Meeple on Board RatingBe the first to review this product.
Board Game Geek Reviews
Be the first to review “The Original Sherlock Holmes and His Baker Street Irregulars (Kickstarter – The Game Is Afoot Pledge)”
You must be logged in to post a review.
This is a set collection game with drafting and some auction-like elements. The theme is totally pasted on, but the designers' desire to have a deep dive into the Sherlock Holmes lore is evident, and their love for the canon comes through. Players have thirteen tokens that they use to pay for cards they draft out of a pack of "evidence cards." Those evidence cards have symbols on them that can be, in turn, used to pay to obtain ("arrest") criminals. There is an "arresting order" which players can move up and down based on end-of-round bonuses handed out, favoring the players who were stingiest during the drafting. There are end-game point bonuses both for the value of the criminals you arrested and for various evidence card attributes randomly assigned to each player at the start of the game. At the beginning of each round, a "plot twist" card is revealed which (usually) has some low-impact or catch-up effect on the round. The plot twists are boring and we found ourselves not caring about 50% of them. The rulebook is short and mostly easy to understand. This was an easy teach. Most of the decisions players are making are about making efficient moves to obtain criminals for the lowest cost. Players can "tail" criminals, thus making them cheaper, but also alerting other players to their intentions. Interfering with other players is possible, but pretty costly to do and, due to the churn of criminals, may not pay off in the way you think. The higher the player count, the more the churn, and the less impact your interference is likely to have. The game is serviceable, but I won't be recommending it over set collection/drafting games like Sushi Go (more accessible) or It's a Wonderful World (bigger decision space). There is a solo version that I do not recommend. The solo game requires the player to constantly monitor the market and the bot's evidence cards to check and re-check what cards the bot can buy, factoring in the value of the criminal and the most efficient play the bot can make, which is something well-suited for a computer game, but pretty annoying for in-person play. The bot only cares how many *cards* it uses, but not the number of *symbols* on those cards, which allows the human player to make the bot buy somewhat stupidly/inefficiently. A house rule that forces the human to calculate an efficient use of symbols may help this problem, but increases the fiddliness in an already-fiddly solo game. The game has some odd physical design choices. For one, there's an oversized, weighted brass Sherlock Holmes statue which has no function during the game but to be given to the person who won (take a picture and share on social media, the game suggests...). The neoprene mat is a nice touch, but while described as double-sided, you'll probably never use one of the sides because it's difficult to see the layout of the board. Finally, there are spaces for tokens in the box, but due to a miscommunication at the factory (per a BGG comment from a designer in the forums), the spaces don't fit the tokens, so you're left to bag each color. There's a lot of space in the box--for better or worse--so the tokens still fit somewhere, just not where they're clearly supposed to. The kickstarter for this project had a minimum back of $39+shipping. I would have been disappointed to receive this product at that price point, but, like I said above, this game feels like the kind of thing that lovers of Sherlock Holmes would enjoy (and would pay to kickstart, not just to play). I found this on the clearance rack of my FLGS and paid $14, which was a good deal. If you can find it for $25 or less, you're a Sherlock afficionado, and you like set collection, I recommend checking it out. Otherwise, probably pass.
In The Original Sherlock Holmes and His Baker Street Irregulars each player will utilize their crew of irregulars (BSI's) to visit Locations, gather Witnesses, and Inspect artifacts in an attempt to make the key arrests to secure your place as a legitimate rival to the master detective, Sherlock Holmes. The game features over 100+ pieces of art, many inspired by the original artwork of Sidney Paget. In the game, players serve the roles of investigators of Holmes's day, trying to clear London's streets of all its villains. This card drafting game (for 1-5 players) incorporates an economy of "spending" your BSI tokens to acquire Evidence cards, which are then used to arrest Villains (worth Victory Points). The game is played over 4 rounds, each of which concludes with players choosing from bonuses based on how efficiently the use their BSI during the round. Further end-game points can be accumulated via personal set-collection objectives. At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points is crowned London's SECOND greatest detective. There is also a solo-variant available that involves a head-to-head matchup with Holmes, himself. He will have the advantage at every turn; can you keep up?
So thankful I got in at the Kickstarter! The attention to detail in the art is incredible! Game play is fun and easy to understand but complex enough to keep you engaged. You can absolutely tell this was a passion project, I really hope to see more games from this company !! So much heart!