English reviews

Holmes – Sherlock & Mycroft

Game summary:

A game for 2 players
Play time around 30 minutes
Designer: Diego Ibáñez

Artist: Pedro Soto

Publisher: Kosmos Games


This tiny game box contains the following components:

1 Game Board

6 Action Markers (3 Sherlock & 3 Mycroft)
12 Character cards
52 Clue cards
24 Investigation markers
3 optional cards
1 Rulebook

A few examples of the character cards.

Let’s get it to the table

At dawn on the 24th of February 1895 the sound of thunder woke up London. A big column of smoke foreshadowed the catastrophe; a bomb had exploded in the House of Parliament. The security forces reacted immediately and arrested Michael Capman, a young worker linked to anarchist groups, near the place of the attack.

Mycroft Holmes is in charge of investigation the explosion for the Cronw prosecution. Mycroft needs to determine if the attack is the action of a lone wolf or part of a bigger plot. It appears to be another easy case from his comfortable chair at the Diogenes Club, when he discovers that the detective hired by Michael’s parents to prove the you man’s innocence is no less than his brother Sherlock Holmes.

The duel between the two most brilliant minds in London begins. The Holmes have to prove if Michael is innocent or guilty.

Place the board in the middle between the 2 players. On top of the board we place the character cards Doctor Watson, Mrs. Hudson and Inspector Lestrade on their respective spaces.

The remaining character cards must be shuffled and the character deck placed on their space of the game board. Draw 2 cards and place them in the two spaces of Day 1, the game always starts with 5 available characters.

The investigation markers are placed below the game board, so both players can use them.

Now you draw 4 clues and they must be drawn from the deck and placed face up, you can place them on top of the board.

Choose a first player, that player chooses to be Sherlock or Mycroft. Each player also takes 3 action markers and 5 investigation markers.

Now we’re ready to play!

The game lasts 7 turns, that’s one week of investigation. Each turn has 3 phases, after the thirth phase the next day will start.

1. Start of the day.
A new character will be drawn from the deck and place on top of the day in question.

now place the 6 action markers in an upright position on the appropriate character cards, ready to start a new day of search (is it the first turn, then start directly with phase 2).

2. Investigation
The first player takes any action maker that stands on top of a character and place it laying down on top of another character that doesn’t have any of your makers. Your immediately able to use the skills of the second character. Next is the turn of the other player and so on, until both player have laid down their 3 action markers.

3. End of the day
first we’re going to check if there is any character occupied by 2 action makers, one of each player. This character is now spent, that means that you have to turn the card faced-down to indicate that this character has left the city or is hiding. During the following turn it will remain unavailable.

Turn any character spent during this turn face-up to indicate the availability for the following day.

The characters allow the player to obtain investigation markers and to use them to obtain clues from the visible line in the center of the table.

When a player gets an investigation marker, place this directly in your area. Your opponent must be able to see how many you’ve got.

When a player obtains a clue card from the line, you must place them on your side of the board, organised by the type of the clue. Also your opponent must be able to see how many you’ve got. When you’ve taken a clue from the line, you must replace it with a card from the clue deck, any discarded cards must be shuffled to create a new deck.

A few examples of the clue cards.

End of the game
The game ends when the second player has used his third action marker on Day 7.

Now the players must reveal the hidden clues that they have obtained and assign them to their corresponding type. The wildcards not assigned to any type of clue can be assigned now, the score starts;
1. Types of clues; the player with more clues of one type will obtain the value of that clue minus the amount of clues that the opponent has.
2. Absolute Majority, when a player has all the cards of one type that player receives a bonus of 3 points.
3. Map Fragments;
– 1 Map Fragments subtract 1 point
– 2 Map Fragments add 1 point
– 3 Map Fragments add 3 points
– 4 Map Fragments add 6 points
– 5 Map Fragments add 10 points
4. Non-assigned wildcards; each wildcards that has not been assigned to any type of clue subtracts 3 points.

The player with the most points win this game.

Final Conclusion & rating:

Weight: 1 / 5
Replayability: 5
My rating: 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲  

Overall impression of the game
Holmes is a funny filler game to put on the table quickly. I think it is a funny game but I have played better games than this one. The quality of the game components are fine, artwork is really nicely done and therefore you get a little carried away in the story. But especially there the game lacks an important point, I did not have the idea that I am really solving something.

Games about Sherlock Holmes but also the TV series is something that I really like and therefore I was looking forward to this game. But despite the relatively simple rules I really missed something in the game and I don’t think this game will come to my table again. If I start with a ”mystery” game I really want to solve something and at the end I have the feeling that you have achieved it and unfortunately I did not have that with Holmes.

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