When people say they want an experience in a box, I sometimes feel like they get a little short changed. However, when I recently received The Morrison Game Factory for review, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the experience both in terms of how the puzzle and game went and also how almost every detail had been worked out in production.
When you open the box, the game immediately immerses you in story. It's clear that the designer of the game or puzzletale is a writer. Narrative drips from every part of the experience.
I was somewhat worried about how to review a game like this without revealing any spoilers, but ultimately with something so high quality it's not that hard.
Each piece of the game fits together seamlessly. There are several types of puzzles in the game including numbers, cryptography, visual cues, and tactile elements. As a former escape room operator, it was a joy to see the variation in the types of clues and puzzles. Sometimes, certain escape rooms or puzzles become too math heavy or too crypto heavy. This game had a nice balance of several types.
There was one puzzle which didn't work very well due to a physical element, but you could tell what the creators were trying to do and it was still solvable with the information being present and limited rather than open ended. Also, we had another element that had been reset incorrectly but we were able to proceed despite this. This flaw was in no way due to the creators, but it is worth noting if you intend to pass this along or buy for a convention or store library.
My favorite thing about the game was how tactile the whole thing became. You wanted to touch the pieces and interact with them. And there was often a reason to do so!
We played with our younger son who is currently 11 and he enjoyed the game very much although some of the puzzles were beyond his current skill set. I think the game will work best for groups who communicate well. It would also work as a solo experience. I just thought the narrative discovery was very nice with other people.
If you have ever enjoyed a mystery novel, escape room, or puzzle adventure game- then you will likely enjoy this whole experience. It can be passed on too, which is fantastic.
The publisher provided me with a review copy, which I mailed on to another reviewer. No compensation was provided and my opinions are my own.
The box says 1-4, but I could see the game being played by a larger group which can get along and share the components.
The Morrison Game Factory
Designed by Lauren Bello
Artwork by Steve Thomas
Published by Post Curious