10 November 2022
Elementary... or not?
When I first saw the distinctive Lucky Duck Games logo stamped on the box front of this BBC licensed Sherlock game, I was quite excited. As publishers of the excellent app-assisted Chronicles of Crime, Lucky Duck Games seemed perfectly suited for bringing the modern Holmesian adventures of Bendybrick Coffeecup and Martin Freeman to the tabletop. But alas, expectations rarely live up to the reality.
Sherlock: Case Connection is a small, pattern building puzzle game based on the popular BBC series. As a competitive game, players will be essentially racing to score at least nine points by linking up and matching various symbols on cards. Using the Thread cards and Proof tokens taken from the game’s four locations, players will be able to reconstruct Leads within the tableaus growing before them, somewhat simulating the piecing together of evidence.
The visual bulk of the game is made up of stills from the television show, and whilst it looks okay there’s only so much excitement that can be drawn from a bunch of medium-closeups of dour-faced Londoners - and even less so for those unfamiliar with the series. Mechanically the game works well and I particularly like the ability to rearrange connected cards at any time; a feature uncommon within pattern-building games and perhaps the only element making players feel like they’re actually mulling over a case.
Of course this is no fault of the publisher, but I’ll admit to feeling a little deflated by the small scale of this simple puzzle game. This is perhaps exacerbated by the deceptively large box housing its sparse contents. This is a decent, quick-playing puzzle game, and its appeal and staying power would likely broaden if it were more explicitly categorised as a light, small-box experience. As it stands though, Sherlock: Case Connection doesn’t contribute much to the deduction genre or popular Sherlock theme.
PLAY IT? MAYBE
Designer: Radoslaw Ignatow
Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Time: 30 minutes
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