Friday, May 24, 2024

Escape From Sherlock In ‘Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition’

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Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition takes the classic game and adds mechanics with your favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes. The game is for 2-6 players and can be played within an hour. The game uses the same map of London, but changes a few details with new mechanics added for the Sherlock Holmes variant. The game can be played with the normal rules or with the newly added Sherlock and Moriarty rules. Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition is published by Ravensburger which also publishes titles like Villainous, or another title I have reviewed, Dungeons, Dice & Danger, and many others.

What’s in the Box?

  • 1 Game Board
  • 29 Start Cards
  • 134 Tickets (58 Carriage, 44 Tram, 23 Underground, 6 Black, 3 Double-Move)
  • 6 Movers
  • 6 Player Boards
  • 1 Travel Log
  • 1 Visor
  • 3 Bobby Rings
  • 10 Character Chips for Sherlock Holmes Version
  • 15 Crime Scene Cards
  • 1 Travel Log Strip
Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition box art

How’s it Play?

If you have played the original Scotland Yard, then go ahead to skip to the Sherlock Holmes Version below. If you are new to Scotland Yard then continue to read here. The game is a deduction game where one player plays as Moriarty, who is trying to move around the map and not get caught by any of the other players. The other players are moving around as well and trying to land on the same space where Moriarty is currently occupied. 

Each detective has a number of different ways to move on the board, and they spend tickets to follow the line to another location on the board. The carriage is normally one space, and is used when in close quarters to Moriarty. The Tram moves 2-3 spaces at a time and is used to move further than the carriage. The underground tickets allow you to move from one area to another big area, and when combined, you can move across the entire board.

Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition components

Moriarty can pretty much move however he likes using whatever method, but during certain turns he has to reveal where he is. All other players come looking for him, and they get to know what type of movement Moriarty is using to get away, unless using a black ticket which blocks the type of movement used. Players come crashing in from all directions and the player playing Moriarty will need to be clever to get away. 

If Moriarty gets away, then he will show his location again and again players come crashing in trying to figure out where he could be. If the detective players land on his spot, he will need to reveal that information and the detectives win. If after 22 turns Moriarty is still loose, then that player wins.  

The Sherlock Holmes Version:

You can add in new rules that help give the game more complexity and new scenarios to deal with. Setup is a little different than the original version. For this variant, someone should choose to play as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson whenever possible.

Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition characters

There are additional types of locations on the map used in this version of the game. These are: a park, a landmark, and a river. Each has a icon associated with it. 

The player that plays as Moriarty uses the same rules as the original version plus some additional ones. After moving, if at a station shown on one of his crime scene cards, then they player can commit a crime at that location. When doing this, you announce you’re committing a crime and then place the crime scene card face down on the marked edge of your player board. If during the game Moriarty manages to play all 3 crime scene cards, he wins automatically and the game ends. But all players also know that each crime scene is at either a river, a park, or a landmark.

Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition cards

Moriarty wins if he manages to not get caught until the end of the 16th round, or if he plays all 3 crime scene cards. The detectives win if they find Moriarty sometime during the game. The detectives each have a character ability that might help them find Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes can use his manhunt ability to ask what district Moriarty is currently at. Irene Adler can use her transportation ban to forbid Moriarty to use either the tram or the underground next turn. Dr. Watson can use interrogation to ask Moriarty if he is currently at a park, a landmark, or river. Mycroft Holmes can use his searching for clues ability to have Moriarty reveal his location from 2 turns past. Inspector Lestrade can use roadblock to block a location for Moriarty to stop at. 

In addition, Professor Moriarty can go to one of his hideouts, shown by a black hat on the board. There, he can take a black ticket or double move ticket, he can decide not to reveal himself if at a secret hideout on the 3rd, 8th, or 13th turn, or can try to escape by using a hot air balloon. He will turn over a card and go to that location, but all other players will see where he lands. 

The Verdict

Scotland Yard: Sherlock Holmes Edition being played

The game lets you play the new version very similarly to the classic game. We actually still play this game because it has great mechanics in a catch me if you can game. Everyone wants a try to be on their own team and try to escape all the others. Players can express creativity in how they can get away, or how clever they can be when doubling or tripling back. But other players can also call them out and catch them in their paths.

The Sherlock Holmes addition also adds some creative mechanics that help add more variety in the game. These slight changes don’t take over the game or change the game in a huge way. But they do add possible goals for Moriarty. In doing this, players can also more easily catch Moriarty because they know that he wants to reach specific types of locations. The players also can use their special abilities to catch Moritary, outlined earlier. So now, all players can express their creativity while playing the game by choosing when to use their character’s powers.

I really enjoy the additions to the game and makes it so all players feel like they can be sneaky in how they make big moves in the game. That’s the special thing this game includes when playing it. Ultimately there are more options for all players in this version and players get to express their style of play by making and having more options to do additional actions.

Images via Ravensburger Games

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