It reads like Law & Order or another well-known police TV programme, which is not always a bad thing. The game feels somewhat familiar as soon as you open it and start playing because most people are familiar with that kind of show or episode.
You get the impression that you are a detective about to investigate a cold case as soon as you first open the box and begin taking items out. The documents are housed in a file folder with the case number and the name ASHCROFT, Harmony.
Three sealed bonus envelopes, a bundle of pictures, an autopsy report, some newspaper clippings, a map, an evidence form, five suspect files, and a checklist of all the things you should have been revealed when the file folder is opened (about 50 items in all). A photograph, a Person of Interest form, witness statements, and a suspect interview are all included in each suspect file. You can visit the website and ask for one missing document if you’re missing something. However, if you are lacking more than one, you can get in touch with the business, and they will get you what you need. This is done to stop piracy.
The documents are done fairly properly. Newspaper clippings appear to have been clipped from the source material. While the remainder of the documents is printed and colour-coded to correspond to their respective document types, the images are printed on thicker card stock.
An objective is stuck to the inside of the file folder to begin the game. You have to show that William “Bones” McBride is innocent in the Harmony Ashcroft case. You must first read the evidence in the folder in order to accomplish this. When you’re sure why he’s innocent, you go to a website and choose two documents that support your theory. The website will inform you if you made the right option after you submit your selections. If you were mistaken, it would inform you that either one of the documents is what you are looking for or neither one is. It’s back to the drawing board because it doesn’t specify which answer is correct if any. If you are stuck, you can also ask for a hint. The website will check your accuracy and explain why once you have located the correct documents. It was good to hear that clarity because, strangely enough, we did have the appropriate paperwork for the first aim but weren’t certain of the cause.
You’ll be told to open Bonus Envelope A once you’ve completed the first objective. This envelope held the subsequent goal as well as a fresh piece of proof. After accomplishing that goal, you go on to Bonus Envelope B and then Bonus Envelope C. A new aim and some additional evidence are contained in each envelope. The final envelope is proof that you were successful in solving the case.
The game initially had a sluggish beginning and no clear direction. You have to piece things together, so that’s probably not too dissimilar from a genuine inquiry. I was playing with my wife, my kids, and a friend. Since the game is recommended for players aged 14 and up, we were good. Before the game took on a life of its own, we took turns reading out some of the introductory texts. Each of us began to ruminate, ponder aloud, and take particular articles or documents to read through specific passages once more.
The “AHA!” moments are the highlight of the game. We were going to press the suggestion button for the second objective when my kid exclaimed, “Look at this censored>! This proves the suspect lied because it matches the data on [redacted]! He had a great beaming smile on his face after figuring out that section of the puzzle, and sure enough, entering those two pieces of evidence advanced the game.
On the previous objective, we did use the suggestion button, but it only served to confirm our progress. We were able to find what we were seeking and crack the case after a little additional research.
As previously stated, the game is appropriate for players 14 and older. Although we discovered that more heads are preferable, you may play it alone if you want. Although four looked like a nice amount, you can play it with as many people as you’d like for greater mental stimulation. It took the four of us playing for around two hours to figure out the riddle.
Unsolved Case Files is rather reasonably priced. The game is wonderfully made and can last several hours, but its drawback is that you can only play it once. It’s far more economical when compared to other one-time activities that you could be doing with your friends or family, like going to the theatre (back when it was a thing).
Once you get into it, Unsolved Case Files is a fun game. You might initially feel a little disoriented, but as you get going and start making connections, it is a wonderful experience.