The Ghost in the Attic is a mystery puzzle experience created by The Mystery Agency. You and your team of detectives (your family and friends) have joined the agency and are helping them to solve this mysterious case.
The Ghost in the Attic case file warns you that “terrible things happened to those who played this haunted board game when it was released in the 1950s. But the only way to solve the mystery is to play the game yourself. Can you play the haunted game and banish the ghost forever?”
An intriguing concept, with a haunted vibe – I had to try it out!
The game commences with an important message from the agency on the computer, an old newspaper clipping and a padlocked, supposedly haunted, board game. You read of a cursed game, where people are known to have met their demise once playing it, falling out of their attics! The premise is so well-written it feels believable, and adds an element of uncertainty when working out the first padlock – do we really want to open the game and get the curse? (my partner, a fellow detective, was planning on going up to the attic the following day – ‘Perhaps you should give that a miss!?’ I joke).
The game consists of a large number of interrelated puzzles and padlocks, which need to be pieced together to solve the mystery and unravel the story. There is a good mix of visual, number and word puzzles to get to grips with. Playing in a big group works really well – whilst it is generally a linear mystery, there are enough things going on so that different people in the group can take the lead on certain puzzles which suit their strengths.
The puzzles are a challenge and the website recommends for players aged 14+, however I can see it would appeal to slightly younger children if they had the help of older team mates. There is also the option of using their online hints portal if you get really stuck. You can also choose to play against a timer – we chose not to, and I am glad we didn’t as it took way longer than I thought to complete (around 3-4 hours), and the puzzles were hard enough without the stress of a timer!
As expected, you can’t replay once the game is over, but you do end up with a really cool Halloween boardgame to play afterwards – you could also reset the mystery game and gift it to a friend. The game is well-designed and has so many elements, it should be a luxury puzzle experience (particularly for the steep £40 price point), however one issue we had was that a crucial item in the box was broken, which soured the ending of the game. We had previously played their other two mysteries in the series – The Vanishing Gambler and Balthasar’s Stone. These were both equally fun to play, but again there were some issues with the latter game’s construction which took the shine off game play. In both cases, when contacting the The Mystery Agency support team, they were really helpful in fixing the issue.
Overall, my detective team and I really enjoyed playing The Ghost in the Attic (and the previous two mysteries). I am looking forward to their next case, and if The Mystery Agency can sort out their teething problems with manufacturing, it will indeed be the impressive, immersive puzzle experience it deserves to be.
Check out The Ghost in the Attic (and other mysteries) by The Mystery Agency.