Death At The Dive Bar Review
Mystery games and experiences have always been my other love when it comes to games. The Baker Street Irregulars (review here) is still one of the best games I’ve ever played, the Escape Tales (reviews here, here, and here) games are great, and who doesn’t like an Exit game? I was sent a review copy of Death at the Dive Bar by Hunt A Killer, and I really enjoyed it.
Death at the Dive Bar follows a similar formula to The Detective Society, where (nearly) everything you need to investigate and solve the mystery is in the box. Some games, like The Detective Society, do the equivalent of breaking the fourth wall in a film or play. They might add in a website, email address, or phone number you can use in the real world. Death at the Dive Bar only does this once, and it’s not necessary to complete the case, which is good if you’re planning to take the game away for a weekend of disconnecting or something.
What the hell do I do with all this stuff?
If this is your first game of this sort, there’s a good chance that’s the first thing you said. There’s a ton of stuff in the box. Physical props, flyers, a beer mat, police reports, CCTV stills, and a bag with a code on it.
Other than the introductory letter which lets you know what you need to solve (who, when, why sorta stuff), and an idiots guide to [redacted] ciphers, you’re on your own. It’s the sort of game where you want a big table to put all the stuff out, no distractions, and an hour or so to puzzle it out. You’ll need that space to puzzle it out. There’s a pretty deep back story, and the lore that surrounds the mystery is fleshed out and very believable. You’ll remember their names after you finish.
In all honesty, there’s not much more I can tell you about the game without splattering spoilers all over the place. What I can tell you is that there are no leaps you have to make to solve it, and all of the clues are right there in front of you. They all make sense. None of the puzzles is too difficult, if you can do the harder Exit games, I’m sure you’ll be okay.
Murder mysteries seem to be swinging back in vogue, and this is a really good one. If you want something to scratch that same itch that The Detective Society does, you could do a lot worse. I had a great time with it. There’s a decent set of hints online, and even an exclusive epilogue, just to tie up any loose ends. It goes without saying that it’s a one-and-done game, so you’ll only play it once, so bear that in mind before you pull the trigger. With that caveat in mind, it’s an easy recommendation from me.
Review copy provided by Hunt A Killer. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
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