Monday , June 24 2024

Mystery Game Review: ‘The Night Hunter’ from University Games

The Night Hunter is one of the biggest endeavors from the Murder Mystery Party brand from University Games. The Murder Mystery Party Case Files, such as Death by Chef’s Knife, invited players to investigate a murder, reviewing case files and a wide range of documented evidence to unravel an unsolved mystery. Each game has a series of steps toward discovering the murderer by comparing interviews, studying timelines, or noticing small details in photographs. The Night Hunter has not only upped the ante but also the stakes, with a serial killer still at large.

An Unfolding Story

Like the other Murder Mystery Party games, The Night Hunter is steeped in an immersive story, and this time it is on a much larger scale. Twenty-five years ago, police apprehended “The Night Hunter,” who surrendered and confessed to serial murders. Recently, a new killing has taken place, identical to the M.O. of the previous murders, even though the original Night Hunter is still in prison. Could the man behind bars not have been the original murderer, or is this a copycat with some connection? Players will have to study the cases, both old and new, to find the truth before the killer strikes again.

Sifting the Evidence

The first document in The Night Hunter box is a note from “The Bureau” explaining the many numerous pieces of evidence. A blue-light fob gives players a chance to simulate lab tests by shining over images to reveal hidden messages or numbered clues for deciphering. Perhaps most intimidating of all is the Field Guide showing the bite patterns of numerous animals as well as poisons and chemical codes for identification.

The rest of the box is divided into four “chapters” by illustrated cards. Each chapter holds its own series of clues in the forms of case briefs, copied documents, toxicology reports, photographs, handwriting samples, and much more. To move on, players must solve a series of objectives for each chapter, such as the method of murder or a particular animal that bit a body. The Night Hunter’s game website provides the solutions as well as hints for detectives who get stuck on a particularly difficult objective.

It all comes down to a timed final objective in the fourth chapter, where detectives must beat a ticking clock in order to save another potential victim.

A Whodunit for Serious Amateur Detectives

The Night Hunter is a detective game for one or more players aged 14 and up. It is likely not a good fit for younger players, given both the theme and the difficulty. For older players seeking a meaty mystery to sink their teeth into and chew on for a long while, The Night Hunter works perfectly, boasting over 100 pieces of evidence.

Gameplay is estimated at four to five hours, making The Night of the Hunter a big challenge. With its many chapters, there are of course stopping points for those who need to tackle only one step at a time. Other detectives might put on an extra pot of coffee and not rest until the mystery is solved.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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