontpage headline reads, "Talking plants now talking back. House plants sassing families all over town."

I don’t typically enjoy the writing in tabletop puzzle games, but The Hincks Gazette was humorous and well written.

The puzzle types that Bluefish Games used throughout this experience fell into categories that I usually dislike, but Bluefish Games managed to make each and every puzzle intriguing and exciting.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, and each time I started thinking, “this isn’t going to be for me,” my expectations were subverted in the best kind of way.

Quick-hit subscription games are tough. It’s hard to sustainably produce quality content on an ongoing basis. Will The Hincks Gazette maintain this level of quality over the long haul? I cannot say. For now, however, I’m really happy with this product and wholeheartedly recommend it for word puzzlers.

I doubt that The Hincks Gazette will blow your mind, but for the price and the level of commitment, like The Curious Elevator of Mr. Hincks, this was easy to recommend.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Smart puzzling in an elegant and inexpensive package
  • It’s funny

Story

We picked up a newspaper with a curiously incomplete story about sassy talking houseplants and how to make them stop being mean. The catch was that the last part was missing, and we really needed to fix our talking houseplant. The negativity was getting to us.

Setup

The front page story established a light narrative and the rest of the newspaper contained the puzzle content we needed to solve sequentially.

The first puzzle was overtly a puzzle, and each subsequent solve guided us in the direction of the next puzzle in the sequence.

Gameplay

Bluefish Games’ Hincks Gazette was a play-at-home puzzle game contained on a 11×17 double-sided newspaper. It had a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, and puzzling.

Analysis

Hincks Gazette was delightful. The writing was fun and funny. We enjoyed this short, light-hearted puzzle paper.

➕ The puzzles were tightly constructed and they flowed well from one to the next. Bluefish Games twisted classic styles just enough to make them unusual and interesting. In fact, they made puzzle styles that don’t usually excite me into fun solves.

➖ The final step of one solve was best handed over to a tool. Yes, it could have been worked out, but even with the cluing, we weren’t going to get there. It was just a bit too long of a stretch.

➕ The art felt right. It was appropriately newspaper-y.

➕ Although Hincks Gazette was loaded with words, it never felt like too much to read. From the beginning, it was a comfortable amount of content to work through.

❓ Bluefish Games leans into word puzzles. You need to be very comfortable in English to solve some parts of this game.

Tips For Players

  • Space Requirements: a small table
  • Required Gear: a pen or pencil

Buy your copy of Bluefish Games’ Hincks Gazette, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Bluefish Games provided a sample for review.

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