Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
With Sherlock Holmes stories recently entering the public domain, we’ve seen in influx of games using the cast of characters from Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels. A Note for Murder is one such game, but takes the intellectual property and boils it down into a quick playing game of deduction.
A Note for Murder is a deduction game for 2-4 players and plays in about 10 minutes.
In a Note for Murder, each player is given a clue card that depicts the weapon, suspect, and location of a potential murder. However, they cannot see the card in front of them and must deduce the information in a race to thwart the impending crime.
To accomplish this, each turn you will play a clue card from your hand and the other players will tell you if it does or does not match something else on your card. But all the information you receive is a simple yes or no. You won’t be told which information matches, just that something does.
If prior to playing a card from your hand, you can correctly identify all three elements on your card, you successfully solved the crime and win the game. If you guess incorrectly, you are eliminated and play continues until one of the better investigators figures out what is going on here.
A Note for Murder is both quick to explain and play. Games can be over in just a handful of minutes, but still give players some interesting decisions to make throughout as you are racing others at the table to solve your crime as fast as possible.
Most of the game boils down to evaluating the cards in your hand. You only have 5 cards at any given time and must decide which one to “test” to give you the most information possible. As you start gaining more insight into murder by collecting both positive and negative responses, you’ll be able to narrow in quickly on the murderer, weapon, and location.
The key is playing cards that give you the most info. Since “yes” responses only tell you that something matched, but not what, you have to constantly compare all the information with the potential cards in your hand to determine what is going to definitively give you answers.
Investigators are somewhat beholden to the luck of the draw as you can certainly get into a scenario where the information you’d like to check on isn’t available in your hand. But you have to make do with the clues you have. And of course, if you think your opponents are locked in on solving their crime, you can always just make a somewhat wild but educated guess if all else fails.
A Note for Murder feels much like a logic puzzle. If figuring out puzzles and riddles is something you enjoy, you’ll get plenty of that feeling from this game. It’s quick and easy to teach and makes a good filler game that will get your brain power flowing to start off a long evening of games.
A Note for Murder launches today on Kickstarter. Head over to their campaign page if you’d like to pledge for a copy, or to find out more information.
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.