Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game – Portal Games
After a long awaited arrival, it finally arrived! Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game published by Portal Games. I (Hannah) was very eager to break it out and start some crime solving, so I ended up playing through the first case by myself… Oops! However, it turned out that I wasn’t so good at crime solving all alone…
Together, we took a second run at it and obviously did much better than the first time! Detective suits anyone from the solo player to a party of 5. I must say though, playing with a partner made the story so much more engaging as you truly take the role of a detective within your discussions. Bouncing ideas and information off of each other allowed for a broader view of the case and a better understanding of which leads to take.
Each case is divided into a separate deck of “quest” cards with a supplementary page in the Case Book. You immediately dive into the role as you are taken through the narrative of the case. The background of the case as well as the first leads are provided. From there you are in control of how the case develops. Throughout the case you will encounter multiple scenarios that enhance your detective role experience. Some of these may include: researching or reading files on the online database, analyzing evidence at the lab, or interrogating suspects. All of these actions are prompted by the quest cards which are drawn from leads.
Work Hard, But Not Too Hard
Every action, except researching in the database, costs time. Each work day is from 8am to 4pm with the option of overtime late into the night. When your team decides to do an action, the card will show how many hours it will take and the time marker moves forward respectively. After you reach the end of the workday (4pm) you can continue into overtime with the addition of one stress marker per hour. If you reach the stress limit for the case, the case ends. Or you can continue to the next day. The case ends after the allotted number of days.
Solving the Case
After the max number of days or stress markers, you are required to “write” a final report of the case. This is done on the online database in the form of multiple choice questions.
Once you’ve answered the questions and input the stress markers obtained, you will be giving a final score. The score is usually calculated from a few main questions about the case, some additional questions, and evidence matched in the database. The more thorough you were in your investigation the higher the score will be, but if you continuously looked into dead ends, you might end up re-doing the case!
Overall, Detective was entirely entertaining and really makes you feel like an investigator. It is a long game and may not be for everyone because of its intensity, but if you have around 3 hours for an awesome Board Game Date Night, then this is the game for you. After watching the hype over the game during play testing, I was hoping it would be able to meet these expectations. It definitely did and brought much more than that. I wanted to immediately go to the next case after finishing the first, but Timo was exhausted from all the thinking. However, I’m positive it will be out again very soon!