12 April 2021
A solo review of the latest in the series
It’s 1400 Paris, and you’re going to play a knight blessed with prophetic dreams, enabling him to solve mysteries and gaining a reputation for doing so. With some prophecy hint cards, you’re well on your way to becoming the medieval version of Mystery Incorporated, dog included.
Detective games follow a similar format – see a clue with a number, use that number to search for another card, which should then prompt another numbered card and another, and so on until you solve the case. The difference with Chronicles of Crime: 1400 is that this is blended with the use of a smart device, using an app to scan QR codes on the cards, enabling it to draw you through the story.
It is initially a little jarring, not least because you’re trying to envisage 1400 France with a smartphone in your hand. The less confident you are in where it will take you next, the more you scan within the app to try to work out what to do, meaning almost all of your experience is app based. Plus, depending on the device, depends on how easy it is to share the story and findings that you’re experiencing with fellow players.
Playing it solo however, I could zip about from location to location, sending off my trusty dog to sniff out additional clue, talking to new people, and having a twisty story unfold. Once in a rhythm, I was utterly hooked, pulled into the scandals and gossip as the story developed. The whole experience is immersive and enjoyable, and discovery is genuinely intriguing. When I reached a conclusion, I’d put my resolutions into the app, get a score for my work based on accuracy and time, and be on to the next adventure.
The main failing of this game is exactly the same as others like it – if you’re successful, you can only really play it once. Having said that, as a solo game this excelled, and if I could play it all over again without knowing how it all ends, I would.
Designer: David Cicurel & Wojciech Grajkowski
Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Time: 60 minutes
Enjoyed reading? There's more!
- Check out ten of the best mystery games
- Read the review of the original Chronicles of Crime
- Or try another, in this review of Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
This review originally appeared in Issue 49 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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