Review: Keys To Imagination’s “Misterioso Manor” Motivational Game

Sebastian Sharp and the Case of the Missing Manuscript is a motivational game created by Michelle Sisler from  This game is designed to help motivate students to practice throughout an entire school year.

Here is a summary of the storyline for the game:

Aunt Bernice has invited her nephew Sebastian and niece Elise to visit.  When Sebastian began playing a piano piece in the Misterioso Music Room, a ghostly man suddenly appeared on the piano bench next to him, asking for help.  The man said, “I don’t know how you know this song — I JUST wrote it!  My manuscript is missing and I must find that song!  I think someone in this house stole my music.  I must find it!”  The student’s job is to help solve Sebastian Sharp and The Case of the Missing Manuscript.  Each day the student practices the required amount set by the teacher, s/he will earn a step in the Misterioso Manor. As students visit each room of the Misterioso Manor, they will earn 15 clue cards which will lead them to discover WHEN the ghostly composer lived, WHO the musician was, WHAT piece Sebastian was playing, WHO stole the manuscript and WHY, and WHERE s/he hid it.

Below is a preview of the vinyl boardgame, which measures 2′ x 3′ and can be hung on the wall using thumbtacks.  The kit contains 24 game pieces for your students (you can order more if needed).  The game pieces have a sticky bottom so they can stick and re-stick to the vinyl board.  Students can move their game pieces forwards or backwards on the board, but not diagonally.  When students land on or pass a space with a question mark, they earn one of the eight suspect cards.  When students move to a red space with footprints, they earn one of the clue cards.


Each student will also receive their own Detective Notebook.  The beginning of the notebook contains the beginning of the story and some pages for the student to track the rooms they have already visited and the clues they have earned.  The rest of the notebook contains assignment sheet pages for the teacher to write down lesson assignments and for students to track their practice time.


As students earn their clue cards and suspect cards, they will gradually be able to answer the questions to solve the mystery.  The clues are designed so that the students will not be able to figure out all of the answers until the end of the game.

clue card

This game is designed to be attainable for everyone and non-competitive for students.  From looking at the board, students will not be able to see who is closest to solving the mystery.  If desired, the teacher can add a competitive aspect by tracking who earns all of the clue and/or suspect cards first.


The game is designed to last approximately from August/September through April/May, although progress can be adjusted somewhat by the teacher if needed.

I love the beautiful graphics on this game and it is obvious that a lot of careful thought went into designing it so that students would enjoy the game from beginning to end!  If you and your students are looking for a year-long program to keep motivation up throughout the school year, this would be a great one to consider!

You can read more about Sebastian Sharp and the Case of the Missing Manuscript here at  The “Teacher’s Kit” (which includes the game board and the 24 game pieces) costs $89.95 and each “Student’s Kit” (containing a student assignment notebook, 15 clue cards, and 8 suspect cards) costs $14.95.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Keys To Imagination’s “Misterioso Manor” Motivational Game”

    1. I haven’t tried it – only reviewed it – but I think it would be a suitable motivation program for teachers who enjoy using themed incentive programs each year!

  1. Hi Victoria –

    You can use this game with any age that is interested. I used it with all of my elementary and jr high kids but I have had teachers use the motivational games with some high school kids, too, who wanted to play.


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