Club Drosselmeyer – Radio Broadcast of 1944 [Hivemind Review]

Club Drosselmeyer’s Radio Broadcast of 1944 is a print-and-play audio experience created by Green Door Labs in Boston, MA.

Club Drosselmeyer Radio Hour Field Agent Manual, a long with a letter and a slide-o-matic code decoder.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Audio game
  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play
  • Immersive theater (for the December 2021 live shows only)

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device that can call US phone numbers, printer, pen and paper, scissors (print-and-play version only)

If there are multiple players, it would help to print more than one copy of the materials. If printing from PDF, it’s better to print in color.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: unlimited, about an hour

Price: $30 for a digital and printable pdf (still available for purchase) or $45 for the mailed Drosseldossier (no longer available)

Booking: live shows took place in December 2021, but the printable version is still available to purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is an immersive theater event with live actors and puzzles. Listen to the radio program and solve the indicated puzzles. Then enter your answers via phone using the keypad.

During December of 2021, there was an option to play during the live show. During the live show, actors phoned and interacted with us, adding humor and immersion to the experience.

Photos and profiles of all of the Drosselmeyer characters.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Version: live show & print-and-play

After hearing so much about the Club Drosselmeyer experience in Boston, I was excited to play the 1944 Radio Broadcast live show event, even if it was a remote game again this year. My team gathered around the computer and at five minutes to showtime, we pressed play. Audio scenes reminiscent of an old-time radio drama drove the story while musical interludes of 1940’s orchestra music provided both atmosphere and pacing for the game. The puzzles were fairly easy, with most solvable by one or two players. But the puzzles are secondary to the immersive experience, which is highly impacted by the mindset of your team. If you are here only for the puzzles, you may be disappointed, but if you all get dressed up in your 40s best and serve your favorite martini, you will get much more out of the game. Since we attended the live show, we received several calls from in-character actors, and while not necessary to the overall storyline, these certainly added humor and quirky fun, and were easily the most memorable part of the game.

Having no prior experience with Club Drosselmeyer, I can’t really compare this to the in-person show – I would imagine it is a much more exciting experience. But the remote game is still worth playing, not for the puzzles, but for the entertainment.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Version: live show & print-and-play

The format of this game is a unique blend of physical paper and audio. I think that the combination is done well, and it is easy to immerse oneself in the story. The game is customized to the players in surprising little ways, and the voice acting is excellent. The printed puzzles are very nicely done, both visually and from a puzzle design standpoint. Experienced puzzlers will find the puzzle content on the easier side, but that makes this game quite appropriate for introducing puzzle games to friends and family.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Version: live show & mailed Drosseldossier

For those who, like me, have not yet had the privilege of attending an in-person Club Drosselmeyer event, these virtual experiences have been a delightful alternative. I will admit that this year’s experience was slightly less engaging than last year’s in some ways, but it was still a very polished and enjoyable experience regardless. My friends and I opted for the mail-ordered version and found it to be interactive and group-oriented enough to keep everyone entertained. I did, however, miss some of the previous year’s more immersive elements. I recall receiving phone calls from actors last year as well as more social media engagement encouraging costumes, decor, and period-appropriate food/beverages and crafts. This year’s version felt like a scaled-back, family-friendly, approachable version which may not please the diehard puzzlers but certainly makes for a recommendable activity! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see a young child had played along with their parents and everyone in the family seemed to have enjoyed it. Despite a slimmer gameplay experience, the tone-setting elements were still wonderful. From the live radio play with swinging ambient music, to the excellent voice performances from the cast, this year’s Club Drosselmeyer provided a rousing evening filled with adventure and story. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to join in person!

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