‘Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Senior Columnist
I love a good mystery. Every autumn I like to tuck into my favourite chair and see if I can solve the crime faster than Poirot, Fletcher, or Castle. When will I encounter a game that will truly tax my little grey cells?
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (1981) is a thematic murder mystery game for one to eight players designed by Raymond Edwards, Suzanne Goldberg, and Gary Grady and published by Ystari Games. In the game, players take the role of the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of orphans and street rats who are Sherlock Holmes’ eyes and ears on the streets of London. The players then follow leads, interview suspects, and deduce the nature of the crime.
As murder mystery games go, this one has a lot of freedom. The game plays out like almost a Choose your Own Adventure style, with leads giving vital clues and guiding you to the next one. Leads can be deduced from the case description as well as clues hidden within the daily newspaper. Once the players are ready, several questions are put forward and points are scored depending on how many the players got right, minus how many leads they followed. The goal is to beat Sherlock’s score, which is always 100 points and a few leads.
This game is fun, but not for everyone. There is a lot of reading involved, and like many in-depth crime games—such as How to Host a Murder (1985-2003)—concentration and deduction is paramount, so I wouldn’t recommend this game for more casual play. There are only 10 cases that can be played, so the game has a limited replay value. However, if you want to truly experience the world of Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective, I would highly recommend you pair up with your best mates and track down a copy of this game.