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Review: The Scarlet Starlet

3 Keys

RATING: 3 Keys         RESULT: Won          REMAINING: 10:06

Being a famed Hollywood starlet inherently comes with its fair share of fans and a few stalkers, but how will we react when one of them turns his attention to stalking us instead?


Everyone’s favorite Hollywood star, Ruby Valentine, was last seen entering her dressing room on the set of her newest movie. 

Last night, the local police received an anonymous phone tip from Ruby’s alleged kidnapper. Now they need our help before the tabloids get wind of the news. We must go to Ruby’s dressing room and find any clues the kidnapper may have left behind. We need to find Ruby before it’s too late!

Puzzle Workshop sets another unique theme with their second game, The Scarlet Starlet. A classic tale of Hollywood’s seedy underbelly unfolds as we venture from Ruby’s very own dressing room into the nearby apartment of the man who believes himself to be Ruby’s biggest fan, but in actuality is her biggest stalker.

Ruby’s missing, and it’s up to us to figure out just what this creep did with her.


The Scarlet Starlet exists within a space considerably less lavish than that found in Secrets of the Illuminati. Ruby’s rather basic looking dressing room, far less fancy than one might expect for a leading lady of her caliber and reputation. The basic necessities fill out the space – a make-up table, a desk, mirror, etc, to help paint the scene that this is indeed Ruby’s functioning, regularly used dressing room.

A secret passage leads us from Ruby’s most private space to something considerably more shocking – the apartment next door, which might be innocent enough until you consider its resident is Ruby’s stalker, and now the direct cause of her disappearance.

The room has a standard lonely bachelor pad feel to it, with minimal decor beyond the necessities – oh, and then there’s that wall of photographs and news paper clippings of Ruby; that’s not creepy or anything. But hang on a sec – the last picture added isn’t Ruby… holy cow, it’s a literally a picture of us taken through the peep holes drilled into the dividing wall.

Ok, now that IS creepy.



Throughout much of the experience, The Scarlet Starlet really tries its best to keep its puzzles organically within the confines of its storyworld. In Ruby’s dressing room, locks placed by her are opened with codes that have personal significance to her life – not just random number codes.  One incredibly clever step connects Ruby’s make-up collection with a complex logic puzzle.

Once in the stalker’s apartment, the puzzles shift a bit more to have a detective feel – tracking dates from news paper clippings to cross examine with places he’s been in hopes of determining what his next step may be before it’s too late for dear, sweet Miss Valentine.


Overall, this game had nearly as satisfying of a story flow as Secrets of the Illuminati just across the hall, but at the end of the day a somewhat narrative disconnected finale step is what drew us to bump this one down one key grade.

The Scarlet Starlet is still another fun, good game from Puzzle Workshop, and luckily for Ruby’s sake, definitely one we’d recommend trying to solve if your visit to Orange County should find a spare hour or two on the schedule.

Venue Details

Venue:  Puzzle Workshop

Location: Irvine, California

Number of Games: 2


Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 7 people

Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.

Cost: $30 per person (a three person minimum is required for online bookings.)

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