There are many fictional detectives. Many, many names that you have heard or seen on the tv or the big screen. Out of these, a small list of names can be run off. From which you or I will have some passing knowledge of. One of the most, neigh, the most famous is of course the Sherlock Holmes. The fame, the legend, the modern, the classic, the biography and the afterlife. He has been in multiple films, novels, radio stories, TV plays, computer games and, well you name it he is in it. Not unaccustomed to board games, he appeared in a Gibson games release and has a series of puzzle books which are all about his previous cases. However it was rare for his work to have the complexity of his original stories, written by Conan Doyle. Then however this has been richly mined by the series SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE. These have been seen as a real high point in the life of the character and the legend, which can often prove damaging to future endeavours. Here however you are pitted against the great man and his even greater deductive reasoning!


The wedge of a box, yes I will say it, it sits awfully on a shelf but looks great with others of the series. On opening the box you get a Rules booklet. Warning this is heavy for the amateur but not for the person who has run through it before. Watch the explanation video amateur person! A London directory. A bunch of place names and location codes. A one sheet play aid. A set of THE TIMES newspapers. Information filled and relevant to each case. A map of London. Very detailed and folds out like a post. Treat her well. She needs it. This is written with a series of dots for locations, and is probably the most important document you will ever have access to! Then finally, 10 cases. Each with a detailed synopsis and highly informative location texts. At the back a solution and an envelope which details some of the key plot points which might have been missed or at the very least, revealed and not noted.


First. Choose the case. Best follow it chronologically.

1. The Curzon Street Kidnapping
2. The Mudlark Mystery
3. The Three Customers
4. The Promise
5. The Red River Valley
6. The Busker of Bridge Street
7. The Tiger’s Eye
8. The Heist in Harp Lane
9. The Dog in the Night Time
10. Death of a Detective

Then begins the fun. Read the synopsis. That is to say read the first two pager, which gives you clues, contacts and case notes. The clues are often distilled into the notes. Remember it is a race and as you race for clues, so does Holmes. The contacts are sometimes a clear location or a less clear name. Use the directory. Finally the notes. These tell you Holmes and your own progress. Solve it first and well done. Solve it after and well….


We were taken by the layered complexity of cases. The subtle notes, the gentle reveals. They add up. They make you work. They deserve attention. They do not leave you an easy legacy nor a soft entry. This made the game intense and play was rewarded by groups push and pull. The other thing we liked was the narratives that introduce the world. they set the scene with an eye for detail and a nose for Victorian London. Interspersing dreams and desires, death and misadventure.


Holmes has a lot going for it. But it is nothing without either a group of friends dedicated to play. The Solo mode is very good actually but the problems are simple enough. Solve it once, never come back again to revisit it.


In all honesty, you could enjoy this either alone or in a group of four or five. The reasoning of the cases (all ten) will take an hour of time and usually, Holmes is chapping at your heels. Future plays are benefitted by the logic of the first one and the process gets easier. It might not sound like much but the game is an immersive ride for those who like themes and character adventures.


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