Review – Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer
Website Link – https://elevenpuzzles.com
Price – $20
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
A little background from Confetti:
Around the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, Chaos and I played a fun puzzle video game called Tick Tock: A Tale For Two on our Nintendo Switches. The game required us to work collaboratively to solve puzzles across our different devices. It was fun and unique – we’d never played anything like it before. I loved the concept, but couldn’t really find anything similar to follow it up with.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was scrolling through one of my favorite facebook groups and decided to search for “Tick Tock” on a whim to see what other people had thought of the game. My search brought up a review for “Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer” and I was immediately sold. Instead of being played on switches, the game was designed to be played on the browser while communicating with friends via audio or video messaging. I texted one of our close friends who is currently living in Hawaii to see if she and her husband might want to play with us since they had also enjoyed Tick Tock and love puzzles. They quickly agreed. All that was left was to pick a date to play!
As stated above, Eleven Puzzle’s “Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer” (UMCK) is played across two devices with each device playing as a different detective working the same case. You’ll be given similar but different tools and information to work with. Across multiple levels you’ll need to work together to open the same locks, sharing what information you can in order to solve the puzzles left behind by the Cryptic Killer. For example (in a non-spoilery way), the detectives might be given different ciphers, images, articles, tools, and other artifacts. Then, they must figure out which items compliment each other and how they can be used in unison to unlock further information.
With only 90 minutes to work, it’s a race against the clock before your detectives prove no match for the Cryptic Killer.
We appreciated the easy start and set up for UMCK. There was no need to download any apps or sign up for any websites. After paying, we were given an access code and a link. From purchase to play, it took about two seconds. Thankfully, a quick sharing of the link and access code was all we needed to line things up with our friends. We also used a separate video call to allow our teams to talk to one another.
UMCK provided a variety of puzzles that kept each level fresh while still adhering to the same overall mechanics. The types of information worth sharing and how it might be relevant kept evolving and we never felt like we were beating the same level each time or simply plugging new information into the same puzzles.
The theming felt secondary for this experience during most of our playthrough. We were introduced to the premise and it was reinforced along the way, especially making itself known at the end, but it mostly felt like an excuse to move us from one set of puzzles to the next. We can’t be too upset about that though, since the puzzles themselves were strong and you can only expect so much immersion when playing on a computer screen.
Your average real world, in-person escape room can easily cost $20 – $30 a person in our area. Most of those experiences last about an hour. At only $20 for a 90 minute experience for an entire group of four, UMCK felt like a steal. Like its real world counterpart, UMCK didn’t actually take us the entire 90 minutes, but it was close enough that the advertised time frame felt appropriate.
For those wondering, we beat the game in 1 hour 21 minutes (and one second). Not too bad when one team is also dealing with putting a baby down to sleep for the night.
Eleven Puzzles plans on releasing a new game, Secret Lab, in early 2022 and we’re already looking forward to playing that one as well.
If you decide to dive into “Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer,” we hope you have as much fun as we did. Happy hunting, detectives!