A few months ago we (my wife and I) bought Scotland Yard (by Grow) — that is a completely different game from the original Scotland Yard, which exists here on Brazil under the name of Interpol, that’s actually a translation of New York Chase. At first we played it just a couple of times and left it resting on the shelf until last week, when we gave it a try again.
Before I go on, I think I should explain how it works, since I couldn’t find an international version of it that I could point out for you. It’s a deduction-based game, that uses racing mechanics underneath. Each match involves a crime description and the definition of some goals, such as “who was the killer”, “what was the murder weapon” and “what was the motivation”. The board is a tiled map, depicting some places (14) to which the players must visit in order to collect clues and try to solve the mystery. When a player thinks he has solved the puzzle he then must race to the Sherlock Holmes’ house, in order to present his solution, which needs to be said out loud, and then he will read (for himself only) the solution on the booklet. If he was correct he won the game, if he missed anything he must say nothing, just that he hadn’t won.
We liked this game a lot because of the deduction mechanics, even though these deductions are more based on rather simple puzzles that seem really dumb sometimes (you get two answers, put them together and have the assassin’s surname), while some places give misleading clues it’s not seldom to enter a place only to find out that it hasn’t got any clue at all. During the matches we noticed that even though the player’s clues sheet have room for six (a to f) goals, most of the cases ask for only three, and we wondered how was it going to be having more goals to achieve.
On our last session we found it out. The case had five goals: who was the murderer, what was the murder weapon, how the object was stolen, where was it hidden and who was the man behind it all. And when the match was reaching its end we noticed that the game had become a race game. Why? There was only one misleading clue and no “no clue” place, and thus every other place on the map had a significant puzzle, and by the time we reached the last place we both knew all the answers and found ourselves racing to Baker Street. We felt somehow disappointed because that match wasn’t thrilling and intriguing as the previous ones were. It wasn’t that fun. But given the fact that the game have 120 cases and we’ve been playing only the cases of the first booklet (there are four of them) we still hope that the “more advanced” cases are still waiting for us.
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