We have played a few of these murder mystery tabletop games over the last while — they seem to have boomed in popularity. The Vanishing Gambler was more challenging than previous games in the same category, with more reliance on the players to figure out what they need to do next, instead of hinting and following a more straightforward path.
The Vanishing Gambler is a large box that has a ripped newspaper to give some backstory to the mystery you are going to be solving. Along with this box, you will also need your laptop, to explore websites and find further clues to figure out how Roy Marshall escaped from prison! Along with the newspaper and your computer, which is set to the start of the game, there is also a locked envelope full of objects that were found on the escaped prisoner, but you don’t have the code and need to start there.
Finding the various clues that you need to solve this mystery is actually quite the challenge, but if you get too stumped you can use your computer to get a first hint, a second hint, and then the answer. Unlike other mystery games, The Vanishing Gambler does explain how you would have gotten this answer if you do request the solution, which is nice in helping us understand where we went wrong when we were stuck.
The items within The Vanishing Gambler are really cool, and the biggest highlight of the game! There are so many custom items; dice, a deck of cards with a lock through it, a flashlight, lots of letters, and even a debit card that has more to it than it seems. All of these items are high quality and needed within the story as well. It’s a well-put-together box that feels like every little detail was thought about, which is always nice to see.
We enjoyed our time with The Vanishing Gambler, although we did feel the very end of the game didn’t make too much sense to us. Otherwise, it feels like a well-made mystery, perfect for a game night or a date night, although it’s a one-and-done game.
You can find The Vanishing Gambler on Amazon.