Deadbolt Mystery Society – Last Resort [Hivemind Review]

Last Resort is tabletop puzzle-based murder mystery game created by Deadbolt Mystery Society.

Deadbolt Last Resort box beside an inflated beach ball and an assortment of colorful paper puzzle items.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

Price: the price per box is $24.99 for a month-to-month subscription

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This was a puzzle-based murder mystery game. It was designed to be part of a monthly puzzle box subscription service.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Last Resort found a happy medium between a puzzle game and a murder mystery deduction game, yet it fell short in both areas. We really enjoyed the puzzle flow of the game. There were no ambiguous puzzles; each was clear and easy to solve. The puzzles weren’t anything exciting. Even 2 days after playing, I can’t remember any of the puzzles. If you don’t like math puzzles (luckily our team did, but I know that’s a rarity), this game will be the bane of your existence. The story was somewhat interesting, but a teammate who has played very few deduction tabletop games guessed the “twist” in the first chapter. The story feels overdone and was predictable. The components were nicely printed on mostly cardstock postcards. We wished the game utilized more varied components and fewer homework-esque paper puzzles.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

The Deadbolt Mystery Society’s Last Resort is a budget-friendly take on a tabletop mystery-in-a-box, with an accessible level of difficulty and a standard murder-on-a-remote-island story. I’m impressed by any company able to churn out a new subscription box each month, and in the case of The Deadbolt Mystery Society, it seems this wealth of experience has led to polish in some areas and complacency in others.

Last Resort’s puzzle flow was admirably smooth and clearly clued. Even when a bunch of materials was unlocked, it was consistently clear what to do next. That said, this flow often felt too straightforward and none of the puzzles were particularly satisfying in their solutions or presentation, though the smooth easy progression was still fun overall. Where the game really fell short for my team was in the story and production value. The writing felt stilted and went on for far longer than it needed for the value it provided. Nearly all the game’s materials were paper, with a clip art aesthetic, and the one non-paper component was used in a very simplistic way (though it was adorably appropriate for the island theme.) This also carried into the box itself, on which the artwork was printed at a jarringly low resolution.

The Deadbolt Mystery Society seems like a decent choice for true crime fans looking for regular, reliable content. For an audience of escape room or puzzle enthusiasts, however, there are many other offerings on the tabletop puzzle game market at a similar price point which provide higher quality materials, better written narratives, and more interesting puzzles.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

I was impressed by how polished and high quality the printed material was! Also, I quite enjoyed the story, but folks should be warned that the text does directly describe people getting murdered. There is a substantial quantity of puzzles, although none of them are particularly difficult. Unfortunately, the game interface detracted somewhat from my enjoyment. Puzzles are solved by scanning a QR code, and unlocking a password-protected PDF. Since I had to scan the code using my phone, the PDF was viewable only on that very small screen. If I were playing in a group, this would have been inconvenient. Furthermore, scanning a new code means losing the previously opened file. This made it hard to refer to previous material, as was sometimes necessary. Ultimately, this game would benefit from a better interface, especially for group play. But as a solo player, the story and puzzles are designed well enough that I still had fun with it.

Note that Deadbolt Mystery Society’s Last Resort was a previous month’s episode and it is now sold out. Your purchased subscription will start with the current month’s game.

Disclosure: Deadbolt Mystery Society provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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