Tabletop gaming has been a fast-growing past-time for geeks for many years. The size of my tabletop game collection can attest to that. It is only dwarfed by my video game collection. When we think of tabletop games we generally think of board, dice, or card games, right? Finders Seekers is here to challenge that conception a bit.
Introduction to Finders Seekers
With Finders Seekers you will experience a new mystery puzzle box each month. Each box comes with a series of props and papers to get you started but the experience happens online. With a new location theme each month you get to do some online sleuthing to learn about different regions of the world while you solve riddles and puzzles to finish out the mystery. You input your answers and get additional hints from the links in the booklet that comes in the box. Let’s take a look at what you get in the box through the Sydney example I was able to review.
Finders Seekers Components
Components are a bit tricky for this as they will vary from box to box. I’ll sketch out what was in the box I received as an example of the things you might get with each box.
The box I received was based on Sydney, Australia. I received:
- Welcome letter
- Travel guide
- Notebook for taking notes and working puzzles in
- Boomerang (of course)
- A puzzle page of letters and numbers to be used with the boomerang
- A page of antique key types
- Prisoner Key Bit Descriptions sheet
- A page of sheet music
- Copy of The Redfern Park Speech modified slightly into a puzzle
- Color-coded prize tickets.
How to Play Finders Seekers
Once you open your package and take stock of the contents you’ll want to read the letter as it sets out the approach to solving the puzzle. This subscription puzzle box works by means of combining the items that come in the box with customized web pages where you’ll either get even more info on the puzzles or will simply be asked to input your answer to it. It will let you know if you’re wrong and there are no limitations to how many attempts you make.
One of the puzzles in this package involves trying to bust some folks out of prison cells. You have a bunch of keys and need to figure out which key opens which cell using the small Prisoner Key Bit Descriptions sheet along with the pictures of the old-fashioned keys. You follow the directions given next to the name to find the key that matches that shape. Here are the keys:
You then use the below descriptions to figure out which key opens the cell for which prisoner. You do this by following the directions of the key. So for Mary it starts with “R, D, L, D” and after looking at the keys I can immediately see that among possible others, keys A and R both fit that description because as I trace down the base of the key with an imaginary finger it would have to slide right, then down, then left, then down again. So with this method I can start eliminating any keys for Mary that DON’T follow that pattern as the first four steps and then I have fewer keys to trace. Do this over and over for each prisoner and eventually you will have a key identified for each prisoner. Input that into the web page which is provided in the tourist guide for this puzzle and you’ll get a (virtual) prize.
If you should ever get stuck, there is a private Facebook group where you can ask for help and then folks who have completed the puzzles will answer you in replies so as to prevent spoilers for other players. That concept is quite neat and though I didn’t need to ask any questions I went to the group after completing the puzzle box and read up on most of the Sydney questions I could find and I can tell you the help was top notch. Folks would ask how specific you wanted their reply to be or did you just want a hint like “pay special attention this section” or such. Great group and a nice benefit for those that get a little stymied.
Should You Try Finders Seekers?
First, let’s discuss if the subscription box is fun or not. I can confirm that I had a lot of fun doing the puzzles in the box I reviewed. There were a couple puzzles that were tricky for me, but I was able to figure them out with some time and a little research. I was never so frustrated with any one puzzle I had to walk away in disgust but I did have to try a couple more than once. A couple were quite obvious and simple to me which created a nice balance with the harder puzzles. I felt like there was a good mix of easier and harder puzzles.
I also loved the Sydney history lessons. A lot of the puzzles depended on you either knowing or looking up historical data on Sydney and the people that make up the city’s history. I had a lot of fun reading about different people and events online in order to solve a few of the puzzles. As I understand it, each box has a theme, often or maybe even always around a city or historical location. I could very easily see this as a good tool for a history classroom, now that I think about it.
For price, the subscription will cost you about $30 per month. Like most subscription boxes, you save a little if you order multiple months. If you buy 3 months at one time you save $3, with 6 months you save $18, and with a 12 months subscription you would save $60 or get 2 months free.
I’m a bit torn on the “is it worth the cost?” question on this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles and I love the idea of a subscription service for this but I wonder if they couldn’t maybe reduce the price by going fully online instead of mailing out the boxes. I’d be much more willing to pay $15 per month and have it all delivered to my email instead of getting something in the mail. None of the items that came with the Sydney box were keepsake-worthy so I don’t see that I got that much benefit out of it in physical form. The boomerang puzzle would definitely have suffered, though, if adapted to being online as you used the boomerang to measure which letters and numbers linked up. I would have to say that if there are more physical puzzles like the boomerang one in other boxes, then yes it is worth the $30 per month to have it sent but if there is only one or none each month then I would change that recommendation.
Unfortunately I was unable to get more details on whether or not the future boxes will have more physical-dependent puzzles or not to advise you. So my summary is that if you are really into puzzles and riddles you will probably enjoy this content quite a bit. It will come at a price, though.
If you’re interested in checking out Finders Seekers, please click here. There are easy to navigate tabs at the top to take you to information and pricing and review.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this puzzle for review purposes.