Review: The Mysterious Case of Dancing Mania by Wacky Wheels Mystery Games

Review – The Mysterious Case of Dancing Mania by Wacky Wheels Mystery Games

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Price – ​​​​$12.73 quarterly subscription fee, not currently available as a stand-alone (but will be soon)

Disclaimer: while we were very kindly provided with a free copy of the game to review, all thoughts are our own

The Product:

Wacky Wheels Mystery Games is starting a subscription service for a quarterly (every 3-months) booklet full of puzzles and mystery.  Every booklet will be a stand alone experience, often drawing from true events.

Their first booklet, which will begin shipping in October, is “The Mysterious Case of Dancing Mania.”  This game will have players stepping back into the 1500s as they look into the cause of a mysterious dancing disease.  Can they use their wits and the help of experts to discover the cause and cure, or will the helpless victims dance to their doom?

The plan is for each of Wacky Wheels Mystery Games’ experiences to come in A4 sized booklets (about the size of a sheet of paper) and to range from 30-40 pages.  The booklets are full of puzzles and puzzle chains to solve.

Players will need an internet enabled device to enter answers and to use their online score card.  Points will be rewarded for correct answers, but players can lose points for wrong answers and taking hints.  In the end, teams can check their skills against the leaderboard to see how they stacked up against the rest of the world.

There is no time limit for the game, and speed will not affect players’ scores.  The game is advertised for 1-4 players with a 2-4 hour length.  As a pair, The Mysterious Case of Dancing Mania took us a little under three hours.

Our Thoughts:

The Mysterious Case of Dancing Mania is an easy to pick up and get-straight-to-playing experience.  The official directions are shared in six simple steps and then with a quick scan of a QR code, teams should be ready to begin.  We appreciated being able to dive into the puzzles so quickly.

The story here is very simple, with players getting a framework that explains why they are working to crack puzzles and solve riddles.  There is just enough lore and narrative added to get players the information they need in order to get to work.  This helps keep the focus on the puzzles, and teams shouldn’t expect mountains of exposition or character development.  

Thankfully, since the puzzles are the stars here, they do deliver very well.  Players will scour through letters, notes, and drawings for clues to help them find hidden messages.  Expect the need for logical thinking and a fine eye for details.  There is plenty of variety to the puzzles included in the booklet and the puzzle chains are well implemented.

The online scorecard is a nice touch.  We had no issues utilizing the scorecard and entering answers.  Some of the questions will have players choosing for a preset selection of answers and others will require players to type in their answers from scratch.  Either way, figuring out where answers go and how they should be entered should be no problem.

The pressure of trying to get as many points as possible added a lot of fun (and stress).

We would like to boast that we received a perfect score and are ranked at #2 globally (due to alphabetical listing; in reality we’re in a four-way tie for 1st).  As much as we love to brag about our master puzzling skills, we would have to attribute part of our perfect score to the difficulty level of the game.  We found the puzzles here to range from easy to medium difficulty.  

Overall, we had a lot of fun making our way through the well-curated series of puzzles.  This game isn’t as fancy as some of the at home puzzle boxes on the market, but it is a fun venture back to puzzling roots.  

We recommend The Mysterious Case of Dancing Mania and Wacky Wheels Mystery Games’ booklets to those looking for some easy to jump into puzzles that will test their brains without putting too much strain.  This would be perfect for adventurers looking for a medium level challenge or for those looking to share puzzling fun with their family or younger party members.

Official C&C Rating:

Narrative: 3/5

Puzzles: 3.5/5

Overall Fun: 4/5

Total Averaged Rating: 3.5/5

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