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|Initial Review Date
In this two player game, you take on the roles of Sherlock Holmes and his older smarter brother Mycroft Holmes. The two of you are having a friendly battle of wits to see who can solve the case first.
Each player is given the three meeples of the same color. Next, each player receives five investigation tokens. The board is then seeded with the first three starting cards and then each player draws two character cards. Each player chooses one of the two character cards and they are placed on the board face up. The unchosen characters are shuffled into the character deck.
Finally, the clue deck is shuffled and four cards are dealt face up next to it.
During the course of the game, each player will take turns moving one of their standing meeples from its current character card to different character card where they do not currently have a meeple. The character card is activated and then the meeple is laid down to indicate it has been used.
The abilities will be one of two basic types
- Spend X investigation tokens to collect Y clue cards from the center row
- Collect X investigation tokens.
The exact quantities and ratios vary and some are conditional and their benefits/costs are determined by the current state of other elements in the game.
Once both players have activated all of their meeples, setup begins for the next day. First, the board is checked if any one character card has 2 meeples on it. If this is the case that character card is exhausted and can not be used the next day. To represent this, this character card is flipped face down.
Then, regardless if a character was exhausted or not, a new character card is drawn and placed in the next open slot and all meeples are stood up on their respective cards, starting the new turn.
Scoring happens after day 7 is resolved.
Points are determined based on the clue cards each player has collected. There are 9 different types of clue cards. 7 of the nine have a number on them. Wild cards have similar artwork but do not display a number and finally, there are map pieces.
For each of the numbered cards, a player scores points for them only if they have more of that number than their opponent. The player scores a number of points equal to the number, minus how many cards of that number their opponent holds.
for example. If you have 6 of the cards labeled 9 and your opponent has 2 You would score a total of 7 points for those 6 cards.
In cases of ties, no points are awarded to either player.
Map fragments score points based on how many you have as follows.
- You get -1 point.
- You get 1 point.
- You get 3 points.
- You get 6 points.
- You get 10 points.
The game is well done. The mechanics match the theme well, with each illustrated character card representing a famous character from the novels, with the artwork closely resembling how the characters are described as appearing. It even makes sense that the character might want nothing to do with the holmes after a day in which they were visited by both Sherlock and Mycroft picking their brain and asking them strange questions.
The game also includes some additional cards that can be used for advanced play, which feature famous villains from the books along with the holmes brothers themselves.
Overall, the biggest shortcoming this game has is that it is strictly a two-player game, which may limit its replayability. The game is well made and fans of sherlock holmes and/or set collection games will enjoy it. However, if the idea of a two player set collection game doesn’t really interest you then you can easily pass on this one.