Kosmos Verlag has a new crime series called Suspects. The players accompany the Scottish detective Claire Harper to crime scenes and solve murder cases together. Two titles in the series are already available, and a third will appear in the fall. The test shows whether the series is a worthwhile new game for puzzle fans.

What Knives Out brought to the big screen in 2019 is now arriving in game format. The whodunit genre is revived. In the style of an Agatha Christie novel, the players investigate and discover new clues and clues step by step and question witnesses in order to finally convict the perpetrator. The harmonious setting and the classic stories of the cases create an exciting atmosphere. As befits a crime game, the rules are short. For this test, we ran through the two titles currently available in the new Suspects series. Replenishment has already been announced for autumn.

Suspects - Crime games in a classic setting

You don't need more than one deck of cards for the games in the Suspects series. The handy box contains 54 or 57 cards. In addition, there is an introductory sheet, documents A and B and the resolution sheet. The deck of cards is placed in the center with all other materials. Only the resolution sheet is put aside. As the name suggests, it contains the solution to the case. After the investigation has been completed, it is used to check the investigation results. The documents are used as soon as the game prompts you to do so.

The structure of the two games does not differ. Image: Jonas Dahmen

There are three different types of cards in the deck. There are yellow clue cards, blue location cards and red person cards. On the red cards, the suspects and witnesses are interrogated. The players will find clues and clues at the different locations. The yellow clue cards show various items and clues that may have something to do with solving the case. Some of the different cards have lines of different colors. When the lines of two maps match, conclusions can be drawn. For example, fingerprints or shoes can be assigned to one or more people.  

The course of the games is very open. After drawing the first card, the cards can be examined in almost any order. The cards are numbered and all cards whose numbers can be found on documents or other cards can be drawn. There is no time limit for the games. Time is measured by the number of cards drawn. After 30 and 45 cards have been drawn, there is a discussion round. If the players can then already answer one or more questions, they can write down these answers. According to further findings, these tips can still be adjusted until the end of the investigation. When all cards have been drawn, the evaluation follows.

The answer sheet is read and the answers are checked. Points are awarded depending on when the correct answers were found. The earlier it is solved, the more points there are. If the answer is wrong, no points are awarded. The success of the investigations is evaluated in different categories. Depending on the success, the perpetrator gets off scot-free, is only suspected but cannot be prosecuted, receives a fine or has been fully convicted.

The cases

Deadly tracks takes the players to the Scottish Highlands. At the Allister villa, young Mary Higgins was murdered. Her husband has mysteriously disappeared. In the family mansion, the secrets of the Allister family are revealed card by card.
In Last Appearance the players get a character in their investigations Deadly tracks again. At the Kings Theater in Edinburgh, the leading actor dies during rehearsals for the latest play from a falling part of the set. An accident is unlikely. During the investigations in the theater, the players question all the people involved in the play. One of them has something to do with the death.

Infobox

Number of players: 1 to 5
Age: from 12 years
Playing time: 90 to 150 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Genre: crime game

Authors: Guillaume Montiage and Sébastien Duverger Nedellec
Design: Emile Denis
Official Website: Deadly Trail and Last Appearance
Year of publication: 2022
Language: German
Cost: 15 Euro

Summary

The new series from Kosmos Verlag is an atmospheric addition to previously available crime games. The mood of old crime novels and films is captured very well here. The stories, people and possible motives are kept classic. The culprit will gradually emerge as the investigation progresses. In the beginning everyone is a suspect.

The game material is well designed. The clues are clearly visible on the maps. You don't have to search forever to find any hidden clues. The focus is clearly on drawing the right conclusions from the clues discovered. You don't have to solve real logic puzzles. If you use a separate piece of paper or copy the introductory sheet on which the questions to be answered by the investigation are written, the game will not be damaged and can be passed on. The cards are of good quality and so well suited to be played on several times.

The cases are both different enough that it doesn't feel like you're working on the same case just with a different theme. In terms of difficulty, both cases are well suited for beginners. Although there are more points if you can answer questions after 30 or 45 cards, it is sufficient if all questions are answered correctly at the end for a satisfactory result, in which the offender receives a penalty. If all cards have been drawn, this is also possible.

Keeping track of how many cards have already been drawn is not very elegant. This "task" keeps tearing the person who takes on this task out of the flow of the game, and it's easy to forget to count cards again and again. In order to measure the time, however, this is necessary. Nevertheless, another solution would be nicer here. The mechanism itself, that there is a discussion round after 30 and 45 cards have been drawn, is very exciting. The rules even state that everyone can write down the solutions for themselves, thus creating a competition among the players.

Since the texts on the cards are printed rather small, it is questionable how good the flow of the game is when played with five players. As with many escape and crime games, deciding how many people to play with is purely a matter of taste for the group in question. A case can also be solved solo faster than the specified time span. With three people, we were at the lower end of the time range in the test.

Overall, the games offer extremely successful crime entertainment with easily solvable cases that are suitable for beginners and advanced users.


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Last updated on 29.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API