11 October 2017
One player takes the role of suspects able to lie to investigators
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is a fantastic game, but the heart of the ‘80s mystery-solving classic is showing its age these days due to its reliance on the fixed responses of its casebooks, which give players a single entry to read when they visit a location or speak to a suspect.
Hoping to update the format for the 21st century is Detective: City of Angels, an incoming game focused on gumshoes cracking cases in 1940s Los Angeles that introduces more of a dynamic element to the investigators’ sleuthing.
As in Consulting Detective, the main board is dedicated to a sprawling map filled with numbered locations, although these are divided into districts that cost extra actions to move between.
Each detective works alone, and can visit locations and suspects to gain clues before their rival investigators – although there’s also the ability to bribe your way into hidden knowledge and clues.
Where things really take off is in the interrogations, as one player takes control of all the suspects in the game as ‘The Chisel’, selecting from a variety of responses for each questioning that can be either true or false. Investigators can challenge statements they believe to be lies, with the Chisel or detective gaining leverage over a future interrogation depending on the outcome.
Support for solo play and co-op using a separate casebook is included in the Kickstarter edition of the game, with publisher Van Ryder Games yet to decide whether the book will be available after the campaign.
Detective: City of Angels will come with eight cases lasting between 90 minutes and three hours, with planned expansion Bullets Over Hollywood adding an extra trio of scenarios. It’s due out next September.