Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Escape Room games have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. Kosmos have established a strong niche with their Exit series of games, and we've featured these in the past on Board's Eye View along with other puzzle-solving games like MacGyver (Pressman). Pegasus Spiele's lighter Undo series also falls within this genre (look out for our review of that next month).
Jeppe Norsker's 50 Clues games are somewhat different. Players (either playing solo or any number playing co-operatively as a team) are exploring a crime by interacting with an app. You are collecting clues from the cards you uncover and, through your puzzle-solving, the crime and its resolution are uncovered. If this perhaps sounds like Chronicles of Crime (Lucky Duck), you could be in for a shock. Tho' Chronicles has its darker moments, it's a barrel of laughs compared to Norsker Games' Scandi Noir. The game boxes come with a 'graphic violence' warning that they are unsuitable for children, and it's a warning you should heed. 50 Clues is a mystery puzzle game aimed squarely at adult audiences with strong stomachs.
To avoid risk of giving away any Spoilers, our Board's Eye View shows only the cards from a prequel demo game (The Heavy Suitcase; which is just a handful of cards). Each of the games themselves comprises 54 cards, and you'll need to play/solve the three-parter in the correct order:
1. The Pendulum of the Dead
2. White Sleep
3. The Fate of Leopold
The Heavy Suitcase itself is a very short simple puzzle, and the web-based app steps you through it. Indeed, the biggest puzzle we had was pre-game working out where on the 50 Clues website to find the start page where we could enter our serial number. It's easier to find the start pages for each of the three full games; and the puzzles in these games are more varied and challenging.
If you're looking for an escape room-style puzzle-solving game then 50 Clues could be the perfect gift for anyone who has binge-watched Sofie Grabøl in Forbrydelsen (The Killing).