Echoes is Ravensburger's collection of audio mysteries. Set against the backdrop of a New York Speakeasy, The Cocktail, is all about finding out the identity of gang leader, Cruel Steve. Through listening to clues, detective Tony Gee is about to uncover what went down and discover the truth!
Organising The Clues
The setup to this mystery is quick and easy. In the box there are 24 cards. 6 of these are chapter cards and the rest are item cards. To begin, all chapter cards are laid out. Then 9 item cards are placed on the table leaving the rest, with a star symbol, in the box. If you want an added challenge, you can place all cards on the table at once. Otherwise, the 9 in the box will come into play once you have solved those on the table. This makes solving the first 3 chapters a little less overwhelming.
Next download the free Echoes companion app and select the game from the menu. Once downloaded, you won’t need the internet to play. Then you’re ready to solve a crime.
Echoes Of The Past
Your objective in Echoes is to match 3 items to each chapter and assemble them in the correct order. This means you have to listen to each audio clip and figure out which chapter they belong to and how they follow on from one another. You find audio clips by scanning each card with the app.
In isolation these clues can be difficult to decipher but once you have listened to a few you can begin to piece a story together. By listening to background noises such as footsteps, music and drink shaking you can find subtle patterns in the audio. It is worth noting that some clues have breaks in them, so they don’t always follow on from one another. When your confident, you can put the app into solve mode and see if your hunch is correct. When you have the right sequence, the chapter audio will play out and will include new dialogue, building a bigger picture of the mystery.
Once each chapter has been solved, players then have to put all the chapters in the right order. Once this is done, you will then listen to the full mystery from start to finish.
The game gives you the option to play in easy mode on the app. This option provides more audio clues. Furthermore, if you get cards wrong, the app will let you know how many cards in the sequence are wrong. It will also let you know if the cards are in the wrong chapter or just the wrong order.
The Case Of Cruel Steve
The Cocktail is your stereotypical prohibition storyline. Players take on the role of Detective Tony Gee as they track down mob boss Cruel Steve. After catching up with an informant, Arthur, Tony thinks he’s about to get his big break. However, Arthur turns up dead and the raid on the speakeasy is a bust. Using clues, you will unravel the mystery of the speakeasy, who killed Arthur and identify Cruel Steve! It’s a great little mobster story. There are a few twists and turns but nothing overly complex or surprising.
The voice acting throughout is solid, if a little hammy, with thick New York accents. Everyone sounds like they’ve been smoking 50 cigarettes a day. The background audio is clear, and you can listen to the soft speakeasy tunes and hear ice in the shaker and drinks being poured.
Each chapter and item card are well designed, and pictures match the era of the mystery. The visual element helps match up the audio and they provide their own set of clues. It’s a nice package of well created content.
Overall, I enjoyed my time solving The Cocktail. After playing many different mystery games, this one offered a refreshing experience. The use of audio clues was an interesting concept and figuring it all out felt new compared to usual Exit or mystery experiences. The story was your run of the mill mob affair, but I didn’t mind that so much. It was a good introduction to the format.
I played this game at the max player count, and it worked to a degree. We put the sound through a speaker so everyone could hear and then discussed each clip and where they should go. This worked as I had a diplomatic group, but I imagine this game is suited to smaller numbers.
The small box makes it easy to transport and even though the game is one use; you can pass it on to others and give it an extra lease of life. None of the components need to be damaged when playing so this is the perfect game to regift.
The main drawback with The Cocktail is its short runtime and lack of challenge. This game will only last around 40-60 minutes. The challenge is minimal as all you need to do is put the audio files in the correct order. There are no other puzzles to solve or nuances to sink your teeth into.
Furthermore, the game doesn’t include subtitles, so it isn’t accessible for those hard of hearing. As the game requires a mobile device to play this can cause difficulties for those who don’t have specified devices.
Other than these small issues, the Cocktail is reasonably priced for what's on offer. It is a unique mystery experience which is fun to sit down and play. Anyone can pick this up and have a go at solving it. Listening to the story makes it feel less static as you can hear the people and places in the mystery. The puzzle elements are less dynamic than other packages out there, but The Cocktail has everything you need to satiate that mystery craving.
That concludes our thoughts on Echoes Game: The Cocktail. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Echoes Game: The Cocktail today click here!