This game was played April 2021.
A little box!
Something shiny to taste and bat at!
Quality sitting paper.
Many people know I have been a fan of Society of Curiosities, a company created by husband and wife team, Yacine and Michelle. Last year they launched their first kickstarter, Fairy Tale Files: Murder Mystery Games, that has players investigate crimes happening in the fairy tale world. Each of the crimes looks at what happens after the “happily ever after” we read at the end of the story. This Kickstarter game was not something I could ignore and I happily backed for the collector’s edition, which included a fancy wooden box, special wax seal, and twinkle lights. This series contains four episodes in its first run and are being sent out over the course of the year 2021 (think quarterly). This a review for the first episode, The Cinderella Murders.
The Cinderella Murders has you investigating the murders of Cinderella’s stepmother and one of her stepsisters who met their untimely end in the garden at night. As you search for clues you begin to unravel the story of what happened that faithful night, what secrets characters are hiding, and face a few puzzles as nothing is ever meant to be easy when you’re trying to catch a killer. I enjoyed the narrative. I loved seeing each character change under the lighting as we learned more about them. You are essentially examining key suspects and trying to check their alibi, look for motive, and find evidence that condemns or exonerates them. Through this you learn not all is what it seems. I loved the little twists in the stories and the unexpected characters and places you find. The artwork helped really tie the story together and I really felt the whimsy in this game balanced well with the darker element of the crime.
In terms of puzzles, there were ciphers, pattern identification, as well as the traditional clue finding (there are more but it would be spoilers if I said the others!). As a murder mystery game, the focus is on finding clues that would direct you to evidence or a new location that might provide what you need (there is also an element of deduction involved). I thought the puzzles were well done and were such fun! I only need a hint for one puzzle that I think needed a little more signposting but everything else was quite smooth and the AI for the game helped keep you on the direction you need to follow the story. I found the visual elements to each puzzle really worked for me and I am happy to say there is no writing on game components needed which I really appreciate for games I want to display.
For customer service, I have had no issues with Michelle and Yacine. They kept backers updated on progress and shipped in a pretty decent time frame with the game arriving about a week after they announced shipping. The box was beautiful made and stained and each component was well aged and beautifully drawn. I love the attention to detail! In my previous experiences with them, any issues or troubles I had were quickly addressed. The hint system they provide with the game is scaffolded pretty well and was super helpful without spoiling the game.
In the end, for the first instalment for this series, I was extremely happy with what I got. The artwork is beautiful, the narrative is well constructed, and I found the deduction in the game to work really well with all the puzzling and reveals. I think if you enjoy murder mysteries style games with puzzles and pixie dust this game is an excellent choice! This game took about an hour an a half for me to complete (I guess I’m just a novice player after all XD).