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The Night Hunter: Murder Mystery Party Review

WBG Score: 8

Player Count: 1- 99

You’ll like this if you like: Unsolved Case Files, Exit Games

Published by: University Games

By Steve Godfrey

This is a review copy. See our review policy here


It’s October (when this review originally went up) so it’s nearly time for Halloween. The time of year where us parents buy a load of sweets “just in case” we get trick or treaters. Then we don’t get any because we’ve not put up any decorations or indications that we want trick or treaters, so we have to eat all of the sweets for ourselves. I know we could cut out the middleman and buy ourselves sweets, but sometimes it’s just nice to blame someone else for our sugar habit once in a while. At least this year we can gorge ourselves while solving a murder mystery.

The Night Hunter: Murder Mystery Party Review

How to catch a killer.

It couldn’t be easier to get playing The Night Hunter. Open the box and take out the field guide, the light and read the first note from the captain.

Collect the contents for chapter one then read the next note which has your first objective. You’ll have to successfully solve the first objective before you can open the next envelope with a new objective. Each chapter has a few objectives that you’ll have to solve using the evidence you’re presented with. Each objective will be along the lines of “why did the killer use Frosties to murder their victims?” The answer of course is because they were a cereal killer. Don’t worry, the real ones are actually proper questions.

A true detective.

The first thing you’ll notice, especially if you’ve played other puzzle games, is that this is presented very much as an investigation more akin to something you’ll see on TV rather than a series of straight up puzzles like an Unlock or an Exit game. Although you will still get one or two of those here. You’re going to be presented with pieces of evidence, crime scene photos, witness statements and a great many things. It’s then your job to sift through these to solve each objective you’re presented with.

The Night Hunter: Murder Mystery Party Review

I’ve played another mystery game in this sort of style before and I’m really enjoying how the format works. It’s just great fun being surrounded by all that evidence and scrutinising every piece like a real (fictional) detective. We’ve all seen those tv shows and I reckon we’ve all fancied ourselves as a bit of a detective at one time or another. I mean how many times have you sat on the sofa and uttered the words “I reckon it was them”? That’s made even better of course if you turn out to be right. Well here you get to flex those muscles properly to prove how good you really are. You get to have those epiphany moments and then have to rifle through everything to find that evidence you read earlier which, at the time, was a bit weird and probably nothing but now it’s a key piece of the puzzle. You get so into it that you’ll want to run to the shops and get yourself a notice board, push pins and a ton of red string. Just make sure you get the notice board though and don’t use the wall, trust me, filling in that many holes in the wall is a lot of work!

The puzzles themselves are a good mix of difficulties. Some we got probably too quickly, yet others took a good while to crack. Personally I prefer a good mix like this. There’s nothing worse than being constantly stuck on every puzzle and having to resort to hints. It doesn’t do your confidence much good and takes you out of the experience. On the flip side, make everything too easy and you fly through the whole thing and you don’t feel like you’ve got enough of a challenge out of it and you can feel like you’ve not gotten your money's worth. Speaking of getting your money's worth, the box says that play time is about 4-5 hours which I think is the longest of the puzzle/mystery games I’ve played. I’d say that was about right for us over our three sessions but that’ll vary depending on how quick you are solving and how many players you play with.

The Night Hunter: Murder Mystery Party Review

In case you are worried about the time then the multi chapter format gives you a good place to save your game. It also serves to make the game feel like you’re playing through a true crime Netflix documentary. You’ll be tempted to binge it, but soon realise that it’s late and you should really try and go to bed. The good thing is that the story is engaging enough that you want to keep coming back and does a nice job of ramping up to a tense conclusion.

If you feel like the current line up of fictional detectives just aren’t cutting it then why not solve the mystery of The Night Hunter to show them how it’s really done.

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