Hunt a Killer: Curtain Call
Friends of a private investigator who is too busy to solve murders herself
Figure out who stuffed the vaudeville actress into a trunk and left her there for 90 years.
"I watch a lot of ‘Criminal Minds’, which made me super excited to play this game. Unfortunately, watching smart, handsome detectives solve murders is more fun than doing it yourself. They (the smart, handsome detectives) make it look so effortless. Every time a new box came in the mail, the amount of content to read or decode was a bit overwhelming. Each episode had a new objective, like clearing someone or finding the murder weapon. Most of the time, these things were pretty easy, and most of the supplemental materials just helped us create a story and a timeline. Ultimately, it was quite satisfying watching it all coalesce over the course of 6 months."
"Hunt a Killer is that mail-order monthly murder mystery serial you’ve been seeing all those targeted Facebook ads about. (What, no? Not you? Just us then? Well anyway.) It’s a murder-solving kit cleverly divided into installments, where you use the materials you get each month to take a chunk out of the mystery, eliminate a suspect or two, and get a bit closer to solving the whodunnit. You find yourself surrounded by a myriad of documents, many of which need deciphering, as well as a variety of props (of varying utility), and internet clues that lend color to your process. They even send along a complementary drink recipe book and soundtrack to get you in the right frame of mind."
"Our first Hunt-a-Killer mystery was called Curtain Call. It revolved around an unsolved murder that took place in a Depression-era New York theater, and it unfolded over the course of 6 monthly installments. It was all delightfully strung together with lovely attention to the period. You feel immersed in the story, more than eager to track down the various details and stitch together what happened. It’s a quintessential gateway game for the amateur true crime fan, and is loaded with those tiny little 'aha!' moments we treasure in similar, less-production-heavy games like Exit! We also loved delving into it for an evening, and then taking a break for a month until the next box of clues arrived."
"The only issue we saw--and this is going to sound super snobby -- was the difficulty level. The episodes were, um, really easy to solve. Like, sometimes we’d go through the materials and figure out the monthly objective in a matter of minutes. The clues allowing you to eliminate suspects, for example, were usually pretty direct. But here’s the thing: the ease of solving each episode did not substantially detract from the game. We’d sit around the table for an hour or so after solving each main objective, trying to piece together various aspects of the rest of the story. It was great just to spend a bit more time in the world of the game, leafing through things and exposing little details about the suspects' lives. (Contrast this experience with our attempts at Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, which we won’t review here because we gave up on it. It was too hard and made us feel dumb.)"
"So you don’t have to be a genius to solve Hunt a Killer; maybe that adds to its appeal. We’re ready to dive into the next story and, at press time, already have it on order."