Society of Curiosities – The Bewitched Circus [Hivemind Review]

Bewitched Circus is a light puzzle hunt created by Society of Curiosities.

One ticket to the circus.


Style of Play: narrative-driven, light puzzle hunt with some ARG-style elements

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

You need to text answers to an in-game character. You can choose to do so by regular text messages on your phone, or (for international players) you can use their online chat tool.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: no timer, but it took about an hour

Price: $12

Booking: purchase online and play at your leisure


There is a weird circus in town with some magical and suspect behavior happening. You are the one chosen to figure out what’s going on there before the show starts. The gameplay consists of reading, inspecting photos, and sending text messages. The messaging interface leads you through a story.

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Society of Curiosities – Mystery Subscription Box: Madok’s Lost Treasure [Review]

Historical Detective Story

Location:  at home

Date Played: October 10, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $19.50 per month, or save on individual boxes with a quarterly or annual subscription

REA Reaction

I am a huge proponent of game designers packing a little less into their games, but really getting what’s in there right. It felt like Society of Curiosities was coming from a similar school of thought.

Madok’s Lost Treasure didn’t have a ton of components, but everything that we received in the mail looked and felt right. When we interacted with digital components, they looked and felt natural. This is rare. Usually there’s some junky afterthought prop or a website that can’t even pass as a parody of a website.

A wax sealed letter and a gold coin.

When it came to gameplay, Madok’s Lost Treasure was different. We initially approached it like a tabletop escape room, looking for puzzles to solve, but as we worked through the game’s materials, it slowly became clear to us that we needed to think about things not as puzzlers, but more like researchers. The gameplay was largely in exploring the nuances of the world and applying the game world’s logic to itself. Once we shifted our mindset, we had a great time.

Our biggest knock against Madok’s Lost Treasure was that we felt like it needed to do more to guide us into its style of play.

Society of Curiosities is what I’m hoping to find from a subscription series: fewer high quality, detailed components, deliberately crafted worlds, and smart gameplay.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • ARG fans
  • Prop collectors

Why play?

  • Beautiful props
  • Strong world building
  • Detail-focused problem solving


We received a collection of documents – both old and new – in the mail, along with a single goal. Solve an ancient mystery and figure out where to send our field team to recover the lost treasure of famed pirate Captain Edus Madok.

Continue reading “Society of Curiosities – Mystery Subscription Box: Madok’s Lost Treasure [Review]”

Society of Curiosities – Mysterious Map Heist [Hivemind Review]

Note: At the time we played, this was a free experience and the reviews reflect that perception. Since the introductory period ended on September 1, this experience is now $12, and with it you get a $12 credit towards a regular Society of Curiosities purchase.

Mysterious Map Heist is a light puzzle hunt created by Society of Curiosities. This is a teaser promoting their shipped experiences. We look forward to reviewing that soon.


Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: There is no time limit. The website says 30-90 minutes and it took us about 50 minutes at a relaxed pace.

Price: free!

Booking: click to register and play


You will use the internet and text messages to correspond with the grandmaster of a secret society to uncover clues that will lead you to recovering a hidden map. It’s a light online puzzle hunt. So be prepared to Google stuff and decipher text.

The game is billed as being playable by 1-4 players, but there is no single interface to do so. I set up a Zoom meeting so we could play together. We also had to use a mobile device to communicate with the “society.” I ended up doing that and sharing the links with the teammates. It was clunky. There is supposedly a text message mechanism you can use to communicate with your teammates, but it wasn’t clear how to get it started and we didn’t use it.

Drawins, maps, paintings, and a wax sealing stamp.

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