“The Society has been tracking strange events around Lone Tree, a small town renowned for its witch history. Dispatch your team to Lone Tree and track down the source of these strange events.
You will communicate with your team on the ground via text message to guide them, search the web for clues, and immerse yourself in a world of mystery – a light and whimsical adventure that will delight you and have you doubt what is real!”
Not wanting to end my time in the Society of Curiosities universe, I played this the same night that I played Mysterious Map Heist. This turned out to be another charming adventure, one that was a little more challenging than the Map Heist, but about on par with Madok’s Lost Treasure.
I had a lot of fun with the game, and even though it was relatively short— clocking in at just a minute or two under one hour—it felt like a good value for the money. The entire game is playable online—no printer required.
As the name of the game might imply the story involves both witches and a circus, but in a fun way I didn’t expect and don’t want to spoil here. You spend most of the game interacting with a fellow Society of Curiosities agent who functions as the de facto gamemaster, checking your answers and keeping the narrative running.
While games like Mysterious Map Heist and Madok’s Lost Treasure felt more like serious cinematic adventures, this game felt more like a whimsical adventure, with nothing written too seriously. I liked that therer several moments where they played with expectations, setting up and subverting several great gags. Even with the shortened runtime, they managed to introduce some memorable characters and locations through photos, audio recordings, and ARG elements. It was another narrative knockout from what is quickly becoming my second favorite puzzle company. (Behind CU Adventures, of course.)
The game follows the Society of Curiosities’s winning formula of traditional puzzles and ARG puzzles. The puzzles feel unique and fresh, even though this is the third installment I’ve played from them in the past month or so. The difficulty is a step up from Mysterious Map Heist though still only about medium difficulty. There were a couple of real tricky ones in the mix, though they were all well-written and fair. There was one in particular that I thought may have been unfairly ambiguous, and then realized a bit later that, nope, I had missed a fairly obvious clue.
If you also miss a clue, Society of Curiosities’s excellent hint system will nudge you along the path with increasingly hintier hints, all the way up to solutions.
The Bewitched Circus is a great adventure at a great price. If you enjoy Society of Curiosities gameplay style or just want to see what they’re all about, you’ll have a delightful time playing this game.