Review: Watson & Holmes

drop a deduce, the gut-motor, a nice hot loaf of police, elementary you're a dick
A mere thirty-six years after the release of the amazing Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, the board game industry has leapt into action! This month sees the release of the West End Adventures standalone expansion, and... we're not reviewing it.

That's because this month we're also getting a new English-language edition of Watson & Holmes, and that's EVEN MORE EXCITING. This game takes the original, superlative co-op experience that is Consulting Detective and makes it... competitive. Is this a work of evil genius to rival Moriarty? Or simply an error in deductive reasoning? Let's find out.

Have a great weekend, everybody.


Review: Mouse Guard

RACCOON ANXIETY, OXYTOCIN, THE GORDON RAMSEY OF MICE
MGBoxContents
Cynthia: There's something extra lovely about roleplaying games in the winter. Where I live in Minnesota, going outside can often be quite deadly, so I prefer to huddle around a table with friends and food and drink. The problem is, being trapped indoors makes me crave adventure.

Review: Ten Candles

these things are true: the world is dark, and we are alive
Cover
[Introducing RPG columnist Cynthia Hornbeck! As a former Utahn, temporary Minnesotan, PhD dropout and current public school teacher she is radically overqualified for a job with SU&SD. Please, nobody tell her.]

Cynthia: Hello, dear readers! I'd like to invite you all to accompany me to the end of the world, and to your death. Don't worry! I assure you that you're perfectly capable and prepared for the end – as it manifests in the phenomenal indie storytelling game Ten Candles, that is.

Ten Candles is a flexible, firelit game of "tragic horror" designed by Stephen Dewey and published by Cavalry Games. And I'm so totally in love with it. It's many scenarios take place in a variety of apocalypses where thick darkness blankets the earth and an evil force known as "Them" threatens humanity. Oh I know, there are plenty of post-apocalyptic games out there, and I imagine you're all raising your hands to ask what's so special about this one. Well, let me show you. Because what's special about Ten Candles is pretty much everything.


SU&SD Play… Mysterium: Hidden Signs!

Katherine F. Tynderflail-Crustington, he's the worst, who invited that guy
Following on from our early review of Mysterium and our video that teaches you the rules, today we're rounding off our coverage with something a bit special. It's our most ambitious Let's Play EVER, featuring both more cameras and more dressing up than ever before. We're also playing exclusively with the new characters, locations and weapons found in the new expansion, Mysterium: Hidden Signs!

Huge thanks to T.D. for the set-dressing on this one, and to Leigh and Jessi for being thoroughly excellent 1920s psychics.

Everyone else, have a great weekend!


How to Play Mysterium!

put the "oo" in boo, put the "host" in ghost, i can't think of any more
We reviewed Mysterium so early (and so breathlessly) that we never got to do a video on it. Gaw bless these rules explanations for letting us fix that!

Mysterium didn’t so much replace Dixit as murder it in the attic with the mantelpiece clock, and Asmodee’s new edition is just gorgeous. In fact, we’re planning a full Let’s Play as soon as the Hidden Signs expansion arrives, which could be as early as next month!


SU&SD Play… Concept

Man fast outside, storm tool, bird on a wire with goldie hawn
What would it be like to live in a world without words? How difficult might it be to communicate the idea of a person, an object or a work of art through nothing but a collection of slightly ambiguous icons? How would that even go?

If you think the answers to those questions, in turn, are "Pretty awkward!" "Very difficult!" and "It would be a disaster!" then you're already primed for our first playthrough video of 2016. Paul sat down with some of his friends, a copy of Concept and some very simple rules:

  1. Divide into two teams of two.
  2. Play to a two minute turn limit.
  3. Choose the card (though not the exact concept) the other team must play.
  4. Play the game on the middle of its three difficulty levels. That should be fine, right?

This is what happened.


Spoiler-Free Review: T.I.M.E Stories

a dashing time traveller, a cannibal lady, a drunk man setting up an apple tv
It's time for another of 2015's most breathtaking releases, and that's not a euphemism for a fart. Rather, T.I.M.E. Stories is a whole new kind of co-op board game. Your team will complete each time travel scenario in a blistering five hours and then it's time to buy a whole new deck, making this the most expensive game we've ever covered. Great Scott!

On the other hand, the only thing Quinns loves more than the movie Primer are board game expansions. What happens when an immovable force meets an unstoppable object? Tune in and find out.


Review: Codenames

deadly words, intense fuss, your horrible idiot lab rat friends
Review: Codenames
Quinns: In an age where we can fit dice on rings and hold Battlestar Galactica LARPs in decommissioned warships, team SU&SD has learned that rules can only hold us back. The only rule we have left is that before we review a game, it has to be available for our readers to buy it.

Today, we’re breaking that rule!

Codenames was the smash hit of Gen Con this year. It’s still perched happily atop BoardGameGeek’s “Hotness” sidebar, it sold out despite having a terrible name and a terrible box, and it’s the game I heard most people gossiping about. Under such crushing hype, and knowing that articles will soon be flowing in, today we're offering our review early.

Let’s start with two words: Vlaada Chvatil.

Then another five: He’s done it again.


Review: Mysterium

dreamy psychics, incompetent ghosts, toast crumbs, terror crumbs
Review: Mysterium
Quinns: Everybody, stop! STOP!

[Montage of factory workers looking up from industrial machinery. Doctors and nurses looking up from their surgery. Soldiers locked in deadly hand-to-hand combat, who freeze and turn to face the camera as one.]

I’ve played a new board game and it’s really, really good!

[Amiable mumbling as factory workers loosen their aprons and turn to face the camera, doctors take five on the edge of the operating table as blood spurts into the air, soldiers dust one another off and sit cross-legged like toddlers.]

Mysterium is a co-op game of ghosts, murder and hilarious incompetence, in that order. All but one player is a psychic spending the night in a horrid house where a killing took place. The final player, who may not speak, is a ghost sending everyone else horrible dreams. The ghost must guide the psychics to the correct murder weapon, crime scene and culprit before the week is over, or... well, I’m not sure. Maybe the psychics have concert tickets. It doesn't matter, and you won't care. You'll be laughing too much and thinking too hard.


Review: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

trust me, some scotch, rose wine, pina coladas, bath time with quinns
Hold on to your wallets! Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is now available. Contained within its box is the pinnacle of puzzle technology, the supreme solo game, an astonishing coup for couples' gaming!

Hmm? What's that? It actually came out in 1981?

But that's impossible. There must be some mistake.