In Sherlock 13, players are a group of investigators trying to solve a serious crime. Because the great Sherlock Holmes is himself a suspect, you can't trust anyone, even your fellow investigators, but you can use their own research to help narrow down the search and solve the crime.
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Sherlock 13 is an investigative guessing game for 2 to 4 players. There are 13 suspects, all represented on cards. 1 suspect is randomly chosen and placed facedown in the center of the play area, and the remainder are dealt between the players. Each suspect card has a number of icons printed on them, and players need to find out which suspects the other players have ruled out of their investigation (the cards they have in their hand) to establish who the criminal is.
To help their investigations, all players have a clue sheet, with details of all the suspects and their icons. They start by first ruling out which suspects they have in their hand on the clue sheet and then begin investigating and interrogating the other players. Players take turns, and during their turn, they can ask the group if anyone has a specific icon, with players raising their hand if they do, or they can ask a player how many of an icon they have.
When a player thinks they know who the criminal is, on their turn, they can accuse, stating who they think the criminal is, and looking at the facedown card in the middle of the table. If they're right, they win, and if they're wrong, they are out of the game, but must still answer the investigations and interrogations of the other players.
Sherlock 13 is a tight package. The game components are only 13 cards, 4 screens for the players, and the clue sheets, so it's extremely portable for a travel game and takes up minimal table space. The rules are simply those explained above, with some slight variations for 2 player games and some advanced rules if you want to make things more difficult. The artwork on the cards, screens, and text on the clue sheets are extremely clear and thematic. There is a balance of guessing early, for which you only have yourself to blame if you're wrong, and guessing late which can mean another player beats you to it. But games are fast enough that player elimination is never really an issue, as eliminated players aren't sitting around for very long.
The Bottom Line
Sherlock 13 is a component light, fast, and easy guessing/investigative game. It's extremely portable and takes up hardly any tablespace. It's easy to teach and learn, and while there is player elimination, games are fast enough for it not to be an issue. The small number of components are great and thematic. Sherlock 13 is fun, and if you like a challenge, the advanced rules add a real difficulty increase.
Get This Game If:
- You want a component light travel game.
- You want an investigative guessing game.
Avoid This Game If:
- You don't like guessing games.
The copy of the Sherlock 13 used to produce this review was provided by Arcane Wonders.