TABLE GAME REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Sherlock Holmes Consulting DectiveThis week’s game on GS TABLE GAMES is from publisher Asmodee, who brought us Formula D, 7 Wonders and Dixit to name a few.

We go back in time to walk in the footsteps of the world’s greatest detective, who does not dress like a bat, but rather in a cool-shaped hat and smokes a pipe. How does Sherlock Holmes translate to the world of board games? Let’s find out in the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective board game.

 

 

 

Ten Sherlock Holmes adventures in which you are the hero! You are a member of the Baker Street Irregulars working to solve mysteries before the Master! You are either investigating the mysteries as an individual, or trying to win against up to 8 other investigators.The curse of the mummy, the murders of the Thames, the mysteries of London, the stolen paintings… strange cases of the most famous detective ever: Sherlock Holmes! Equipped with a copy of the Times, a map of London, a directory and more importantly – your logic, you will roam the streets of London trying to solve the most heinous crimes. Will you visit the crime scene? Meet Inspector Lestrade? The decision is in your hands and each clue that you follow will bring you a step closer to the truth. Unravel the string of intrigue, answer a series of questions and compare your score to that of Sherlock Holmes. Can you beat the Master?

In the last couple of years, we have seen the rise of Sherlock Holmes in mainstream media. From the various TV shows of Sherlock and Elementary to Guy Ritchie’s Robert Downey Jr. film franchise, the character has arguably not been this popular in decades. With Holmes, there has also been a rebirth in board games, making it a natural place to see a new Sherlock Holmes game entitled Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective. For fans that love the eccentric detective, this is just the game for you.

The game follows various investigations that Holmes is following. The players will read various abstracts from papers that will tell us what our hero and the suspects have been up to. From here, it is your task to solve the case. The box and the board itself are beautifully crafted, with the papers looking authentically like they came from the Victorian period. If you like Dungeons and Dragons games, this will be perfect: the story is read out and what happens next will depend on what you do and what clues are discovered.

 

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

 

To play the game, the players choose which case they would like to solve, looking at the variety of investigation booklets. It is best to play in chronological order to save yourself from any spoilers that might occur by reading later newspapers. There is a lead investigator who reads various parts of the book out to the rest of the team. The players can either play alone or as a team. The lead investigator moves turn after turn with the players, getting the chance to inspect various scenes linked to the case. From here they can read the newspaper from the day and re-read other sections. Finally, to win the game the player must solve the case and the one to get the closest score to Holmes or higher can have the opportunity to say they have beaten the master.

Personally for me, I have never been a fan of this kind of game and felt that the reading abstracts often slowed the momentum of the game. In a game with Holmes involved, it seemed that a more natural thing would be to make the game closer to Cluedo. But, as stated, for fans of the Dungeons and Dragons genre this is perfect: the game will definitely be afoot!

Overall, Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective is a mixed bag, the marmite of board games. Some will love it, feeling like two of their favourite genres finally are crossing together (Sherlock Holmes and Dungeons and Dragons). It feels too complex for me – I believe that something simpler would have been more beneficial.  For those who want the game to move forward naturally instead of waiting for the reading of various long documents, it will be infuriating.

 

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

 

Publisher: Asmodee

Age range: 12 and up
Number of players: 1 to 8
Play time: 60-120 minutes

10 investigation booklets
10 newspapers
1 London directory
1 map of London
1 rulebook

 

Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Halsall

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