Society of Curiosities: A Strange Compass
“There has been an interesting twist in the plot of Captain Madok.
While transporting the items from your last mission, our ground team happened across a false bottom in what we had thought was an empty chest. Inside was a note that suggests Madok may have made his way back to England.”
As a newer subscriber to Society of Curiosities, this was the first mini-mystery—or coffee break mystery, as they also describe it—I received as part of my subscription. It’s a really smart idea, keeping the story fresh in my mind and helping me maintain interest in the game during the multi-month wait between main chapters.
Calling it a coffee break mystery is a perfect description, as the game only took about 15 minutes to complete. Well, if I’m being honest, it took me more like 25 minutes. Those extra ten minutes we spent falling down a rabbit hole of trying to decide if a certain website was real or a Society of Curiosities creation! I don’t think it was actually intended to be a puzzle, so let me just say that Bentley & Skinner is, in fact, a real jewelry company, even if their website and slightly goofy photos look like something that the folks over at Society of Curiosities would whip up!
Even though the game was quick, it was a lot of fun to dip back into the game world for a bit. It was a nice little game aperitif, stimulating my appetite for the main course—Chapter 2—to arrive in May!
Much like Mysterious Map Heist functioned as a prologue to Madok’s Lost Treasure, this mini-mystery functions as a nice little narrative conjunction, moving the narrative on from Chapter One and setting up the story for Chapter Two. I love that, even for a mystery as small as this, that everything serves a narrative purpose. I’m looking forward to learning more about the mysterious character that I investigated in this mystery, and discovering what new narrative turns are in store for her and Madok’s story.
This mini-mystery contained two puzzles, both of which were well-written, but neither of which were particularly difficult. I was pleased to see that both puzzles were constructed in a way that felt authentically mimetic, even though I know that they were constructed by a nice couple living in Hawaii, they felt like they could be real. Society of Curiosities does a fantastic job with that in general, the puzzles and game world are so authentically designed that you can easily able to suspend your disbelief and believe that you are part of this obscure treasure hunting society.
This mini-mystery comes with a quarterly or yearly subscription to the Society of Curiosities. So far, their puzzles have been some of the best I’ve played, so I strongly encourage any puzzle game fan to pick this series up. It works pretty well solo, but should be fun with a team of two-three.
Type of Game: At Home Puzzle Game
Date Played: 2021-03-26
Price: $50 (quarterly) / $180 (yearly)
Company: Society of Curiosities
Team Size: 1