Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game.
Chronicles of Crime (review of the first game can be found here) has been one of the most successful app-assisted board games to date. It puts its players in the role of detectives trying to solve crimes using their smart device to scan QR codes that initiate interrogations, search locations, and inspect items. Not to mention it has a VR component to allow you to actually look around the various crime scenes.
Today they have a new Kickstarter campaign to launch a trilogy that transports detectives to Paris. You’ll start off in the year 1400, but each game is set 500 years apart, giving you a final story that takes place in the future. We were able to get a crack at solving the first case in 1400, so we will take a closer look at that one.
As you might expect, the Chronicles of Crime: Millenium Series plays out very similarly to the base game. You’ll travel from location to location, finding items and talking to the people you come across. Your goal is to find enough information to solve the crime and then you’ll earn a final score at the end based on how you did answering questions in the app.
Of course in modern-day Chronicles of Crime you could consult your scientists and medical professionals, there is less hard science at work in the middle ages. Luckily for you, you seem to have been born with a unique gift where you see visions that can potentially give you information about the crime that you haven’t seen yet. You also have a trusty companion dog that can give items a quick sniff and potentially lead you to someone who has recently come into contact with it.
The game board has been updated with an area to store items you’ve heard about, but not yet possess. This gives you a little more flexibility in asking questions about the whereabouts of items.
At the root of it—this is just more of a good thing. It refreshes the setting for Chronicles of Crime, giving you a fresh batch of locations and stories that are unlike the modern settings of the base game. The visions give you just enough information to be valuable in what types of things to look for but without making the scenario feel like it was more about the supernatural abilities rather than your deductive skills.
The real draw of the Millenium Series is the promise of cases that may tie together over the course of 1,000 years. The main characters are all from the same family and all possess this innate ability to see visions of crimes—perhaps even crimes in the distant future. Although we haven’t yet had a chance to see how the stories connect throughout this alternate history and into the future, that is the overall cohesive plot.
Not every version of the Millenium Series is going to play out the same. The 1900 version promises some escape-room type puzzle elements and once you reach 2400 you cybernetic-enhanced detective will have the ability to install upgrades to improve your abilities.
Without a doubt Chronicles of Crime has been a hit with gamers so far. With the scenario we got to play with so far, it’s a welcome addition of new mechanisms and a great dog by your side. But the real star of this Kickstarter campaign is the visions that will hopefully tie a few things together from game to game. We are certainly looking forward to more cases to see how the puzzles come together in 1900 and how our enhanced abilities perform in 2400.
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.