The Balthazar Stone
29 May 2021
3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Last weekend I got to try out the Mystery Agency game The Balthazar Stone, a mysterious escape-type game in a box. I’ve been itching to try one of the Mystery Agency games for a while, so was quite excited to get started with this one.
The Balthazar Stone starts out with an age old mystery, a Cambridge university professor died under mysterious circumstances while researching the fabled Balthazar stone after being sent Balthazar’s treasure chest, and it is up to us to solve the mystery of the stone. Researches have tried for years, but couldn’t open the chest, so we are needed to take a stab and unlock the contents. The game is played with the help of a website that houses hints as well as the first clue to get us started.
First off, there’s a little bit of research to be done with the included newspaper, which relatively quickly led to the discovery of the first code needed to open the box. Once unlocked, we’re presented with another lock that keeps a compartment inside the chest securely off limits, as well as further materials including a map, feathers, wine corks, and more. All these materials help reveal the story and lead us to try to find out who Balthazar really was. The materials in the first compartment are really fun to work with, despite some of the puzzles being quite complex.
It didn’t take too long to open the second lock, just to be presented with another compartment and more items with puzzles! I really enjoyed how the different materials played together to unfold the story and help discover the true story behind the mystery. With a little bit of help from the hints section, this last compartment was finally opened and the case solved.
All in all, it took me one hour and 21 minutes to solve the box, and it was very entertaining with lots of little surprises along the way. However, I’m not sure the steep price point for this game is quite justified. The materials aren’t the highest quality (some of them broke quite easily despite careful usage) and the game just isn’t that complex. For a £40 price I would have expected a bit more. Still, it was a very fun game and I’ll be trying out their other games at some point as well!