Eleven Puzzles – Unboxing the Cryptic Killer [Hivemind Review]

Unboxing the Cryptic Killer is a point-and-click adventure game created by Eleven Puzzles.

Illustration of a person behind bars looking out at a strange jerry rigged contraption with a locked box, a walkie talkie, a sound system, and lights that spell "welcome."


Style of Play:

  • Online native experience
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Who is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection

You need two players, each with their own copy of the game. You can play on your computer, phone, or tablet. All you need is a working internet connection and a way to verbally communicate with your teammate.

Recommended Team Size: exactly 2

Play Time: There is no timer. Expect 1.5 – 2 hours.

Price: ~ $4 on Steam. Both players need to buy the game separately in order to play.

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure


Unboxing the Cryptic Killer is a two-player online adventure, where you take on the role of detectives.

Players use two separate devices to play, with each player picking one of the two characters. During play, the players each see a subset of the information, and need to verbally share details to make connections and solve puzzles. Some puzzles require players to coordinate operating on-screen controls.

A separate voice communication method is needed, such as a phone call or Discord voice chat.

Illustrated user interface of a 4 digit lock.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

In this two-player online adventure, we had to work together as detectives to solve a perplexing case.

At its best, the game encouraged communication. The puzzles were well-balanced in difficulty and style of challenge. Overall the flow was great. In addition, the comic-esque art style looked super cool. You can play across platforms (we played on a laptop and an Android phone, which worked flawlessly and synced us up.) There is also an autosave and a draw-on feature. What more do you want?!

At its worst, both players need to buy the game separately in order to play. With each level, the puzzle structure became a bit repetitive. The plot twist was predictable and far from shocking.

This well-thought-out game with its design, features, and puzzles made for a satisfying experience. On top of it all, it’s truly affordable even for players on a tight budget.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Way back in 2021 when we first reviewed Eleven Puzzles’ Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer, my review was mostly full of praise. I’m happy to report that the revamped version available now on Steam took a game that was already enjoyable and improved on it. I’m told that a majority of the puzzles were overhauled, and the differences between my notes from this playthrough and my original one are different enough to validate that. (Yes, I do have my notes from over two years ago.) Some were brand new and really leaned into the teamwork component; I especially enjoyed the new crate-pushing game. My main gripe with the original game time was the underdeveloped characters, and the new version added cutscenes that helped bring them to life better. This is still an entertaining game suitable for players of any skill level, so long as they can communicate effectively.

Illustrated comic of a detective character attempting to save a kidnapping victim.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Unboxing the Cryptic Killer was the most polished release yet from Eleven Puzzles. The gameplay was thoughtfully designed around communication between two players, with a range of information sharing, split controls, and individually solvable puzzles that provided information for the other side. Like Eleven Puzzles’ previous releases, the artwork was distinctive and attractive, while the voice acting, especially of a Scottish character, continued to be almost distractingly cartoonish.

Consisting of almost entirely new puzzles from the previous Unboxing the Mind of the Cryptic Killer, the fact that I struggled to remember whether any puzzles stayed the same is indicative of the general style. The puzzles were varied, but few were memorable (with the exception of a clever 2-player twist on a classic video game logic puzzle format, which I’d love to see made into its own longer form game.)

This is not to say that the puzzles weren’t fun; they perfectly facilitated the intended style of play and flowed well. Their structure was just overly predictable. Like all of Eleven Puzzles’ games, each level consisted of a 4-character lock, with 4 sub-puzzles providing a different digit. There was an over-reliance on certain extraction mechanics, specifically drawing paths that form numbers and counting things, that led to a recurring deja vu while solving puzzles. The game was a reasonable length, but without any narrative reasoning behind levels or puzzles, they often felt arbitrary and aimless, without any visible sense of progression throughout the game.

I’d recommend Unboxing the Cryptic Killer to duos with any level of experience looking for a fun couple of hours. This game showed signs of continued maturity for Eleven Puzzles, and I’d love to see them push the boundaries of their puzzle structure and storytelling techniques in future games.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

  • + Good assortment of puzzles that required communication and teamwork
  • + Fun multi-player interactions with no technical hiccups
  • – Occasionally lacking indications that items were clickable
  • + Puzzles allow time for thinking, with no artificial time limits
  • +/- Voice acting is very stylized, which may not be to everyone’s taste
  • + Good signposting of which pieces connect, allowing for discovery without frustration
  • + Graphics style is clear and easy to read
  • – Story is quite light, serving only to glue together the puzzles and provide a small bit of framing

Disclosure: Eleven Puzzles provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: