When I started getting into podcasts, it was probably inevitable that I’d end up a fan of true crime podcasts specifically. After all, I’m always binging Forensic Files on the hotel TV when I travel and love to rewatch NCIS pretty much anytime I get my hair treatments done.
That’s why my husband thought that Hunt A Killer would be the perfect Christmas gift for me! He wasn’t wrong – I enjoyed my subscription (Curtain Call) so much that I first bought myself a box set, Moon Summit, followed other HAK games like Death at the Dive Bar and Camp Calamity. (Save 30% on your Hunt A Killer Subscription)
If you’re researching Moon Summit and curious if you’ll like the case, this post provides a specific Hunt A Killer Moon Summit review. Read on to determine if this case might be one you’d like to take on.
(For those who are nerdy about this kind of thing, Moon Summit is the story “before” Curtain Call in the Hunt A Killer timeline; that’s why I published it first as you could or maybe should? do it before Curtain Call. As I’ve only done two sets, I’m not exactly sure what the threads that connect each one are yet! Read more about how Hunt A Killer works in my full Hunt A Killer review, forthcoming.)
This post was originally published in August 2021, and was checked and updated in January 2023.
The Basics of Hunt A Killer Boxes
If you’re not familiar, I want to start with an introduction to how Hunt A Killer works. In short, there are two ways to get boxes:
- Box Sets – You get all six case files in the case at once.
- Subscription – You get one case file at a time for roughly six months.
Inside each case file, you receive a number of things:
- A letter from the head investigator, Michelle Gray, who’s subcontracting this work to you.
- A letter from the client, which changes from case to case. In Moon Summit, that’s Ami Takahashi, a friend and colleague of the deceased, at Whitlock University.
- A checklist of all other items in the case file, which usually include a combination of documents and physical evidence. (More on the physical evidence below, as this is one of the coolest parts of Moon Summit!)
- Access to an online workspace for digital evidence.
- A card detailing your objective for that case file, which you must complete before moving on to the next case file.
Before you start each case file, it’s super important: always check off each item on the checklist to ensure you’ve received all of the documents and evidence you need.
There was a major mess up with one of my Moon Summit case files (#2) and it had duplicates of another case file (#3). I had to contact Hunt A Killer to receive a new case file #2. (They actually went above and beyond and sent me another box set!)
Okay, now that you’re oriented, let’s get into my specific review of the Moon Summit case from Hunt A Killer.
To begin my review, it helps to understand the story in Moon Summit. I actually picked this Hunt A Killer box set specifically because of the story.
I was intrigued as the premise was familiar: a suspicious death – originally blamed on an animal attack – in an Alaskan National Park. Since I grew up in Alaska and have visited Denali National Park many times (which Moon Summit is clearly inspired by), I thought I’d find the story as fascinating as the case.
There is one victim, and six suspects. Each has a different relationship with the victim, and something to hide. Throughout the case, you work to identify the murder weapon and eliminate suspects until only one remains. Souths simple enough, right?
Luckily, it’s not: this is a complex and challenging case that will keep you engaged right up until you determine the murderer. That’s exactly what Hunt A Killer promises – and the Moon Summit case delivers!
Files & Documents
As this is my second Hunt A Killer case, all I can say is that I’m thoroughly impressed with the detail that goes into crafting these stories. It must be hard to come up with a crime, reverse engineer the case file, and bury the necessary evidence just so, such that we true crime junkies don’t figure it all out in the first file of each case.
Some people might find the multiple case files frustrating, especially in the subscription box plan. That’s where box sets are great – you can work through them all in one go. Be warned though, Hunt A Killer estimates that Moon Summit takes anywhere from 10-15 hours!
In terms of the documents in the Moon Summit case, perhaps the most impressive part was the drawings. As the story is based in a national park, there are several beautiful drawings and sketches of the landscape and wildlife. Certainly, the police reports, transcripts, and other documents are helpful for solving the case, but the artistic elements of Moon Summit make it a “transportive” experience too. It certainly made me want to go back to Alaska!
In addition to paper evidence, Hunt A Killer provides an online experience too. In each case file, you’ll receive a new passport that gives you access to a website workspace (a “desktop”) where either the PI (Michelle Gray) or the client have left you additional evidence.
In Moon Summit, the digital evidence provides valuable clues for several of the objectives in the case files. Other resources on the desktop also help solve some of the ciphers and unravel the entire mystery of the murderer’s identity.
Additionally, the online workspace is where you can email the requested information to the client at the end of each case file. You can’t move on without using this feature, so make sure you’ve got access to the internet when you work on any Hunt A Killer box.
As I mentioned, the physical evidence was easily the most impressive part of the Moon Summit case. There was physical evidence from the crime scene in basically every box, some of which is actually quite useful! (I still wear my Moon Summit beanie sometimes when traveling.)
Also, the physical evidence ends up being critical to cracking the case. I won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil it, but while most of the physical evidence doesn’t make a huge difference and other cases (like Curtain Call) don’t really rely much on the physical evidence, Moon Summit is unsolvable without a thorough examination of all the physical evidence. That’s all I’ll say about that!
Ciphers & Codes
What makes Hunt A Killer a bit less-than-realistic is that every case includes codes and ciphers. I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit skeptical that everyone in this alternate reality is writing in code all the time, when we don’t do that in our reality! The ciphers and codes do add an extra layer of puzzles to help the case last longer though, which I love.
According to Hunt A Killer, Moon Summit has a cipher score of 3 (out of 5), meaning it is a little tricky but manageable. I actually found it harder than Curtain Call (which has a score of 4), in part because of the specific ways the ciphers were constructed in the case files. Additionally, several of the coded bits of evidence didn’t seem to have any bearing on solving the case, which was frustrating as they took a long time to crack.
As part of shooting photos for this review, I even discovered another cipher on a piece of evidence that I never solved… but it obviously didn’t matter in the end!
Hunt A Killer Moon Summit Review: My Overall Thoughts
So would I suggest buying and trying to solve Moon Summit? You can probably guess my answer but yes, I recommend Moon Summit.
I actually enjoyed it more than Curtain Call, in part because of the story and also because of the immersive evidence.
Fantastic physical evidence
Compelling documents and digital evidence
Challenging ciphers and codes
Good customer service
An issue with duplicated evidence in one box which my solving the case while I waited for a replacement
Some ciphers, codes, and evidence didn’t affect the case at all
You can buy Moon Summit directly from Hunt A Killer or it’s available on Amazon too!
Don’t forget: You can save 30% on your Hunt A Killer Subscription if you click my link!
Do you have any questions about Moon Summit? Let me know in the comments.