15 June 2017
Hard-boiled mystery game set in 1930s New York
It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it? This year has seen the return of tabletop classic Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective with a revamped re-release of the original 1980s mystery-solving game, as well as a brand new series of cases based on the crimes of Jack the Ripper and the lighter card game spin-off Watson & Holmes. (Both games are reviewed in the latest issue of Tabletop Gaming.)
It’s also seen the announcement of Detective: City of Angels, a completely unrelated game that nevertheless looks like it will take Consulting Detective’s iconic format of looking stuff up in a case book and solving a mystery in a open-ended manner to the streets of 1940s Los Angeles, adding in the ability for one player to control the various suspects under examination during interrogations from the remaining investigators.
Now, another game joins the Consulting Detective-a-like fray: Deadline.
A.B. West and Dan Schnake’s Deadline takes a similar noir-soaked approach to Detective, placing players in the slightly earlier setting of 1930s New York and presenting one of 12 cases that need cracking.
As in Consulting Detective, there’s a case book to propel the narrative along, as well as a books of questions for players to answer at the conclusion of each scenario, which then leads to yet another tome full of solutions.
What’s slightly different is that the investigators are searching for specific lead cards, hoping to match the symbols on the cards to a given set of clues – these could reveal important details or a dead end.
There’s also the chance to receive hot tips to help solve the case, while plot twist cards will throw up sudden shifts in the story.
Each character card grants a unique ability, with some very obvious nods to the founding members of the hard-boiled crime fiction genre – such as ‘Ray Chandler’ and ‘Dash Hammet’.
It should be a bit faster to play than Consulting Detective, clocking in at around 45 minutes with two to four players.
Deadline will be out this July, costing $45 (£35).