“What lengths would you go to in order to support and protect your family? Placed in a desperate situation, Rudolph Greenwood is given an opportunity to provide his family everything they could ever want – unbeknownst to him, it will come at a cost that will echo throughout the generations to follow.
Decades later, Jonas Greenwood has traced back his family lineage in search of an answer to his family’s dreadful luck. He thinks he might have finally found the beginning of things in a collection of letters belonging to his great-grandfather and a mysterious package hidden in the attic. Can you retrace his steps and join him in undoing the sins of the father?”
I ordered Sins of the Father all the way back in March of 2021, back when I was going through games at a ravenous rate. It got added to my ever-growing “To-Play” shelf and collected dust there for over two years. I had completely forgotten what the game was about when I finally pulled it out from the shelf this week; so I was going in effectively blind.
It was a nice surprise to pull off the twine and wrapping paper to find a well made lockbox with an occult aesthetic. It’s one of the nicer props I’ve gotten from a play at home experience and has already found a place and purpose in my home office. After opening everything up and spending about twenty minutes sorting and reading through the narrative components, I was ready to dive into the experience proper. Unfortunately, that experience ended up taking, at most, an additional fifteen minutes. I had definitely enjoyed those fifteen minutes, but I was left wanting a little more out of all of it. Let’s dive into why.
Sins of the Father is a narrative-heavy experience. When you start, there are two stacks of paper to go through: some modern-day printouts from the detective agency you’re interacting with and a stack of old letters from the early 20th century. The letters do a great job of introducing you to the experience and weaving a Faustian tale of desperation and temptation. While the story beats can feel a bit rote, the writers do their best to make the experience feel tangible and personal through their character’s voices.
The rest of the props that come with the experience are well made and include some additional pieces that aren’t part of any of the puzzles. Those additional pieces add immersion and value to the experience, though I feel there was a missed opportunity to incorporate them into the puzzle play.
While the letters make for a stellar opening, the ending fell somewhat flat for me. To keep it as spoiler free as possible: I solved the mystery and my handler (in a relatively amusing way) confirmed that I had the correct answer; but I would have loved a little more information about Rudolph’s fate or what potentially positive consequences my solving the mystery had for Jonas and his family. I felt like just a little more at the end could have really elevated this experience into something special.
Given all of the work put into the narrative side of the experience, the lack of polish for the puzzles was pretty disappointing. There were five in total (which, to be fair, their website does advertise this fact very clearly) and they were all on the very easy side of things. If you’re an experienced puzzle solver, then I would highly recommend that you focus on one puzzle at a time and stick to the order that the game suggests without even looking at the other puzzles. I, as I often am when playing puzzle games, was looking at things more holistically. When I solved the first puzzle, it let me immediately solve the final puzzle, along with the the three puzzles in between. I tried to put those answers out of mind and worked on the in-between puzzles on their own, but they were also pretty easy and solved very quickly. Overall, the puzzling experience needed more development and polish, they felt underbaked overall.
On the bright side, none of the puzzles required the ability to distinguish between colors—a boon for us colorblind gamers. There’s also a hint site included with the experience that offers up some progressive hints and solutions to the puzzles for anyone that might get stuck.
Sins of the Father is a beautiful experience, with some great props and an interesting story. However, the puzzle side of the experience makes this a hard one to recommend.
This would make a good gift for someone who’s new to puzzle games and would enjoy some keepsakes with a distinctively occult vibe, but otherwise is probably okay to skip.