RogerBW's Blog

Thirsty Meeples June 2015 03 June 2015

Back to the boardgame café. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

We began with the one we'd planned, the recent edition of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. It's an impressive setup, with a map of London and a directory of addresses, as well as specific results for visiting particular locations associated with a case.

It's a bit of a blunt instrument, though: you go to location A and get the text associated with location A, a bit like a cut-scene in a video game. You can't ask the questions you want to ask, which I suppose is inevitable in a GM-less game like this.

We did find that visiting a particular location had our party asking something about which we the players had no idea: had we gone to another location first, all would have been clear. It's a shame that the game couldn't have been written to be agnostic on the matter of order; indeed, that it couldn't have been written a bit better, with lots of mis-spellings and grammatical errors which often made the meanings of things quite unclear. (Not helped by an over-fancy font.)

I enjoyed it moderately. I can see why people play it, but as one of my friends put it "I'd rather play a role-playing game" – an investigative scenario with a good GM gives much more of the same sort of fun than this can supply. We got 82 out of 100 on the first scenario, but I don't think we'll be rushing to play it again.

We were all feeling a bit weary, so tried some lighter games. Timeline: Historical Events seemed surprisingly less enjoyable than the Inventions version that we played a couple of months ago. Perhaps we were more familiar with the historical events that were chosen; the majority of them seemed very easy, and anyone who made a mistake was likely to lose, whereas with Inventions we were all making mistakes.

Why First? is a very simple game: you play numbered cards on your own or others' pawns to move them up and down the track, with the aim of having the second-highest score. Possibly not a lot of depth to it, but I quite liked it. Would play again, if not buy.

We finished with the travel edition of Brew Crafters, which I thought a bit simplistic. All right, I guess, and maybe I'll try the full version some day, but I probably won't play this one again.

Not the most enjoyable evening we've had, though it's not the café's fault. I suspect we might even start asking them for recommendations, having now played through most of the games that we were interested in when we started coming here a year ago.

Count the Love Letter implementations: original, Batman, Hobbit, Factory Edition. There's an Adventure Time version too. And five more in the pipeline, apparently.

[Buy Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective at Amazon] [Buy Timeline: Historical Events at Amazon] [Buy Why First? at Amazon] [Buy Brew Crafters Travel Edition at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

See also:
Thirsty Meeples April 2015

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