If you are looking for my complete walkthrough with hints and solutions, I have unfortunately not posted those yet. If not, please continue to the review.
Rating: 2/5 (Time spent: ~3 hours)
Sleuth Kings is a monthly subscription that delivers fictional detective stories to your door. The premise for each case is that you have been contacted by Detective Sullivan King about a recent case that he has been hired for in which he needs your help. Each month you receive a manila envelope that contains:
- Instructions on where to go to begin email interactions with Sullivan regarding the case
- A list of the cases contents (so that you can check that you’ve received everything)
- A case overview written by Sullivan
- Approximately 4 clues
- A Clue Analysis that describes the clues and how to approach each one. (Ignore this paper for an extra challenge)
- Some additional material/props
Each case is its own story so unlike certain mystery subscriptions (like Hunt A Killer), you can solve the entire case in one sitting. Soon you will begin to receive emails from Sullivan involving his search for his missing father Isaac King and after completing 4 cases you will receive a bonus case regarding Isaac’s disappearance.
Case 023: (Premise)
Asuna Yukimura is the leader of the Young Detective’s Club at her school. When shopping with her mother at an estate sale, Asuna bought a $2 painting. She didn’t actually care much for the painting but rather the frame that it came in. This soon changed, however, when she opened the frame and out popped a letter and an eyepatch!
The letter congratulated Asuna for finding the hidden treasure map (located on the back of the painting) and presented her with her first challenge: four coded locations.
Ecstatic over her discovery, Asuna brought the items to her Young Detective’s Club and together they were able to decipher the codes, travel to these locations, and get the items needed to find the treasure.
This is when tragedy struck. Just when they thought they were on their way to an amazing discovery, another student, Hallie Burkett, caught wind of the treasure map and stole it! Asuna requests Sullivan’s (and your) help in finding the treasure before Hallie does.
Review (No Spoilers)
I feel the need to start off this review by saying that I absolutely hated this case; it was by far my least favorite Sleuth King’s case so far. My partner also feels the same way.
The story was pretty interesting but the clues were outrageously difficult–not necessarily in the way you think. My partner and I avoid looking at the Clue Analysis page when doing these cases for an extra challenge. After feeling stuck several times, we decided to look at it and it provided no additional help. We then decided to email Sullivan for help only to find that we had apparently already deciphered the Clues 1 and 2 properly, we just didn’t know.
Now, my partner and I have a rule that we try as hard as we can to keep the clues in their original condition. For this case (this may be a bit spoilery) this proved to be extremely time consuming to do so. It probably added around an hour to an hour and a half to our time.
In fact, after spending a very long time trying to do what we needed to do on a computer rather than with the clue itself, we decided that we needed to stop for the night because we were both extremely frustrated.
We picked up the next day and solved Clues 3 and 4 but using the answer that these clues gave us didn’t make any sense. Once again, we asked for help only to discover that we did in fact do everything properly and we still couldn’t figure it out.
In summary, the most frustrating thing about this case was realizing that we weren’t doing anything wrong, the clues were just poorly put together. What you have to do at the very end to find the location of the treasure basically was nonsense and I can only blame this on poorly designed clues. If you want to know what I’m talking about, feel free to ask me separately since It’s a spoiler.
I really hope that they up their game and fix this in the next case because I do otherwise enjoy working through these boxes.