Race Against Time to Solve Decktective: Nightmare in the Mirror (Spoiler Free Review) | Casual Game Revolution

Race Against Time to Solve Decktective: Nightmare in the Mirror (Spoiler Free Review)

Nightmare in the Mirror

Danielle Dove has been kidnapped on the day of her sister’s funeral. Thankfully, she has managed to take a picture of the room where she is being held. Can you find and rescue her, while also uncovering the reason for the kidnapping?

The third game in the Decktective series from dV Giochi, Nightmare in the Mirror is a cooperative detective mystery game for one-to-six players. Figure out which pieces of evidence are relevant and what can be discarded. Work together with your teammates to deduce the answers to the mystery and save the girl.


The game is played with a single deck of oversized cards and a number of paper clips. The cards provide the rules as well as the components for play.

Each player draws a set number of cards. The number varies based on player count. The crime scene is built by placing cards as indicated into the game box. Gameplay is simple. On your turn, you either play a card face-up or discard a card face-down into the archives. You then draw a new card. Cards show pieces of evidence. It may be an image of a location or a clue, or it may be a statement from a suspect or witness. You may not discuss your cards with other players except to read out their titles so you can discuss what cards should be played.

Cards also have a number on them, one through ten. You may only play cards whose number is equal to or less than the number of face-down cards in the archives.

Occasionally, plot twist cards will crop up in the deck. These will introduce a new development in the story or may add a new card to the crime scene.

Finally, once you have played through the whole deck, there will be several cards that will ask you a series of questions about the case. You use the paper clips to mark your answers on the cards. Players can discuss the case, attempt to remember anything important they may have discarded (but you may not look at the archived cards), and consult the face-up cards and the crime scene in an attempt to deduce the answers. Once you’ve marked all your answers, you flip the cards over to reveal the solutions. You earn points for correct answers and your total score determines how well your team did.

Nightmare in the Mirror Components


The Decktective game line is fun, simple, and tends to have a nice difficulty range — Nightmare In The Mirror is no different. The case gives you enough clues that you can deduce the answer, but you have to keep an eye out to spot them. The answers and deductions the game expects you to make all feel fair, while still being tricky enough that it’s satisfying when you do solve it.

While you do want to be careful not to toss anything that's very important to the case, there are usually a couple of opportunities to pick up on key pieces of evidence and truly significant items are pretty easy to catch.

We enjoyed the story of Nightmare in the Mirror as well. There are several interesting threads woven through it that are fun to discover. The artwork is nicely done, and the 3D crime scene created with the box and cards is clever and adds a fun element to the investigation.

There is definitely a sweet spot for player count. For one player, it’s far too easy to figure out exactly which cards you can safely discard, while at a full count of six players you only have a single card in hand. The three-card hands of a two-to-four player game feel about perfect: you have an opportunity to hold onto some cards for a while, and have a little more insight into the case to make informed decisions as you go.

You can only play the game once, but nothing gets destroyed and you only have to put the cards back together in order to be able to pass it on to a friend.

Nightmare in the Mirror encourages discussion and player interaction, and there’s an enjoyable memory element as you try to keep in mind what you’ve already discarded. Deducing what is significant and what’s not is more challenging at the start of the game, which does feel thematically appropriate. As you near the end, it’s right that the players should feel more in control of the investigation and where it’s headed. With accessible rules, and an extremely portable box and minimum components, this is a great little casual mystery.

Pros: Easy to learn, portable, good difficulty level, no component destruction

Cons: Not ideal at all player counts

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.