The game of Detective is best described as the most realistic version of being a crime solving member of a team I have ever seen. Trust me when I say the two to three hour time limit is in fact as accurate as I’ve ever been apart of, but it feels like you need so much more time.
Detective is a game of crime solving, which is playable by 1-5 people. They’ve come up with a solution when you are short handed by giving you additional in game tokens to replace those who are not there to help. I can honestly say, it is extremely in depth, and if you are a perfectionist, there is no way you will score a perfect score. It is actually impossible to get a 40/40 on a case, but you don’t need to. You need to solve enough details to put the blame on someone, and hope the pieces fit together enough that you aren’t guessing, since you lose points for doing so.
You are one of the team members looking to make your way through 5 pre-done cases, but the important piece of the puzzle is that within each one there is additional information which you will use in future cases. While you are trying to solve each case individually, you are actually trying to solve one underlying case which will tie all 5 together.
As a team, there are special abilities which can be used for additional guesses, more information, and travelling to other locations. The issue is each day you are given a limited amount of time to solve the case, or you will earn stress levels for going into overtime. You have no way to know how many hours a specific event will take (usually from 1 to 4) but travelling between the 5 locations also takes an hour of your day. This means you could lose the game before you even get to finish the predetermined time given at the beginning of the case.
Each case gives you set parameters to start, a time frame (or in some cases it is unlimited) and a stress level that if it is reached, the case is over and you must make your guesses accordingly. This adds a level of extreme precision which is needed from all team members to be safe that you are not messing up the ending. I will be honest, we lost our first case, but still felt satisfied how far we made it.
HOW TO PLAY
All players are given one of the 5 detective roles, if there is less than 5 then the remaining are replaced with consultants who have no special ability, but give you additional skill tokens which are extremely helpful throughout the game.
You begin by reading the intro, and a list of clues are given to start which is when you decide what is most important. You will need some sort of device with internet, as all of your clues are given through their website and you will want to print most of them off or writing all the important information could take even longer.
You will need a lot of pens and paper, as there is a significant amount of writing involved. You will be making mind maps, jotting down important information, and making connections among all of the suspects and their involvement with one another.
There is also a significant amount of reading involved with Detective, but it honestly gives you the feeling of being inside of the game. I was immersed into this world more than I have ever been in a game before, so I was so excited all throughout.
There is 4 main types of tokens. Stress, skill, used ability, and authority tokens which will all be used all throughout the game.
The cases need to be solved in order from 1 to 5, you should not open the book to any case other than the one you are one, and do not go through the card decks for each case. They should remain in order, and sealed until you are playing that specific case. There will be major spoilers if you go further than you should. Before unwrapping ANYTHING I would advise going through the rule book so you don’t mess anything up.
After taking painstaking notes, going through all the evidence you’ve managed to gather, and made it to the chance of trying to solve the questions and win the case, you will be given a few multiple choice answers. Wrong answers give you negative 1 point, each stress token will be negative 1 point, and correct answers are worth 1 point. If you are unsure, do not guess. Choose you are not sure and you will get 0 for that question.
The decks contain approximately 36 cards, and the rules explain immediately, you will most likely only ever see a maximum of 20 cards based on the time limit you have. This means a lot will be the groups ability to use deduction and concise teamwork to get the answers correct.
This game is one of the best designed games and systems I’ve had the joy in playing. The theme, the co-operation needed, and the complete use of your own mind makes this game equally challenging and rewarding. When you solve another small piece of the puzzle, it feels like you are really being a true detective, going through mounds of paperwork and finding the one connecting piece.
The cards are absolutely amazing, as the stock is durable. The tokens are well designed, the markers are cute, light, and easily defined, and the characters are fun to roleplay.
More than anything else, this game is so immersive, you will be hard pressed to find a game that will be worth this one in terms of playability, teamwork, and an instant love for wanting to be the character yourself.
This is honestly the first time I have been unable to find a single thing I would want to change, and I stand by the fact that any good player, new or seasoned, would find this game a perfect mixture of anger and joy. A game that will not only test your mental prowess, but will test each member of the team on their ability to work together.
Detective is a must own, and no game collection will be complete without it. With the ability to play solo, in a group, or maximizing the abilities of each character, there is little that would have you shy away from this title. If you’ve ever wanted to be a true detective, you will want this game to help make it happen, even if it is only for a few hours.
I am giving this game my first ever 10/10 for all factors. I look forward to hearing those thoughts from people who have tried it out. Are their any changes you would want to see made? Did your team win their first case on the first attempt?
If you are interested in this one, contact the Comic Hunter and we can put one on order for you to get added to your collection.