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.

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Bluefish Games – The Curious Elevator of Mr. Hincks [Review]

Going up!

Location:  at home

Date Played: May 31, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2

Duration: 3-5 hours (we took considerably less time)

Price: $35

REA Reaction

The Curious Elevator of Mr. Hincks was structurally innovative and filled with strong, crafty puzzles with a robust hint system.

Bluefish Games had been working for years to develop a product that they were happy with… and I know for a fact that they threw away at least one idea that they had gone deep into development on.

Initial opening of the box shows a wide variety of paper components.

Were there a few areas that could have been improved? Sure. The totally fine, but not-on-the-level-of-the-rest-of-the-game final puzzle comes to mind.

Overall, years of quietly testing ideas and honing their product seems to have paid off for Bluefish Games.

If you’re new to tabletop puzzling, this is a great place to start.

If you love tabletop puzzling and you’ve been around the block a few times, I’m betting that The Curious Elevator of Mr. Hincks will still find a few ways to surprise and delight you.

Recommending this game is an easy decision.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Some innovative puzzle design
  • Smooth gameplay
  • A strong self-service hint system

Story

Eccentric inventor Mr. Stephen P. Hincks had spent years developing his bepuzzled elevator. He was finally ready to show it to us.

Each floor that we visited had a “gift” in the form of a puzzle for us to untangle.

Curious Elevator of Mr Hincks box art, on a card board box.
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