05 January 2022
Welcome to precog club
This article originally appeared in issue 62 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.
It began in 1400, we dropped back into the timeline in 1900, and now we’re hurtled into the future to the year 2400. At the closure of the Millennium series, we’ve moved from mildly psychic monk over to an ex-cyber-agent gone solo, in a series of investigatory style games that draw you into solving three kinds of crime per game. It offers the merging of the physicality of character cards, items, and locations, with scanning QR codes within an app to gain additional vital information, allowing you to interview witnesses, collect evidence, and generally zip about to different locations with relative ease.
The premise sees you solving crimes across Paris, which is the exact premise of the former two as well, just with a changing timeline. Instead of an evidence hunting dog as you found in 1400, it’s a Cyber-raven, and instead of visions, you might have cybernetic implants. It’s possible that if you don’t like previous versions, you’re unlikely to like this one, because I didn’t find anything particularly new or refreshing to it – because it’s merely a change of setting and some new investigations to complete. However if you did, you’ll find this one to be perfectly engaging. Without including spoilers, there were a few aspects I really had to think to figure out, and I enjoyed the whole process – though arguably, this was an easier one to complete than 1900.
The game itself is solid and interesting enough to warrant recommending, but much like its predecessors, I found it’s the solo play in which this game flies. Solo play games have to catch your interest and make sure that you stay engaged, and the tough bit comes where if you get stuck, you’ve got nowhere to go next. In being a bridge of both tabletop and electronic use (you’ll need to install an app), where we’re comfortable playing phone games solo (Angry Birds anyone?), and offering hints when we need them, it’s removes any of the usual reticence of solo gameplay. That, and there was no one around to judge me for how pleased I was with having named my Raven pet ‘Lenore’.
The biggest drawback is the same of any investigatory style games, in that once you know the answer, you’re unlikely to want to play again, and that’s true of this game too. It’s a nice factor that within Chronicles of Crime, you can reach the end still unsure of some specifics, that you can always go back and try to find out more about those areas. Not everyone will, but I couldn’t resist popping back to find out why the case conclusion had asked me those questions, given I thought I’d worked everything out…admittedly though, this is limited.
It might surprise you to hear though that I don’t find that to be a significant drawback, because it’s been part of a series, and there’s scope for more of this kind. The mechanics through the app work smoothly and are enjoyable to use, there’s nothing stopping further games in new settings or timelines. Having enjoyed each of these, I’d feel comfortable being offered the same nibble of the investigative curiosity that keeps me coming back to detective style games in similar future releases.
PLAY IT? YES
A fun conclusion to the series, offering nothing more ground breaking, but good mechanics coupled with an intriguing game. Just call me Cyber-Sherlock.
PLAY IF YOU LIKED… Unlock!
Assuming you’re not already on the Chronicles of Crime train, then this is a procedural step up from the excellent Unlock! series.
Designer: David Cicurel, Wojciech Grajkowski
Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Time: 60-90 minutes
What’s in the box?
- 1 Tutorial scenario
- 4 Unique scenarios
- 40 Character cards
- 38 Evidence category cards
- 15 Special item cards
- 1 Raven card
- 4 Implant cards
- 1 Implant board
- 7 Double-sided location boards
- 1 Home location board
- 1 Evidence board
- 1 Plastic insert
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