Crime Zoom: Bird of Ill Omen Review

08 February 2022
It either grabs you or it doesn't

A suspicious death, and some unusual responses, Crime Zoom perhaps unsurprisingly begins with a crime, and sends you off to investigate it. Mechanically, that means you’ll be overturning cards, and making decisions based on those, and in this pocket investigation specifically, you’ll find a young woman seemingly murdered, with a life that points to a number of potential suspects. You’ll decide what to do next by picking a number, which corresponds to another card in the deck.   

There are some nice bits to how this is done. I like that you’ll sometimes be prompted to lay out multiple cards, seemingly offering you a wider view of a scene, but equally giving you a visual choice between actions of one and another. These also include sometimes some hidden clues, like a logo, or a name, which sometimes send you off down rabbit holes thinking you’re pursuing a lead, only to find another course of action would have been better. As with many games of this nature, you’ll try to answer a questionnaire at the end, the answers of which do nicely clarify some potential misconceptions you may have picked up.

This is a game that does what it says on the tin – if, albeit, there are some frustrating font choices for speech, and some digitally created character images that are a little disconcerting– and for the price, if you were to pick this up at your FLGS, I don’t think you’d be overly disappointed. However, whilst it’s easy to learn, it feels like everything is just okay – the art is okay, the story is okay, the mechanics are okay – and it misses that spark of something new or interesting, or a real driving force to resolve the case.

Charlie Pettit


Designer: Stéphane Anquetil

Publisher: Lucky Duck Games

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Time: 45-60 minutes

Players: 1-6

Ages: 14+

Price: £15


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