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Cold Case: A Story to Die For

In 1988, investigative reporter Andy Bailey was shot while pursuing a story. The case was never solved. Can you comb through witness statements, autopsy reports, and crime scene photos to find the killer all these years later?

A Story to Die For is the first game in Thinkfun’s Cold Case line, a new series of immersive mystery games, with an entire case packed into a single box. Here is the trailer video:

Gameplay

The game is composed of a file of evidence, including transcripts of witness interviews, some photographs, an autopsy report, and more. The game comes with an instruction page that gives you the basic facts for the case and four questions you need to answer. Finally, there is a URL given that links to a website for this case.

Players work together to comb through the evidence, trying to solve the mystery. When you think you have the solution, you go to the website and give your answers to the questions. If they’re wrong, the site will suggest you look at the evidence again, and will direct you to which pieces you should reexamine or suggest what line of reasoning you should consider.

Cold Case: A Story to Die For Components

Review

Cold Case: A Story to Die For is a fun mystery game that’s quite well thought-out. There are plenty of suspects, clues, and red herrings. Deduction is needed, but the game never asks you to take leaps of logic too far and none of the solutions felt unfair.

The story is also quite enjoyable. The writers have done a good job in presenting each character and making them feel alive. There are threads of subplots weaved throughout, that have you questioning what, exactly, each person is like. Not all of it plays a role in the final solution, but that element of detail makes the story feel more detailed and more like an actual case you’re trying to crack.

Most of the game involves reading, looking for discrepancies, taking notes, and trying to connect different elements. This makes for a great solo game, but you can easily enjoy it in a small group, too. There’s plenty to read that players can take turns with, while another person can be in charge of notes. It is also a game that is extremely easy to pass on to someone else once you’re done, as all you have to do is reorder some of the evidence and put it all back in the folder.

The production value of the evidence is also nicely done. There’s a good range included of different types of evidence, and photographs are included of suspects and the crime scene. It’s exciting to work through each piece of evidence, and discover what’s next in the folder. It feels quite immersive, and the website is designed to fit in with the story of the game as well, and is nicely designed for easy use.

As the first in a new line of murder mystery games, A Story to Die For is a very promising start. The difficulty is going to vary from player to player of course — we didn’t find this one too difficult, but it didn’t feel disappointingly easy either. It was a nice range, particularly for the first game when you’re still learning the types of puzzles and clues to expect from the series. However, it might be nice to have a difficulty rating marked on the box, as you would typically find for escape-room-in-a-box games. If you’re looking for something to kick your brain into gear, or you just love a good mystery, A Story to Die For is a lot of fun — and it is now available on Amazon for pre-order.

Pros: Great production quality, all the clues and deduction feels logical, nice depth to the story

Cons: No difficulty rating on the box

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.

Giveaway

Would you love to solve the mystery yourself? Enter below for a chance to win a brand new copy of Cold Case: A Story to Die For. One lucky winner will be chosen (U.S. only, 18+). We would like to thank ThinkFun for sponsoring this giveaway!

Cold Case: A Story to Die For Giveaway