Review: Blast from the Past by Deadbolt Mystery Society

Review – Blast from the Past by Deadbolt Mystery Society

Website Link 

Price – ​​​​$26.99 (currently buy one get one free on one-time box purchases)

Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.

The Product:

Blast from the Past is an 80s themed experience from the Deadbolt Mystery Society. The class of 1986 is having their reunion, but someone from the reunion committee murdered the School Principal, their former classmate, before it could begin. Can you catch the killer or will they be able to dance the night away and then disappear forever?

The Deadbolt Mystery Society is a monthly mystery/puzzle subscription box service, but you can also purchase one-time box experiences to play (which is what we did with this one). All of their boxes are stand-alone, which means you don’t need to have played any of their other games to jump into a box.  Feel free to pick and choose themes that interest you or just jump into their newest game by purchasing a subscription.

Deadbolt Mystery Society relies heavily on QR codes, so players will need to have access to an internet connected device capable of reading them in order to play. This is mentioned on their website and on a card in the box that you read prior to beginning. Everything else you need to play is fully contained in the box.

Our Thoughts:

The 80s theming of Blast from the Past had us (especially Chaos) excited about this game.  Sure, we may have only been alive for the tail end of the actual decade, but we’re still big fans of its style and pop culture.  As fans of the 80s, there was a lot to appreciate about the contents of the box.  However, for those less familiar with the 80s, while the theme might not be quite as titillating, there are enough pieces of information and clues within the box to cover up any gaps in pop culture knowledge.  Anyone should feel safe taking this box and theme on.

The story is pretty straightforward and the characters fill in some of the classic high school roles, but they do their job to serve the greater mystery.  The 80s nostalgia is the clear highlight of the narrative, so this box stays fun and engaging.  The game does a good job of using the setting to create unique puzzles.  Rubix cubes, trivia, music, movies, and more are all utilized to set up interesting puzzles.

Blast from the Past is labeled an 8/10 on Deadbolt Mystery Society’s website.  We definitely felt like this one brought a decent level of challenge.  The puzzles are well put together and clued, but they’ll still take a lot of thought and effort.  We took a little while to build up momentum during the first few puzzles, but once we got going, we were fine.  Surprisingly, we felt the box got a little easier as we progressed, probably because we had had a better handle on the Deadbolt’s puzzling style and the resources in general.  Come into this game ready to put your thinking cap to use.

When it comes to the actual craft and fun of the puzzles, we found ourselves quite pleased.  The box packed into a lot to sift through and then made good use of what was available.  Even items that initially seemed present more for theming, ended up being important as time went on.  The puzzle layout is linear, and it is pretty clear what components the game wants you to focus on at any given point, but there is still some flexibility on how and when players approach puzzles.  This created a good feel of knowing when we were progressing through the mission while also giving us the freedom to explore and get excited when resources became relevant later on.

The game made good use of QR codes and the password entry system was clear and simple.  This was a good way of letting players find combinations and passwords for locks without needing to actually provide locks and lockboxes.  The game made good use of technology without relying so heavily on it that it pulled us from the gameplay.

Overall, we were very pleased with our first foray into the Deadbolt Mystery Society’s puzzling adventures.  We would recommend Blast to the Past to any puzzle game lover, but especially those with a fondness for the 80s.  This game brings the challenge while staying fun and avoiding frustration points.  We especially liked how much the game had to offer at its lower price point.  We’ll definitely be checking out more of Deadbolt Mystery Society’s games in the future!  

Official C&C Rating:

Narrative: 3.5/5

Puzzles: 4/5

Overall Fun: 4/5 

Total Averaged Rating: 3.8/5

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