Society of Curiosities – The Memory Stone

society-of-curiosities-memory-stone-review

A thrilling, engaging adventure that’s full of a-ha moments

Date played: 18 April 2021
Team: Jamie & Mim
Time to finish: 1hr 48 mins
Recommended playlist: Society of Curiosities in-game soundtrack

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I’m pretty entrenched in the world of Society of Curiosities. Both their Madok’s Lost Treasure and their Posey Ring and the Chapbook games were so much fun and incredibly immersive.

Can Aldora Pennywig and her team score a hat trick? We’ll see.

We recently re-opened an investigation from the early days of the Society. In light of newly acquired information, we believe one of your predecessors, researcher Clarence Gladstone, found a fabled artifact before disappearing: the memory stone.

We sent you a parcel with resources. We also dispatched one of our consultants, Victor Hallingsworth, to the last known location of researcher Gladstone in the Amazon forest of Brazil.

You will receive a parcel shortly with resources and artifacts. Good luck.

Incredible quality components

Opening the package, you’d be forgiven for believing some long-dead archeologist has accidentally bequeathed you their expedition notes in their will.

The pages are hand-aged and have the kind of detail in their typewritten text and illustrations that make them feel like they’re one of a kind.

The quality is second-to-none, and the sheer amount of care that’s gone into the components really shows.

There are some excellent physical props in this adventure that I’ve kept out of the photos for fear of spoilers. But one of the final components is so satisfying to handle and use.

Again, the detailing is incredible. Society of Curiosities have outdone themselves with the quality of their materials.

Photo by Jamie Gibbs

Challenging puzzles that blend seamlessly with the narrative

We tackled a mix of pathfinding, lateral thinking and some codebreaking. The lion’s share of puzzling was the detective work – making connections between snippets of evidence to piece together the work of this missing expedition.

The online components of the game excel in this – at one point I hesitated before making contact with a character as I didn’t know if they were a real person or not. That’s the kind of immersion I can get behind.

Again, we fell into the pitfall of not paying enough attention to the detail in this game. There’s nothing in this game that’s put there by chance, or just because it looks nice. Everything is deliberate.

Most of our sticking points in this game were when we were thinking like players in a game rather than the armchair treasure hunters we were meant to be.

There was one part of the game that we got purely by trial and error, and I’m still not sure why the solution we gave was the correct one.

Photo by Jamie Gibbs

Chatbot a little less sophisticated than previous games

The dashboard that serves as your mission hub is excellent – all of our correspondence with the Society’s numerous cast was done through that.

The game comes with its own soundtrack, and there’s a debriefing letter that recaps the game for you (that comes in very handy when writing these reviews!)

We felt the chatbot in this game was a little less sophisticated than in previous games … either that or I’m incredibly dense for throwing all kinds of weird – and wrong! – suggestions at it!

Once we’d nailed an answer things were fine, but sometimes there would be no response at all, which pulled us out of the world just a smidge.

The adventure also comes with a mini mission as well as a skill building postcard, which is designed to help you with some aspect of the next game.

I really appreciate the attention paid to a continuous story and giving players the tools they need to develop their skills without breaking the narrative.

A great continuation of the SoC narrative

With each game Society of Curiosities manage to up the ante on their experiences.

The quality of their materials speaks for itself and their puzzles have some wonderful ‘a-ha’ moments.

There”s creativity and ingenuity abound in The Memory Stone, and it shows Society of Curiosities is going from strength to strength.

I’d recommend The Memory Stone to anyone who wants their games to feel as real as possible.

If you’ve tried The Balthazar Box from The Mystery Agency, and are after something more challenging, then definitely go for the Society of Curiosities.

The Memory Stone
Designed by
 Yacine Merzouk and Michelle Rundbaken
Cost: $19.50 per month (GBP), or $49 every three months (GBP)
Requirements: Access to internet, ability to send and receive text messages (optional)

Get $5 off a Society of Curiosities subscription with code ARMCHAIRESCAPIST