Review – Game VIII. Dinner with Anonymous by Scarlet Envelope
Website Link – https://www.scarletenvelope.ca
Price – $30CAD (approximately $23.57 USD)
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
The Scarlet Envelope is an at-home puzzling experience made up of both digital and physical components. Players will be sent an envelope containing several puzzles and resources that will help them solve a mystery. A cool and unique aspect of The Scarlet Envelope is that while each of their games can be played as standalone experiences, they can also be played as part of a larger story and mystery. In total, there will be thirteen chapters. Eight of them have been released so far.
Our review will focus specifically on the 8th chapter: Dinner with Anonymous. Chaos decided to grab it on a whim when he saw a Friday the 13th sale recently. This is their latest envelope experience. The game offers two levels of difficulty: starter and experienced. We opted for the experienced level. The premise involves a television-headed murder, abuduction, and dinner. We set in for a creepy encounter.
As stated before, we bought Dinner with Anonymous on a whim and didn’t really know anything about the quality going in. It turns out that taking this blind leap of faith was the right call. Dinner with Anonymous turned out to be one of our favorite puzzle experiences.
This game does everything right. While only so much can be placed in an envelope, The Scarlet Envelope makes everything count. There are plenty of puzzles to tackle and we got about an hour and a half to two hours of game play out of this experience. The puzzle paths and goals were all very well defined while still letting us explore what was on hand. The cluing was well done and yet still made us feel good as we figured things out for ourselves. Each puzzle felt challenging enough to be satisfying but never difficult in a frustrating way. This provided the perfect difficulty level for us.
Fantastic puzzles would have been enough for us to recommend Dinner with Anonymous but they also delivered in the narrative and immersion departments as well. Each of the components, both digitally and physically, were well designed and crafted. The story was well delivered and easy to follow. A lot of the game’s little touches, from how they implemented their hint system to making sure you could set the mood in your play area (sorry no spoilers), were fun surprises and really added to our overall enjoyment.
For those worried that jumping straight into chapter eight of a thirteen part story might feel strange and disjointed, fear not. While we saw how this chapter tied into a larger narrative, it didn’t make us feel confused. All it really did was make us want to go back and catch up on the previous chapters. However, even if that wasn’t an option, this game does definitely stand up on its own.
The Scarlet Envelope truly delivered a well-designed experience that hit all the right buttons. The story was intriguing, the puzzles were fun and challenging, and the overall experience was top notch. We highly recommend this well-priced experience, and we know we’ll be checking out the other chapters for ourselves soon.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 5/5
Final Averaged Rating: 5/5