The Medusa Report is a tabletop narrative puzzle adventure created by Diorama in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Style of Play:
- Tabletop escape game
Who is it For?
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Any experience level
Required Equipment: Web access for hints and answer confirmation (desktop or mobile), pen & paper
Recommended Team Size: 2-4
Play Time: No game clock. Expect 1.5 – 2.5 hours, depending on your team size and experience level.
Price: Back on Kickstarter at €45 ($49) (excludine VAT and shipping) to receive a copy. Estimated retail price after Kickstarter is €59 ($65).
Booking: purchase and play at your leisure
This is a standard, tabletop puzzle game where all information is available at the beginning. Players are given a starting point to concentrate on. Each puzzle solved leads to more information about the story and points the player towards what to concentrate on next. The gameplay focuses on making connections and using the tangibles to extract information.
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
The Medusa Report from Diorama Games picked up the story where their previous game, The Vandermist Dossier, left off. Much like the first game in the series, The Medusa Report utilized well-crafted documents and other tangibles that felt like they came out of some secret archive after being hidden for years – which is appropriate, given that that is the conceit of the game. I found The Medusa Report to be more straightforward and in many ways easier to solve through than The Vandermist Dossier, but that’s not to say that it didn’t provide its own challenges that led to some aha moments after making the proper connection between artifacts and information. I truly appreciated how clearly and plainly the objectives (both the overall ones and the starting point) were stated at the beginning. It made sorting through the documents, all of which were available at the beginning, feel manageable and not overwhelming. If you’re looking to complete the bonus puzzles in The Medusa Report, you’ll need a copy of The Vandermist Dossier – but the base game is entirely playable without this other game. The Medusa Report is another compelling game from Diorama Games and I am looking forward to the third and final chapter in this trilogy!
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
The Medusa Report is a surprisingly puzzle-dense package. At first glance it looked like a deductive reasoning whodunit, but it turned out to use searching, observation, discovery, decoding, and spatial manipulation. The game components – despite all looking like legitimate real-world artifacts – are utilized cleverly as puzzle clues. We spent much longer than expected happily absorbed in playing this game. We only got stuck at one point early in the game and found the hint system easy to use and helpful. Overall, this game recreates well the mechanics I’ve experienced in playing in some real escape rooms in a tabletop form.
Matthew Stein’s Reaction
The Medusa Report was nothing short of brilliant.
Clocking in at around 1.5 to 2 hours for the core gameplay, no moment, item, or interaction was wasted. Beyond that, a bonus puzzle arc offered yet more layers of deliciously concealed secrets woven throughout the game.
Practically every single component of The Medusa Report was flat, yet an incredible depth emerged from consistently impeccable materials choices. Each document and photo utilized the specific type of paper needed to make these sources feel 100% authentic. The creators demonstrated an incredible attention to detail in the preparation of everything from colorful sticky notes to an embossed seal. I applaud the graphic design mastery that went into creating The Medusa Report; it outpaces just about any other tabletop puzzle game on the market, and handling these materials was pure bliss.
This level of polish and creativity was fully matched by the gameplay. A rapid-fire sequence of phenomenal visual ahas drove forward the narrative, complemented by stellar writing that never felt like too much reading. Whereas The Vandermist Dossier had a more linear story that unfolded as we progressed through the game, The Medusa Report had fewer intermediate plot points, instead building out a rich world that contained a bundle of secrets around a single event. The story elegantly built on the events and revelations from The Vandermist Dossier, and as such these games should be played in sequence.
I could not more highly recommend The Medusa Report. And if you haven’t yet played The Vandermist Dossier, also pick up a copy as an add-on in the Kickstarter.
David Spira’s Reaction
The Medusa Report is one of the best puzzle experiences you can have on your tabletop. From a puzzle design standpoint, everything was elegant. Even design choices that at first seemed inelegant later revealed their purpose. The progressive discovery led to exciting realizations, again and again. The materials were of exquisite quality, and they hid their secrets well.
The Medusa Report told a good story. There were characters with backstories and motives, but I didn’t find myself particularly invested in their plight.
Finally, I love that there were bonus puzzles. However, players need to have a copy of The Vandermist Dossier to engage with the bonus content. As someone who rarely keeps completed puzzle experiences, it was a bit disappointing to realize a different experience was required.
If you seek out the high end of tabletop escape and puzzle experiences, backing The Medusa Report on Kickstarter is a no-brainer. This is a must-play game by one of the top creators in the space.
Disclosure: Diorama Games provided the Hivemind reviewers with complimentary copies.