Hunt a Killer – Murder at the Motel Review

When me and my husband moved into our house, our friends gifted us board games as a housewarming present. I always like to add to my board game collection and have new games to play. One of the games that were gifted to us was a Hunt A Killer box. I had never heard of Hunt A Killer prior to receiving this as a present. Hunt A Killer are mystery games that have a case that needs to be solved. Hunt A Killer can be purchased individually or there’s a subscription box where a game is sent on a regular basis. Our friend gave us the “Murder at the Motel” game. Hunt A Killer is an interesting premise that I would try to play again.

“Murder at the Motel” takes place unsurprisingly at a motel undergoing renovations. Julian Foard is found dead in one of the motel rooms in the mid-afternoon. Julian’s close confident, Veronica Rodriguez, calls into a detective agency asking for assistance. The police think she had something to do with his death, but Veronica claims she’s innocent. There are several guests staying in the motel at the time of Julian’s death including a family of three, a real estate agent, the motel owner, and a man who was seen frequently at the pool slightly intoxicated. The goal is to figure out three things: the means (how was Julian killed), the motive (who would have a reason for wanting Julian dead), and the timeline to figure out where everyone was when Julian was killed.

As we opened the box, there were several pieces of evidence along with a locked box with a four-digit combination. My group loves to chit-chat, so I think one of the challenging things right away was getting us all to focus on one thing at the same time versus reviewing all the pieces of evidence separately. I do like that Hunt A Killer can be played solo as I could see buying this and spending a Friday night playing through this. I love the attention to detail within the box. There’s a detailed police report, crime scene photo, several receipts, and other pieces of evidence along with Julian’s journal. It felt immersive even though it was only a game.

While the game said it would take an hour, it took us at least three hours. The biggest challenge was figuring out who was lying about their alibi along with figuring out the combination to the locked box. At first, we were sure we wouldn’t need to use a hint, but eventually, it came to a point where we were sinking several hours into this and not getting anywhere. To be fair, “Murder at the Motel” is listed at medium difficulty, but I’m not exactly sure how that’s scaled. We ended up using a small hint and to our amusement, the answer to the combination was right in front of us.

The biggest gripe I have with “Murder at the Motel” was the solution. My group thought we had it all figured out. However, when we opened the envelope containing the solution, we were wrong about everything. I still find myself thinking through all the pieces of evidence and I’m not finding a direct link between who the killer was and what we reviewed. Clearly, something was missed, but at the same time, if I’m still stuck putting the pieces together, I’m not sure how clearly outlined the evidence was. Instead of feeling satisfied at the reveal, I was left feeling annoyed. I think this is more specific to the “Murder at the Motel” story, so that’s why I would be open to trying another Hunt A Killer box.

Hunt A Killer is a perfect game for anyone who’s a big True Crime aficionado or someone who likes puzzles or escape rooms. As mentioned, I wasn’t a big fan of the reveal of “Murder at the Motel”, but I do think the concept of this is fun. I don’t think I would sign up for a subscription, but I would consider ordering another story. If you played Hunt A Killer, let me know in the comments which one you tried!

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