My tabletop group and I just finished up the main campaign of Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, and I have a lot of thoughts. I’d also love to hear what you all thought of it!
(I think general spoilers are fair game in this thread, but I’ll still keep some sensitive things under blur)
(Also, no spoilers for the recent expansion: L.A. Crimes, I haven’t played it yet!)
I absolutely loved this game. The writing (for the most part) is fantastic, and kept us completely engaged for all 5 of our 3+ hour game sessions. I can definitely see how it’s not everyone’s Thing, but it absolutely had me and my group on our bullshit the whole time, and I think what contributed to that was the fact that it lets you explore whatever plot threads you want. I’ve seen posts on different forums where some people found bits of information that my team wasn’t even close to getting.
The game also left us with a lot of unanswered questions, which initially seemed frustrating, but it’s smart of the game to do. I’ll be thinking about the story for a long time, and I’ll specifically be thinking about the questions we never solved. We were very interested in what Nostromo was, but we never really got a solid answer. We have some theories, but I like that the game, as far as the routes we took, left that sort of open. Delaware is also a very suspicious character, and I’d love to know more about his backstory, but again, it seems like the game wants to leave things like that a little blurry.
Another thing that I found great about this game is that, if you don’t want to spoil anything for someone, the story setup of the first case seems fairly innocuous and boring. The police find some watch that was stolen from Poland during WWII, and somehow ended up at an auction house in Richmond, VA in modern day, and you have to find out how it got here. The way that the story continues to unfold case after case into a story about blackmail, broken friendships, revenge. and the effects of war made it so we immediately wanted to play the next case right away, even when we didn’t have the time.
One last (spoiler filled, and lengthy) anecdote about how invested, and excited, I was when playing this game: At one point, you find a picture with a Shakespeare quote written on the back of it. With all the talk of transplantology throughout the story, we would always jokingly bring up the Ship of Theseus thought experiment. Slowly, over the game, there seemed to be a lot of clues referencing boats and ships. Nostromo is a secret organization named after a novel about a shipwreck, as well as being the name of the ship in Alien. With all this talk of ships, as soon as I found out it was a Shakespeare quote, I asked my friend, who was looking it up, if it was a quote from The Tempest. He slowly looked up at me and told me that it was. I got so obsessed with the fact that this person specifically left us a clue in the form of a quote from The Tempest, that the next morning, I read all of The Tempest, in order to get more information from it. I ended up not getting much, apart from some interesting parallels in terms of character names and loose themes. However, that’s just a testament to how invested I was in this game. My mind was so focused on this story, that it got me to read an entire play to get more information.
It does have some flaws, but in my opinion, those are few and far between, and don’t outweigh the amazing time I had with it.
What do you all think about it?