May 8, 2019

Board Game Review: Unsolved Case Files

Unsolved Case Files
My Rating: ★★★★

You have the files from a cold case and are tasked with the challenge of finding out who really murdered Harmony Ashcroft twenty years ago. With the original witness interviews, newspaper clippings, coroner report, and other information collected for the original investigation, players can pick through all the details, looking for new connections and any inconsistencies.

The second you open the package, you feel like a real detective with your stack of realistic documents. Before trying to solve anything, I went through every component, reading all the statements and slowly piecing together the chain of events on the night of Harmony’s murder. Although it feels like a lot of stuff, every person-of-interest has their files clipped together, which makes keeping everything organized much easier.

The players have to complete three objectives in order to win: Prove the person who was originally convicted of the murder is innocent, figure out which person-of-interest is lying, and find the real murderer. Although I enjoyed playing through this game, each objective was solved by finding a really clear contradiction. It didn’t really feel like I was solving anything. I really wanted to have to make lots of deductions and connections, so the gameplay was a bit of a letdown. However, even though it felt like I whizzed through the game, it still took about ninety minutes to finish since there’s so much stuff to sift through.

I’m amazed at how much fun this was to play even though the components were all so simple. It’s essentially a bunch of photocopies and some postcards in a folder. On that note, since it had no specialty parts to speak of, (it didn’t even have a box--the folder was simply shrinkwrapped with all the papers inside) the price is pretty ridiculous. Being an indie game, I can understand a higher price than something mass produced, but I do hope the creators find a better fulfillment solution that allows them to charge a bit less per game.

Even with my few complaints, I will definitely be getting the next game in this series when it comes out! If you enjoy detective TV shows or like cooperative puzzle games, you’ll enjoy Unsolved Case Files.

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