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This a case for clever detectives, so it's a good job that the players are indeed skilled in the arts of detection, discovery and dicking-around at crime scenes.

Nightmare in the Mirror is an investigation game for a group of friends (but also playable solo (not so easily). Players read cards aloud, discuss their meanings amongst themselves, build the Crime Scene by using the game box and the room cards, and scrutinise every possible angle of every photo card, as well as thoroughly reading all the text, to detect the truth.

Danielle Dove was kidnapped! Thankfully she is a resourceful girl and, despite being gagged and bound to a chair, has managed to use her Smart phone to send a photo of her predicament - which helps the representation of the room. You must act quickly if you want to save her.

Collect the clue cards and make sure all players get the opportunity to fine-tooth-comb them. You will view parts of a map,  newspaper clippings, pictures, witness statements… Investigate and come up with plausible theories. Then when you have finished with plausible theories come up with your own deliberations.

The authors of the Deckscape and Decktective games have quickly realised that although they have a good formula, after a while it is just the same game with a different story. Therefore they keep changing things up to keep us on our toes. In 'Nightmare' the players are each dealt a hand of cards which they keep secret to themselves. Each card has a number in the top left corner as well as a Title and (isially) an illustration of some (useful or not) kind.

The cards are taken from the deck in numerical order until the actual game starts. In turn the players can call out a title and discuss its possibilities with the other players without telling them what is on the card. They then decide whether to play a card from their hand face-up to the table - face up cards on the table are 'archived' and available to all players to read/study. The naughty thing about the rules is that a player may only play a card to 'archive' if its number (top left) is equal to or lower than the number of cards in the archive already. Example: If there are 5 cards in the archive only cards valued 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 can be played.

If, after discussing a title the players are in agreement that it doesn't sound that useful, the player discards it face down, having first read all the unformation and, as best as they can, commit it to memory. This is because, later on in the game, if you can remember something that now seems important (from a discarded card) you can use your brain power and throw the new information into the investigation - you may NOT dig the card out and read it though.

At the end of your detective work the team are asked 5 questions - read each question card separately and do not move to the next one until you have answered the current card. Paper clips are provided so you can line these up with your answers on the cards - not more than one clip may be needed on some cards. You will score points (up to 10) by answering completely.

10 pts scored: Great Job
8-9 pts scored: Nice Job
5-7 pts scored: It's OK  (this is where our collective deductive powers found us)
1-4 pts scored: You can do better (sounds like my school reports)
0 pts scored: Choose the Tottenham Hotspur FC defence or the Miami Dolphins NFL team defence - you are worse than either of these.

DECKTECTIVE and DECKSCAPE games are not 'legendary' where you have to tear cards up or burn them etc, but they are one-play only as far as the same person cannot play them again because they will know all the answers and clues. This makes them ideal to gift to friends whi haven't played them. This is very generous of dvGiochi, especially as they actually suggest you share it, as it probably means they will not sell as many of these as they could do.

A mystery in a Deck of cards from dvGiochi, designed for 1-6 players, a case for true Detectives!

Discover the other Decktective adventures:

Decktective - Bloody-red roses

Decktective - The Gaze of the Ghost


© Chris Baylis 2011-2021