“This is a cool mystery. I’m sad it’s almost over.” The exact, unsolicited words of my 9 year old, when he and his siblings only had one out of 8 clues left to solve. If that’s not an endorsement for this escape room inspired, Mystery at the Lux Museum game, I don’t know what is.
Product: Mystery at the Lux Museum
Company: Clever Kids Mysteries
Recommended Age Range: 6-12
Price Range: ~$10
First, please note that this is not a sponsored post. Our family paid for this game with our own money. (Though I bought the Print and Play version, not the shipped version linked to above.) I will not make any money if you choose to try out this game. However, the creator of this game did offer me a free copy. I declined, because I don’t like feeling beholden to anyone when I write a review. However, I looked into the product and I was very curious.
My kids and I have played escape room style games before and had a ton of fun. It is so great for developing their minds and getting them thinking critically. They are having such a good time, they don’t even know they are exercising their brains. (However, note that as with all escape room games, it can only really be played with the same group of kids once.)
A couple days ago, I decided to give it a shot during dinner. (We frequently play games over dinner, though usually more along this style.) I had already printed and assembled everything and read through all the material myself. I thought it would be a fun family dinnertime activity. It did not disappoint.
My kids (ages 9, 7, 5, and 3) had a blast trying to figure out all the clues on their own. With the hint sheet, I was able to solve most of the clues relatively quickly beforehand and then guide them gently in the right direction. Overall, it took about 90 minutes for them to complete the puzzle. I helped them less and less as time went on, because they were clearly having so much fun they didn’t want it to end.
All of the 8 puzzles they had to solve were completely different. They had to use their brains in different ways for each one. Probably my favorite clue involved shining a light through a set of statues. Seriously, how unique and clever is that?
There were also 2 decoders that worked in different ways. My kids were so close to finished, I refused to give them any help on the puzzle with the pattern of masks. It was great, because even my 5 year old was working hard trying to figure out the pattern and making progress. I love any activity that gets my group of 4 working as a team.
I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a self-published game before, but after this one, I will definitely be more open to it. My family had a great experience. There are not many escape room style games on the market for kids as young as mine, so this was a great find.
My one suggestion is that I feel the PnP (print and play) version should be a little cheaper than the shipped version. It was a lot of work to get everything printed, cut out, and assembled. It probably took me close to an hour. In retrospect, I probably would have just paid the shipping cost given the price difference.
If you are looking for a fun family bonding experience, I definitely recommend this game. I solved the puzzles in advance to be sure I could help my kids if they got stuck, but I think it would have worked well to do it all together. This game would also be fun as an independent activity for a small group of kids in the 9 to 12 year old range, maybe for a co-op or a birthday party. (Younger kids can definitely play, but they will need more help.)
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