Scandalously good fun!
Femi Banuve, a sports photographer, has stumbled across a story of match-fixing and blackmail at the Marseille Tennis Championships. A bank of files and documents are being used to threaten a leading tennis star and Femi needs your help to disrupt the plan.
Solve all nine puzzles that Femi has left you, break into the online vault where the files are hidden and delete them all before it’s too late!
We’ve been fans of Puzzle Post for a long time, or it feels like a long time, I’ve lost all concept of time right now but at some point in the past we played The Dupe and The Missed Flight, both by Puzzle Post. Puzzle Post were one of the first companies to produce play at home games that you sent to people for them to complete and reveal a secret message from you. I should state it now: This is not one of those games. Puzzle Post have changed their approach for this game and this is more like a traditional play-at-home game where you solve puzzles to complete a mission, rather than deliver a message.
The Scandal is actually designed to be a game that a larger group of people can play (small groups can play too), but Puzzle Post have done something different that we haven’t seen before, there are duplicates of all the in-game items. This is a great idea as it means everyone will have something to work on. If it was me, I would actually set this game up to be more competitive, split your group into two teams and have a race to see who can crack the safe first – perfect for Christmas and a lot more fun than Monopoly!
Liz and I don’t actually have too many people near us who like to play escape rooms, so we tackled this game as a team of two. All you need is the package and it’s contents, and an internet enabled device. Just for added warmth, we had a fire lit too, but I don’t think that affects the game at all.
We’re yet to play a Puzzle Post game that we haven’t enjoyed, and I’m pleased to say that is still the case. By moving out of the ‘message delivery system’ genre it makes The Scandal compete with ‘regular’ play at home experiences, so we had to factor that into our review and rating, so although this game may have been scored lower than their other games, don’t be put off, this game still has the same quality about it and is just as enjoyable.
Speaking of quality. This game oozes quality. We’ve found it with all of their games that you look at the items you have received and question if they are real or just designed for their games. Everything you touch feels like quality was at the forefront of their design ethos, quality card, thick paper, and even a sticker!
The concept of the Puzzle Post games are all quite simple. You receive a package, a letter explains what needs to be done and why, then you have a number of puzzles to solve to complete it. In this case there are nine puzzles (technically could be classed as ten), and the letter guides you on where you should start. Puzzle Post games are perfect for newbies and enthusiasts alike, they won’t keep enthusiasts busy for too long, but we’re here for a good time, not a long time.
As I mentioned earlier, the puzzles in the Puzzle Post games aren’t the most challenging, but they’re not really designed to be. The puzzles that are in The Scandal are clever and enjoyable to solve and require different skill sets to solve them. You’ll certainly need some lateral thinking to work out what you need to use, as each puzzle looks like something that would genuinely exist in the real world.
For most of the puzzles everything you need is in front of you but there is one where you’ll need to use a phone, how you use it is up to you. Other than that, make sure you examine everything and sometimes the answer really is that simple.
Out of all the puzzles in this game, only two challenged us for a little while. One of them just seemed so sparse in information that we didn’t know what we needed, and then it became quite clear. The other one we thought we needed outside knowledge for, but again, it was much simpler and was really all about pattern recognition – these were my most enjoyable puzzles in the game.
In the introductory letter there is a link telling you where to go for clues, and how to enter your final solutions on the website. The clue system is very well thought out and it will give you a few nudges to get you thinking in the right way, and if that doesn’t work, it can give you a solution – if you’re doing this in a competitive fashion, you could have one person as the ‘Gamesmaster’ and they can control the clues.
We didn’t require any clues for this game as it all made perfect sense. So it then came to entering our solutions on the website, and this was a doddle. Puzzle Post allow you to enter the solutions individually and when you submit, you will then be shown which ones are correct and which are wrong – great for alleviating any frustrations of having to check all your solutions again.
Be prepared though, once you have the answer you have a decision to make before you finish the game, choose wisely.
Puzzle Post have moved away from delivering messages towards ‘traditional’ play at home experiences. This game doesn’t have a surprise ending message from a friend, but it does have a captivating story to tie everything together.
The Scandal is the perfect group game at any time of year, but it should definitely be on your Christmas list. Put away Monopoly, this will cause less conflict and will give your brains a nice little post-turkey workout.
- Pen and paper for note taking
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 30 mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.