The Dancer is an audio logic game created by Ravensburger Echoes.
Style of Play:
- Audio game
- Tabletop escape game
Who is it For?
- Story seekers
- Any experience level
Required Equipment: mobile device
You’ll need the physical copy of the game as well as a phone (with internet connection). You’ll have to download the Ravensburger Echoes app, which allows you to scan in the physical cards and listen to the audio recordings.
Recommended Team Size: 1-3
Play Time: Unlimited time, expect about 40-60 minutes.
Price: about $10
Booking: purchase and play at your leisure
There’s a ghost of a dancer haunting a house. You’ll have to listen to several audio recordings of what happened to her and bring the whole plot of the story into the correct order. How did she die?
The box contains 24 cards – 18 story cards and 6 chapter marker tiles. You begin with half of the story cards and all of the chapter marker tiles in play. Using the app, you scan each card and tile to hear its “echo,” the audio associated with it. Players have to associate 3 story cards with each chapter marker and put those story cards in the correct order. Players use the “solve mode” of the app to confirm their order and get feedback. When the first three chapters have been solved, players use the other half of the story cards in the same way to solve the remaining 3 chapters.
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
This game is not as complicated as the instructions make it seem. It consists of 6 chapter cards and 18 item cards. The goal is to figure out the correct sequence of 3 items that go with each chapter. Scanning each of the 24 cards with the free companion app plays the associated audio clip, and with a little logic, you group the cards together, then check your answer in the app. Hints are available so you won’t get stuck, or you can also occasionally use trial-and-error like I did. When the game is fully solved, you can listen to the complete audio story in the correct sequence.
In retrospect, while ghosts are common in escape room themes, this ghost story was a little more intense to me, because the audio clips made the moment of death very vivid. Your mileage may vary.
This game is good for players who enjoy story-based logic.
Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction
In this audio game, accessible through an app, we listened to the story of a young dancer who’d died. Piece by piece we had to figure out what had happened to her, in what order.
At its best, the idea of arranging audio recordings in the correct order was original. The rules were simple and we navigated the app easily. The game comes in a travel-friendly package. I played it in German (my native language) and the audio quality sounded professional.
At its worst, the game was light on content and not puzzle-heavy. It felt almost too easy, so the ending won’t surprise you. There is not much to solve for a group larger than 1 or 2 people. Also, the German version used an expression that wasn’t all gender inclusive (it’s called: “Generisches Maskulin”). But this is nitpicking.
Ravensburgers’ Echoes series won awards in Germany (“Empfehlungsliste Spiel des Jahres 2022”) and I can see why. The concept is clean cut and you can jump right into it. But with the dancer’s case in particular I don’t think they used all the potential an audio puzzle game can offer.
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
Every picture tells a story, and The Dancer made an entire game out of that. The Dancer is the first game in Ravenburger’s Echoes series, which are audio mystery games. Inside the box were cards with distinct images related to the story, the haunting of a Scottish manor by the spirit of a young girl. Using the mandatory companion app, we scanned each image to hear its ‘echo,’ the piece of the story associated with it. The audio helped us determine the correct sequence of the story which we confirmed by scanning the cards in their proper order.
This was a novel and engaging game that made good use of the audio medium. The voice acting and the sound effects worked together to create a believable soundscape to accompany the story. Thankfully, the app worked perfectly well to scan the cards, and there was a workaround in case our device’s camera had issues with scanning. The Dancer was an enjoyable way to spend an hour, and I look forward to playing more games in the Echoes series.