Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (2023)


Do you have what it takes to solve murder mysteries at home? Hunt A Killer is the game for you!

Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (1)VonAlana Jolie Abbott | |

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Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (2)

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Have you ever watched a crime series and thought you could solve the mystery better than the detectives? Is your ideal evening a murder mystery dinner? Are you a real crime thriller fan? Do you love decrypting encrypted messages? If you answered yes to any of these questions,hunt a killerIt could be the game for you.

While I have to admit that I don't tolerate fear, I've loved murder mysteries since growing up watching reruns ofmurder she wrote.Given the inaccessibility of events like the theater during the pandemic, the idea of ​​solving a crime mystery in my own home seemed like a perfect opportunity for my husband and I to do something fun together.hunt a killerIt's a subscription service where you get episodes of a crime thriller in a monthly box. The whole mystery requires six boxes to solve and each episode has a specific objective for you to solve. The result is a mix of RPG, board game, TV crime thriller and theatrical dinner, and thoroughly entertaining.

One of the reasons the combination works so well, according to Carlea Holl-Jensen, one of the current premiere season's staff writers, is that the writers ofhunt a killer Seasons come from many subject areas.


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"The teams come from very different backgrounds," he explained. "We have people who come from games, who come from education, who come from television and theater."

The first game produced by the company was an immersive live theater event; Co-founders Ryan Hogan and Derrick Smith worked together to figure out how to bring this to a wider audience, how to bring it into people's homes. “In 2016, they started making boxes practically in our co-founder Derrick's living room,” laughs Carlea.

When I mentioned that the style of solving social puzzles reminded me of the old boxing party games How to Stage a Murder, Carlea said there were three people in the game.hunt a killerEmployees who not only played them, but also wrote them for these types of games (many in the company are also Dungeons and Dragons players, which will not surprise anyone who is familiar with both games).

Although some similar games are one-shots, the serialized narrative nature of television crime programs has contributed to thishunt a killerThe team opted for a subscription model and also adopted the collaborative writers' space style to create the story for each television season.

the current seasonhunt a killer,edelcurtain call,It's a cold case puzzle. In 1934, actress Viola Vane disappeared; The case was quickly closed by the police at the time, but when the theater's current owner discovers her mummified body, it's clear she wasn't missing: she was murdered. Neither the police nor the theater authorities are particularly interested in reopening the case, but the theater owner is determined to bring justice to the woman, so he hires you, the player, to solve the clues.

Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (4)

Upon opening the first box, he receives a letter from his contact, a private investigator, and a second letter from the theater owner. Inside the box are documents, physical objects, clues, and collectibles.


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Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (5)

Each episode also has a specific mission that you must complete. For example in the first episode ofcurtain call,The clues provided provide enough information to identify the murder weapon. We found it didn't take us long to complete the episode's quest, but the wealth of information about the rest of the mystery left us guessing who had a motive (and who might have been having an affair; or why the victim was having an Motive).quitemoney in the wallet!).

"That's really what we want people to go back and say, 'Actually, now that I think about it, that can't be right,'" Carlea said.

While you have people playing the boxes alone, many people play them socially, some even collaborating virtually, despite the physical objects in the boxes. "Sometimes people come in with a little bit of anxiety, like, 'Oh, I can't code or I'm not a good detective,'" she continued, explaining that beginners, especially, feel more comfortable pairing up with a teammate than with other skills. “It's also fun to debate and talk about things.

The amount of research that goes into each element, especially in a historical story like this, is intense. Each episode contains a physical object (a cufflink, a scarf) that provides tangible information about the murder. Even documents are physical objects: the texture of a letter created on a typewriter offers a more tactile experience than a mass-produced photocopy. Carlea shared how one of the designers on the team, Krystle Alder, even researched typefaces to make sure they were available on typewriters in 1934.

Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (6)

Whycurtain callin a Broadway theater, Carela spoke about how much research was being done about theater at the time. "I listened to a lot of podcasts and read about characters, real people at the time, who had similar stories. So there was a lot like, 'Oh, that person had a similar trajectory, or something happened to them,'" she recalled, and while none of her historical figures died the same gruesome deaths as Viola Vane, she was able to tingle Notes from the background of a real artist.

Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (7)

One of the authors, Elinor Haney, did a lot of research on what would happen to a body that lay in an attic for 80 years: she looked at mummies and tried to figure out howcurtain call'The victim would appear when discovered. (The forensic and legal investigation is important in other seasons, which have also focused on contemporary murders.)


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I've asked how the team chooses accessories, and while some of that boils down to the cost of making a specific piece for each box sent to subscribers, a lot of it has to do with the story. The writing team pitches to their Purchasing Manager, Kristina Green, an idea that they think will have the greatest impact. Sometimes, Carlea recalls, Kristina's answer is, "Absolutely not. That's ridiculous. There's no way." But for the most part, "he just does an amazing job of finding the things we dream of out of thin air."

Ultimately, no matter how cool the concept (some seasons, players had to somehow destroy evidence to get the clue!), the question for the team is, "How does this serve the story?" Each clue is designed as follows: a Code, a photograph, instructions for a fictional Broadway musical, or a physical object like a cufflink.

curtain callit is also a transmedia experience. In addition to the box there are clues supplied via a 'file-sharing' system (including some very tasty recipes for drinks that would be served shortly after Prohibition ended - pictured is a non-alcoholic tango twist which I tried : and it was delicious). The team also created a website for theCadence Theater(where while writing this article I found potential bonus leads for the episodes that I haven't received yet). While I'm an old-school gamer when it comes to this type of experience and prefer to do everything offline, I was surprised by how much I felt the online component added to my experience. (We also look for currency conversion rates, addresses, and other hidden information.)

Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (8)

The team behind each season is huge, including not only the writers (egcurtain call,are Elinor Haney, Travis Madden, Stephanie McGowan and Carlea Holl-Jensen) and designers (Krystle Alder and Keith Pinkston), but also photographers (Leah Hewitt) and clothing companies (Milk & Ice and The Marilyn Johnson Sewing Design Studio, who provide clothing have asked). for all photo shoots), Production Manager (Melissa LaMartina, who coordinated the photos and recorded the website video) and Procurement Manager (Kristina Green).

In plays like the website, players might wonder which parts are created media and which parts are found photos, and that's part of the fun. Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, advertisements and receipts are produced with the intention of making them real enough for players to be fully immersed in the world of the story.

When players get into trouble (one player wrote that a dog ate one of the mystery clues!),hunt a killerhas social forums and other handy tips where players can find help. If players just can't wait until next month to get their box because they want a one-time binge, there is an option to fast-track the next box, or players can purchase entire seasons or premium mysteries fromhunt a killersave on computer. players who want moreX-DateiThe experience can also deepen itblank faces(paranormal mystery) orbreak the earth (Sci-Fi Survival). While the games are more expensive than some home subscriptions, thehunt a killer The team encourages cost-sharing and playing with friends (safely and responsibly during the pandemic).


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But whatever you bring to the table, whatever your playstyle (solo or team, RPG or puzzle-focused), you do well. "There's no right way to do that," Carlea confirmed. And that's part of the fun.

Do you have what it takes to hunt down a killer?Click here to find out!Use code GEEK to get 20% off your first box!


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Why is Hunt A Killer the perfect crime game for amateur detectives? (9)

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Alana Jolie Abbott|@alanajoli

Alana Joli Abbott is a games critic and author whose multiple choice novels, including Choice of the Pirate and Blackstone Academy for Magical Beginners, are published...

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