221B Baker Street: Game Review

Welcome to this edition of the regular blog feature Board Game Analysis. This week we are looking at 221B Baker street (affiliate link) which is based on the popular detective series Sherlock Holmes. 

This is a board game for 2-6 players aged 10 and up.

What’s in the box?

  • Instructions/clues and solutions booklet. 
  • 1 die
  • 1 game board
  • 6 game mover pieces
  • 6 Scotland yard key cards
  • 6 skeleton key cards
  • Solution checklist pad
  • 75 different case cards.
Baker street Game board and accessories
Game set up and ready to play!

Objective and game play. 

This is more of a game of skill than luck as you need to work out the clues in order to solve the crime. 

To start the game you select a case card and one of the players reads it out. The case card sets the scene of the crime and also states what needs to be solved in order to win. Some cases only ask for the normal who did it, what with and why but other cards ask for extra things as well, for example, where the diamond has been hidden. 

Playing the game

You all start on the home of Sherlock Holmes and then on your turn you roll the die and you  may go in any direction. You need to visit different locations around the board in order to find the clues which will hopefully help you to crack the case. 

Once you arrive at a location, you look at the card where there will be a number next to the location. You then turn to that number in the clue book and read your clue. You then note down on your solution checklist anything which you think is important and then your turn has ended. 

The clues

Some are simple and tell you something that will easily help you solve the crime. Others are more cryptic. For example you could get a clue which states ‘motive clue (four parts) II A furnace sometimes used by a blacksmith’

In this example, the clue is telling you that it is in four parts and you are reading part two. You now know that you need to find another three parts in other locations to solve the motive of this case. 

Other locations could simply say ‘no clue’ which is so frustrating! This is where you need a good poker face and the ability to act as if you are reading and then writing something down, so as not to give it away to the other players!

Game booklet open with case card, solution checklist and pen
Ready to solve those clues!

 

Winning the game

Once you think that you have all of the answers needed in your case and you have written them down on your solution checklist sheet, you can head back to 221B Baker street. 

Once you have arrived there you can announce to the other players that you have solved the case. You read out your answers and then you look up the solution in the booklet. If you are correct you read it out to everyone and bask in victory. However, if you are wrong in any aspect you keep it all to yourself, tell the other players that you were wrong and then they can carry on until someone gets the right solution. 

Opinions

I absolutely love this game! It is actually my favourite board game ever, so I guess I am a bit biased! The problem is, I have not yet found anyone else who likes playing it! My family all say that it is too complicated. 

I actually found this game in the ’90s in a charity shop and fell in love with it the first time I played it. Then a few years ago they started selling it again so I got to treat myself to a new edition as my old game had seen better days! 

I think that if you are someone who enjoys murder mysteries and solving puzzles and likes a challenge then this game is perfect. 

Extras 

If you get through the 75 cases already included in the game, you can now purchase an additional 50 cases!

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