Review – The Society of Curiosities’ Fairy Tale Files (Who Framed Mr. Wolfe? and The Cinderella Murders)
Website Link – https://www.societyofcuriosities.com/games/boxes/fairy-tale-files/
Price – $22 per game
Disclaimer: we purchased the games with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
The Society of Curiosities’ Fairy Tale Files are a collection of mystery games based on classic fairy tales. Players will work alongside Inspector Maximillian Lefloof to solve cases starring childhood favorites, such as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood.
Each case uses a web-based messaging portal to allow players to navigate and progress through their journey. Inspector Lefloof will be the man on the ground, as players direct him, review physical evidence that has been sent to them, and explore new clues found along the journey. Chatting and giving answers to the messaging portal is how the game progresses.
Currently, there are four Fairy Tale Files: Who Framed Mr. Wolfe?, The Cinderella Murders, The Curious Case of the Poisoned Apples, and Sweet With Inferno. This review will be for Who Framed Mr. Wolfe? and The Cinderella Murders.
The Fairy Tale Files are marketed for ages 14+ and as a medium level difficulty. Each game is estimated to take around 1-2 hours, with the Cinderella case being advertised as the shortest (45-90 minutes). As a duo, we took around an hour for Who Framed Mr. Wolfe? And a little less than an hour for The Cinderella Murders.
The theming of the Fairy Tale Files is cute and fun. It allows the cases to be immediately accessible to most players, but the games also apply their own unique flavor and twists to keep each case interesting and mysterious. While the cases deal with crimes, nothing makes them too mature or heinous for younger detectives.
The bigger age barrier may be the puzzles’ overall medium-level difficulty. The puzzles range in actually difficulty, but they create a good flow of challenge. Some pieces of the case will be a bit more deductive and clue gathering/interpretation. Other segments will involve full-on puzzle solving. The game will take some though, but the puzzles never get too crazy.
For those needing help though, a simple entry of “mirror mirror” into the game’s messaging box will bring up a progressive hint system. This should help keep any struggling detective on the right track without removing them from the narrative much.
Both games we played did a wonderful job of making the narrative central to the case and having the puzzles/challenges stem from there. Elements of the original story and other nods to different fairy tales are sprinkled throughout the adventure. The game also does a good job of building up suspects and allow the story to narrow down to who the guilty party may be.
The online messaging portal is a unique way to run and progress through a puzzling adventure. The players work with their man-on-the-ground, Maximilian Lefloof, and we are happy to say that he works very smoothly and reliably. Maximilian may need a lot of hand holding to get through the case, but he’s a great listener. While players will definitely need to know what they want to tell Maximilian, he is good at understanding what is being sent his way. Only once did we ever have to try a few times to get the a.i. to correctly interpret our request. Otherwise, the game seems to be very open to receiving different inputs that could trigger game progression.
We only had time this week for two of the four cases (we own them all), but we already look forward to getting around to the others soon. The two games we played so far felt distinct in what they had to offer while still adhering to the same mechanics and style. We enjoyed the Fairy Tale Files and their slice of childhood-inspired magic. This should be great for both puzzle and fairy tale lovers.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 4/5