A Festive Whodunnit (for Charity)
Not many people know but, to enable Santa to keep his naughty list up to date Santa’s elves spend some of their holiday time, when they are not at the North Pole making toys, amongst the people of the world!
Some of them have become quite famous, Elf-is Presley, Elf A Fitzgerald, Mariah Fairy just to name a few.
Each group of elves brings a radio beacon with them and a few days before Christmas they send a message to the north pole and the reindeers come and pick them up. Booksh Elf and his quiet sister Sh Elf who run the library at the north pole, Yours Elf who usually goes home to Norway for his holidays, Ruude Elf who looks after the welfare of the reindeer and whose nose gives away his love of beer, Hiss Elf from Elfghanistan had all planned to go to Telford this year but, changed their mind and went to Great Snoring instead as they had heard that some residents, had been very naughty and had founded an anti Christmas club.
The elves radio beacon is in the shape of a star and when the time has come, they climb the tallest Christmas tree they can find, place the star at the top and await the reindeer. The elves stored the star in the community centre but when, after the twelfth week in Great Snoring they went to pick it up it was gone. Only a dozen people have a key to the community center and as there were no signs of a break in it must have been taken by one of them.
After comparing the naughty list with the list of key holders the elves have made a list of the 6 suspects.
Can you help the elves find their star? Pull yourselves together and walk a mile in their pointy shoes!
Check the alibis of the six suspects and help identify the malicious malefactor in time to get the elves back to the north pole.
If it’s not obvious by now, we love escape rooms, and it’s great to see more companies doing tie-ins with escape room companies. It’s also great to see charities now jumping on the bandwagon too, we’ve seen it with Deadlocked working with Movember, and now the team behind Play helps / Spielen Hilft have partnered up with Sara Lee Trust.
I should probably start by saying that if you’re an escape room/puzzle enthusiast then this game is unlikely to challenge you, however, if you’re looking for a fun little game that you can play with the family over Christmas (yes, this can be done remotely), then this would be a great choice – you can enjoy yourself and feel good that you’ve helped out a very worthwhile cause.
In case you didn’t know, the Sara Lee Trust supports people in Hasting and Rother who are affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses through the provision of free psychological and therapeutic support.
The Detective that Saved Christmas is built on the very popular Telescape platform. Telescape is great and works very well for online games (well it was built specifically for this purpose after all). If you’ve used Telescape before then you’ll know how it works, but it’s a great platform that runs through a browser window and enables up to six people (or connections) to sign in to it and interact with the screen.
Each person who signs in gets a cursor that they can control, and everyone on the team can see each other’s cursors. You can also all control things on the screen independently of each other which makes for a great way to interact with the game and keep everyone involved.
Generally we found that everything worked like it should although we did have one or two minor issues with some of the tech, but this could have been down to our machines playing up so it’s probably nothing major.
When you’re ready to play the game, share the link with everyone on your team and login together. To make communication easier we would recommend using Zoom or something similar while you’re playing, but you shouldn’t need to screen share, it’s just easier if you can talk through your investigations as a team.
In terms of puzzles, there aren’t really many to write about, essentially this is a large ‘Whodunnit’. You will need to sift through the information you have, connect it to the right person and then use the process of elimination to find your culprit.
Part of the challenge is working out how to interact with the game and what needs to go where, but you’ll soon get to grips with it, and just when you do, you’ll likely discover even more information to sort through. An eye for detail is key to be successful in this game!
We didn’t need any help on this game so we can’t fully explain how the clue system works, or what it would be like. Saying that, there was a large ‘?’ on the screen at all times which I’m sure we could have clicked on should we have got stuck. Play helps / Spielen Hilft are very experience game designers so I have full faith in them for having a clue system that would get you back on track if you need it.
This won’t keep enthusiasts busy for long, but apparently inexperienced teams often take an hour to finish it. It’s a cute little game with a fun ending and a good option if you’re looking for a festive ‘whodunnit’.
- Desktop / Laptop (sound turned on)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 16:56 mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review. (We did still donate £10 to the charity though).