Mar 17, 2021: Balthazar

Over the past couple of years, I have thrown money at a few different Kickstarter projects.

And then the pandemic came along and now all the Kickstarter things have all kind of bottlenecked so that we are in a steady dribble of various boxes and things arriving.

The first of these is the Mystery Agency’s first box – The Balthazar Stone. It’s an escape room style game in a box. It’s replayable – assuming you can forget all the puzzles, and can be passed onto other people when you’ve played it. Unlike some of the escape room games, nothing is destroyed along the way and everything is as it was when you’re done. There’s even a little reset document so you can prime it for another player or just to reminisce about what it’s like to reset some puzzles when they’ve been solved. To make it more accurate, we could have thrown the padlocks around the room or locked them all together in a bunch. But we didn’t.

The box arrived a couple of days ago, but we played it tonight on a rare night where Carole isn’t up to her eyeballs in furthering her education.

We got it. We opened it. And we played it.

I was initially worried, from the first puzzle, that it was going to be some easy shizz through and through, but it really got us thinking. And we completely ignored a couple of the clues that we’d unpacked from the box for quite some time, because that’s the way we work. In fact for a while we were stuck on one puzzle which we had the basis of the idea for, but not all the components… possibly because we’d willfully ignored them. Once, however, we jumped on that train of thought, we were bound for Solvesville, via Fathoming It Out Junction.

It was a good little puzzle. In a good little box. And outside the box as well, as it journeys into the realm of cyberspace with websites set up to help you uncover bits of the puzzle along the way. In fact, as multi-media escape rooms go, it was up there with some actual real rooms. And that’s not bad for a thing I backed on Kickstarter purely based on the fact that the person who created it is part of the brains behind Mischief Comedy, the people who do The Goes Wrong Show and The Play That Goes Wrong – things which are not related to escape room style puzzling, but do show an amazing sense of invention and creativity.

Which is all in the box.

And it’s pretty bloody good.

There are two more boxes coming in a sort of drip feed. One about a vanished gambler. And one about a haunted board game.

On the strength of this one, I’m very much looking forward to both of those.

I’m not sure when they’ll arrive, though. I’m not sure what will arrive next out of any of the delayed but now suddenly released bits of Kickstarter, in fact. I could just do with the majority of it coming before work restarts in May, that’d be quite handy!