As soon as Eric Martin posted about MicroMacro: Crime City on the Home page of BGG, I clicked on the demo link and gave it a try. This is a crime solving game that asks you to observe a black-and-white drawing of a city scene. The city is populated with cartoony figures engaged in everyday activities, both innocent and shady. By paying close attention to every little detail, 'Where's Waldo'-style, you will be able to locate each piece of information that the case requires and ultimately solve it.
The demo case is called 'Hot Chips' and has you investigating the death of the DJ Lars Vegas. You have to find the murder scene, then check where Lars was before he died, how his death happened, and the motive behind the assassination. All this information is illustrated on the city map by means of a clever gimmick: the persons we are looking for are portrayed in various points in time. So Lars will be pictured both dead and alive in the same scene. You just have to look carefully.
This is more an activity than a game perhaps, but one I found very pleasant. The demo is short, and I managed to finish it in 14 minutes. When you're done, the Edition Spielwiese website will give you the chance to be notified when the game becomes available in retail (around December). The boxed edition will come with 120 cards divided in 16 cases, a magnifying glass, and the city map.
Frankly, even though -and because- I enjoyed searching for the clues, I'm not sure that the game lends itself well to a paper edition. The digital demo worked great, as you can easily scroll in every direction with the mouse, zoom in and out, and be immediately notified when you find the correct answer. It would make an excellent digital game. The main advantage of the board game format is that you can turn the map into a poster for your wall when you finish it. In any case, go try the demo and see who killed poor Lars.
And when you're done, search the box cover image to find who killed the burger vendor!