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A 10-minute mystery

Indie Boards & Cards recently made available the PnP files for a demo case of their 1-8 player cooperative game,The Sherlock Files: Elementary Entries. The truth is that I'm not the best candidate to play this. Even though I love mysteries and whodunnits as much as the next person, I avoid this type of games because they are not replayable. But since we are offered a free print 'n' play, I thought, why not indulge and see how good my deduction skills are.

...they are crap. I only solved half the case. But let me present what the demo is like, without spoiling the story. The game consists of a deck of 31 cards, the rules, some questions to answer in the end, and the solution. Extremely compact and portable. The case we have to crack is called 'Whereabouts Unknown', and the card we begin with is a picture of 46-year-old Julian.


OPERATOR: 911, what’s your emergency?

NURIA: Hello. Someone broke into my apartment. Everything is upside-down.

OPERATOR: May I have the address, please?

NURIA: 25 West Street, Boston.

OPERATOR: Are you inside or outside the apartment?

NURIA: Inside.

OPERATOR: Do you think there might be someone else inside?

NURIA: I don’t know, I don’t think so. My husband isn’t here.

OPERATOR: Should he be there?

NURIA: No, he left for New York this morning. But his house key and mobile phone are here. It doesn’t make sense.

OPERATOR: Calm down. What’s your name, please?

NURIA: Nuria. My name is Nuria.

OPERATOR: Ok, Nuria. Stay where you are. There is a police car on its way".

So, you have to figure out what has happened here, and where Julian might be. To play the game, you draw 3 cards from the deck, and then either keep a card which you think is pertinent to the case, or discard a card which you deem useless or misleading. You repeat this until you go through the deck. Upon finishing, you try to piece the clues together and answer the quiz questions. Every useless card you have not discarded will deduct points from your final score.

I would say it's neither too easy nor difficult. I blame my half-failure on me. Perhaps with more thorough thinking, one can uncover all the bits of the story. The official game comes with three cases, presumably similar in style to this one. Given that each case is a 10-minute-only affair, and non-replayable, I'm not sure it is value for money. Do give the PnP a try though, and see for yourself. The question is, why would a man suddenly decide to change his cologne?

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