It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed a date night subscription box because I’ve been working on so many other things lately and new blog posts have taken a bit of a back burner. But a couple months ago, I was scrolling through Instagram, saw an ad for a “murder mystery date night box” and knew that Kyle and I HAD to try it out! I contacted the company, they agreed to let us try out a box. Here’s my Hunt A Killer review – a murder-mystery series in a box!
Disclaimer: I received a complementary box to review, however, as always, these words are my own, I was not paid to write this, nor was I told what to say. If you haven’t been around my blog much, you’ll find that honesty is extremely important to me and I take great pride in authenticity.
Also note – though technically Hunt A Killer is not an official “date night box” (it can be enjoyed by anyone, singular or plural), a large percentage of their customers use it as a regular date night experience, so I’m including it in my list of date night subscription boxes.
What is Hunt a Killer? It’s a detective mystery but in a subscription box format. Each month they send you new files and evidence and each month you should be able to eliminate a new suspect. If you want to solve the entire mystery, you should expect to purchase the entire 6-month season, but of course, if you just want to try it out for one box/”episode” like we did, you’re welcome to. (Though I am forewarning you that there’s a good chance you’ll want to continue all the way through in order to solve the mystery. ?)
Here’s what came in our Hunt A Killer “Class of ’98, Episode 1” box:
– Instruction Booklet
– List of Contents card
– Hunt A Killer notepad
– Hunt A Killer membership pin
– blacklight keychain
– manila envelope
Inside the manila envelope:
– letter from the previous detective explaining the case
– case file with many documents about the case
– class of 1998 yearbook
– map of Chestnut Falls
– drink koosie
Though an instruction book comes with the box, to be honest – half the fun is that there’s little guidance on how exactly you’re supposed to go through the materials. You get to pretend that you’re a REAL detective and go through all the materials, look for clues, and put together the story whatever way you can using only the info you’ve got!
WARNING: I try very hard below to not give away “spoilers”, but just as a heads up – if you sign up for Hunt A Killer and start the Class of 1998 series, you may or may not want to read the rest of this post too carefully and instead just skip down to the end. (but even still, there’s not really any real spoilers. I’d think you’re probably pretty safe reading).
The setup: After opening up the box and going through all the materials, Kyle and I started by writing down the names of the suspects on post-its. I’d found a bulletin board in the garage for us to turn into our Hunt a Killer detective board. While not a necessity, I strongly suggest designating a bulletin board to your mystery solving pursuit. It not only helps keep your clues organized, but it also just looks cool.
In fact, if you’re interested, Hunt A Killer offers a premium package that you can add to your subscription that includes a bulletin board and a bunch of other detective goodies for an extra $47. Again, not a necessity, but a fun addition.
The sleuthing: One of our favorite parts of this box was the fake 1998 yearbook. As high school students ourselves in 1998, we laughed at how authentic to the time period everything in the yearbook felt. The creators of these mysteries really paid attention to detail!
We pulled out the included map and noted where different events of the evening took place in relation to each other. Then we talked about the different characters involved and – being the writers that we are – contemplated their story arcs and the possible motivations behind their actions.
At this point in our investigation we got online and looked up a special online folder we were told about in a letter; the site was set up to look like the previous detective’s computer desktop. Clicking on file folders led us to more evidence. Some files seemed irrelevant to the murder mystery at hand – others seemed pertinent. Even if we didn’t know what they meant, we read though everything in order to soak in all the information. Then we tried to decide what to do with it all.
When we felt like we’d come to the end of one rope, we decided to investigate the other items that came in the box. A drink koosie? A keychain? No wait, there’s a button on it….oh, it’s a blacklight! Why would we be given a blacklight?
So of course we then went over every document we could in search of a secret message.
And we found one!!!
The solving: Once we felt that we’d covered everything we could think of, Kyle and I spent some time chatting about things we’d noticed, who seemed the most guilty so far, and who seemed the least. Before we knew it, we’d come to a natural conclusion about one person we felt confident was NOT a suspect.
Knowing that that was the entire goal of this box, to eliminate a suspect, we decided it was time to head over to the Hunt A Killer website and enter in the info given to us on the Episode Recap Card. We chose the suspect we wanted to eliminate, pressed enter, aaaannnddd…. we were right!
All in all, it was a pretty fun and unique date night. Different than the other date night boxes we’ve done. But a fun change of pace. I admit though that I now want to get the next episode so that we can continue the rest of the story! Otherwise it’s like watching the first episode of a really interesting show and then never watching the rest. Which would be a bummer.
Maybe you’re wondering what would happen if we hadn’t naturally come to the conclusion about who to eliminate as a suspect? What if we’d have been totally lost? What if YOU get a Hunt A Killer box but can’t solve it? Don’ worry – Hunt A Killer has two options for if/when you need it:
1) an online message board forum, and
2) a secret facebook group you could join.
I requested membership to the fb group after we’d solved the puzzle on our own, but I wanted to check the group out anyways. You join a different facebook group for EACH episode/box – not the entire season – so as to not have spoilers given away. I definitely appreciate this approach instead of just one huge group with all spoilers!
However, I highly encourage you to try to solve the box on your own first before going to the fb group and getting answers. It’s so much more fun to have to do it on your own. But if you’re really stuck, at least you can know that there’s help.
All the details about Hunt A Killer:
- $25 – $30/month depending on subscription length
- Shipping: $3.95/mo (for month-to-month), FREE for 6- or 12-month season passes
- First box ships immediately, I believe that you can request following boxes to be shipped out sooner if you find that you want to continue the story without waiting a month in-between boxes.
- Promo Code: 15PERCENT for 15% of first month’s box
Thanks so much Hunt A Killer for letting us review your Class of 1998 Episode 1 box!!
Wow! I’ve never heard of this before. It sounds like so much fun because I love mysteries. Awesome review thanks!
I’m intrigued by this, sounds right up our alley! I love murder mysteries but have never tried anything this interactive before! Great review!
Excited to try something new!
Just what we need to spend quality time together!
my girlfriend has been talking about doing one of these mysteries off amazon for a while but I’m very pleased to find out about this instead!
I dont know if my first comment went through, but me and my girlfriend had been looking at mysteries like these on Amazon and I’m pleasantly surprised to have found out about this service!
Wow, awesome never seen anything like this! Years of experience detecting all the kids “Stories” or “I didn’t do it mom”. Thoroughly believed I had ESP. Would tell them whether it be a minute or years “Ill find out what you did”
I live mysteries This would be a fun activity.
I’m a fan of mysteries and find this monthly subscription mystery concept fascinating. I could easily see spending a night pouring over the clues!
I’m a writer myself, yet can never figure out the ending of a mystery. I need practice!
I think I would be a good fit for one of these Hunt A Killer murder mystery boxes because I’m very methodical and detail-oriented.