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The Balthazar Stone

It's an open secret that when a story seems too strange it's evidence is locked safely in the vaults of The Mystery Agency until you and your fellows are recruited by The Mystery Agency's Chief Custodian to reveal the truth. Following the death of Professor Strange, you have been recruited to investigate the 200-year-old myth surrounding the death of the pirate Balthazar and his cursed stone…

The Balthazar Stone is an exceptionally high-quality escape-room-in-a-box published by The Mystery Agency. The team behind this, and their other mysteries include Henry Lewis (The Play that Goes Wrong) and other talented writers and producers of various West End theatre productions. In this instance however, theatre comedy has been replaced with a serious commitment to production values and immersive physical puzzle pieces. The wooden chest itself is a tantalising invitation to solve, with excellent table presence and a wonderful array of contents to be studied, including padlocks, maps, bottle corks, newspaper cuttings and broken mirrors…

This is the third Mystery that the Board's Eye View team have attempted to solve (the others being The Ghost in the Attic and The Vanishing Gambler). Of the three, this is the hardest, largest and most ‘escape-roomiest’. The mystery of the Balthazar Stone is locked at the centre of a large, multi-compartmented chest. Thus, the path to unveiling the mystery is clear... However, the puzzles to be solved are not necessarily related to each other, and some are fiendishly difficult, with no room for mistakes! Fear not, helpful hints can be accessed online – indeed an internet connection is a necessity to complete the puzzle at all (the larger screens of tablets or laptops are recommended over phones).

This Mystery can be solved solo but you'll ideally tackle it with two or three players working together, and we think four will work too. Additionally, this mystery can be completely reset and passed over for other agents to figure out (something which The Mystery Agency encourages). Board's Eye View recommend this puzzle game to Agents who feel confident with the ‘escape-room’ puzzle format, and we wish you the very best in avoiding the cursed madness of attempting to solve The Balthazar Stone…

The Balthazar Stone is available now from The Happy Puzzle Company.

(Review by Michael Harrowing)

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