Saturday, June 24, 2017

Beyond Baker Street Review

*Ages 13+
*2-4 Players
*About 20 Minutes
*Cooperative/Deduction
*Robin Lees & Steve Mackenzie

Beyond Baker Street is a cooperative game where you don't get to see your cards, but get to see every other player's cards. In the game, you are trying to solve the mystery before Sherlock Holmes. On your turn you can Assist, by giving 1 piece of information to someone about what number they have or what type of card they have (The cards are numbered 1-6 and there are 4 types of cards: clues, witnesses, documents, and tracks), and then move the Holmes marker 1 space closer to 0. You can investigate by playing one of the cards from your hand under a lead card you think it matches the type of to get the cards to add up the number you need for that Lead (Motive, Suspect, and Opportunity). You can confirm by putting a blue/green marker on the stack of cards that adds up the Lead and move the Holmes marker back one space. You can eliminate by putting a card from your hand into the impossible deck and then move the investigation marker up the matching number. Last you can pursue, which means discard one of the Lead cards to the impossible deck and then move the investigation marker up the matching number. The game ends in 5 ways; 1) when the investigation marker is at 20 and the last of the three Leads get confirmed, then you win 2) if the Holmes marker reaches 0, you lose 3) if the investigation marker exceeds 20, you lose 4)  if the last card of any Lead deck is discarded into the Impossible deck, you lose or 5) when the third and final Lead is confirmed but the investigation marker is not at the 20 space.


Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I like it with 2-4 players.

Favorite Character And Why:Toby, because he can look at the top evidence deck card, then without revealing anything can leave it on the top or bury it on the bottom. Inspector Barnes, because when he confirms a lead moves the Holmes marker back 2 instead of 1. Mary Morstan, because you can confirm a lead whose evidence is 1 less than the lead value.


Least Favorite Character And Why: When playing with 2 players we don't use the Inspector Martin, because he can not identify evidence numbers, Inspector Bradstreet, because he cannot identify document evidence, Inspector Forrester, because he cannot identify clue evidence, Inspector Hopkins, because he cannot identify witness evidence, and Inspector Jones, because he cannot identify tracks evidence.


Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the feeling of having to trust others at the table to get what you need played. I also like the mechanics that Beyond Baker Street adds compaired to Hanobi, i.e. case files, impossible deck, confirming leads, Sherlock Holms marker, and investigation track.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The art is really simple, I like the box art with the old time cars and lighting.

Strategies: 1) Talk out the plan with people around the table like "Hey everyone we need 10 witness, so we need to get a 4 and 6 or a 5, 3, and 2 or 6, 1, and 3." Or "Hey we need 9 clue and 13 clue, which is not possible, so we need to put one of them in the impossible deck." 2) Before you open your mouth for your turn, look around the table and make sure you aren't over looking anything.

Final Thoughts: I really like this game! And I am SO happy Shannon will play it with, when she won't play Hanobi. I love the theme of Sherlock Homes. I also really like the uneasy/stressful feeling of do I play the card or not, is someone else not telling me something I need to know about my hand. 

7 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I've played this as a two player and a four player and I think it works well as both. I'm not partial to one over the other.

Favorite Character And Why: Lady Hilda Hope (One your turn you may take the assist action twice but only move the Holmes marker once) and Langdale Pike (Once per turn you may switch a card in your hand for a card in another player's hand) are my two favorites, because they are both excellent ways of getting more information out to everyone.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Irene Adler, with her, you can confirm leads, and while I know this is not that big of a deal, it just makes her my least favorite of all the cards.


Mechanics I Like And Dislike: For me, this game adds more strategy to it, that I don't feel it's dependent on the cards in your hand alone. There's enough going on that, I feel like it makes up for what I always felt Hanabi was missing.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The Sherlock Holmes meeple and the backs of the cards!

Strategies: Taking my time to make sure that everyone has the information that they need before just taking my turn quickly with the information that I know.

Final Thoughts: This game is a better version of Hanabi to me. I like it when I do not like Hanabi.

7 out of 10 Stars