Can you the track down the missing casino cheat who vanished from his Las Vegas jail cell?
Locate the whereabouts of casino cheat Roy Marshall. Discover hidden messages, hack into Roy’s bank account and even go undercover yourself.
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Although the components were nicely made, the puzzles were mostly quite boring and the answer inputting system were horribly flawed, to the point where you have to guess even once you’ve got the answer. At £45, this box is overpriced and not worth playing, unfortunately!
This was our second one of these games and it felt like such a disappointment after Ghost In The Attic. All the components still feel well made and high quality but some of the puzzles felt like they weren't designed as well as they could have been - several times we had the correct solution but somehow weren't doing the exact thing that was expected by the game. Really frustrating.
Our enjoyment of this was severely hampered by what turned out to be a printing error. We had one component that was missing a printed area (but it's not in a location where you would expect printing so we couldn't tell there was supposed to be something there), which probably cost us about 30 minutes of actual time plus the 17 minutes that taking the three hints to get the answer added to our clock. This was incredibly frustrating, and lets down the otherwise high production quality.
We generally enjoyed the puzzles, although I did find a few of them to be a bit lacking in a connection between 'the way you get the answer' and 'a plausible in-world mechanism for that to be the case'. In one case, I was convinced that what my friend was trying to do wasn't right (it was) due to the way the artwork was drawn.
As with the other two Mystery Agency games we've played, the components were of decent quality (apart from the printing error), and we did enjoy the way story dealt with the missing evidence. The game is fully reset-able, although there are some parts which may be more obvious to subsequent players due to handling. The outer container isn't as robust as with the other two games so might not survive as many resets as the other two - our copy had one bit that was slightly torn before we started.
Played this with my 11-year-old daughter and we managed it without too many hints. It was very well constructed and all the pieces feel high quality. I like that it can be entirely reset and reused multiple times. We enjoyed it and everything worked well except we never received an email clue that we should have been sent so we had to resort to the hints to get through that stage. Otherwise everything worked perfectly and it was a satisfying conclusion with some clever twists along the way.
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The Vanishing Gambler is an incredibly well-polished and smart game with a few tricks up its sleeve. If you like a more grounded puzzle game, then I recommend you give this a go. If, like me, you like a touch of the fantastical, then I’d go with either The Balthazar Stone or Ghost in the Attic.