A Review of Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street Irregulars. Part II: Final Thoughts

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Graphic Novel Adventures!

We did Part I of the review here (with unboxing, solo rules, and first impressions).  What do we think of it now that we’ve played through it?

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This summarizes the game: it was fun!

This picture is a summary of the review: “It was fun!”  You can even see little scratch marks of some of the math we had to do in the game!

Thoughts

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Package up the books (with comic book bags and boards) so I can deliver them to my friends

In order to get a full review done, we played all 4 adventures in the book with 4 of us.  In this age of Social Distancing, I had to physically pass out the books to my friends at work.  Then, on game night, we would each have our own little book to play with.  Nominally, this is how the game plays anyways (each player has their own book), but normally you play together in the same room.  Not us!  We ended up playing over Discord with only the audio.  And you know what, it worked really well!

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Playing over Discord … I was Wiggins! 

The only thing this is shared among all players was the Map of London: We ended up putting that up in Discord. Other than that, each player had their own notes and their own book!

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To play, we all chatted over Discord, taking notes, and followed along in the same panels.  Sometimes, a player would do something only they could do! For example, my character Wiggins was observant and good at noticing things, so he would occasionally go off BY HIMSELF, take a little side-quest for just a few panels.  The rest of the players would wait (never more than a minute) for him to get back .. when he got back, these little side-quests (typically) gave much-needed clues!

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Some notes, if you can read them, there might be some spoilers

The Four Adventures

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There are four Adventures in the book.  We have played through all four as a 4-Player group (and I played the first adventure solo before we played as a group).

  • Adventure 1: Simple mystery: shows how the game works, but it has enough puzzles to be fun. About 75 minutes?
  • Adventure 2: This adventure was .. different.  It was fun, but there was more math than we expected.  About 90-120 minutes?
  • Adventure 3: ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!  This adventure is the reason to get the game! It was an interesting, well-written mystery that had us on the edge of our feet the entire time.  120 minutes.
  • Adventure 4: Fun clean up, although there was one poorly expressed warning that really confused us and soured our final experience (see below). About 90 minutes.

Overall, there’s about 6 hours of content in the books.  To be clear, once you’ve played an adventure, you probably can’t play it again (unless you wait a few years, hopefully forgetting the mystery).  The game (especially Adventure 2) almost feels like an Escape Room game, where players cooperatively interact solving lots of puzzles.

The graphics are cute, and they work really well.

Quality

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We mentioned in another review of a very closely related game (Crusoe Crew: See review here) that there were binding issues: pages would fall OUT after just a few plays!

Luckily, the binding was NOT a problem this time! We played 6 hours with these books, turning pages quickly, going to different parts of the book, and generally flipping a lot of pages.  None of the books had any problems: the bindings are fine.

Some Notes

If you make it to the last adventure, we have a suggestion.  If you end up getting the game, read this BEFORE you do the very last adventure.  There was something poorly expressed which kind of soured our very last adventure.

Skip this and go the conclusion to avoid spoilers!

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Warning! Don’t read this unless you are playing the last adventure!

Adventure 4: That sentence with the warning is poorly expressed, it should probably read:

Warning, only panel numbers with marked sewer panels are considered valid numbers!

The poorly worded sentence implies that only sewer panels WITH NUMBERS RIGHT ON THEM are valid, and that’s not true!  After we went through the last Adventure, we were stuck (and frustrated) until we realized that the warning in the book is poorly expressed.  We figured it out when we realized that the last Adventure is 1 out of 4 stars difficulty, so we were making it too complicated!   It had to be the simple answer! And it was!

Conclusion

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This summarizes the game: it was fun!

Sara’s picture of her character from the game summarizes it all: this game was fun! It worked VERY WELL over the internet (over Discord), and we were able to play 6 hours of really fun Escape Room type game/puzzles.    Adventure 3 of the game was worth the price of the game alone (It was FANTASTIC), but the other 3 adventures were still good and worth playing.

If you can’t pass the booklets of the game out (because you all live in different cities), it’s easy for each player to buy their own copy of the game and still play remotely.

Now that I am done with the game, I will be passing it on to my friend Sam, who will playing it with his family in their house.

Final thought: This is probably the cooperative game that has played BEST over the Internet.

One thought on “A Review of Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street Irregulars. Part II: Final Thoughts

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