Having played a number of Deckscape escape games, we came across another type of card based game by the same company. This time instead of escaping, we needed to solve a murder.
Decktective Blood Red Roses is a co-operative card game for up to six players.
The noise of a carriage breaks the silence surrounding the Tudor mansion. The duke Edward York, just arrived, makes a gruesome discovery: Count Ferdinand Tudor lies lifeless next to a bush of bloody roses. What has happened? Is it a tragic accident or a brutal crime?
The instructions on the box told us we would need to collect the clues, including a broken pocket watch, an astrology manual, the winning ticket of a horse race. Would we be able to put the evidences together to solve the mystery? This was the City Adventurers we were talking about so there was a good chance (!)
Just like playing Deckscape, there is no rulebook or board. All you have are a deck of cards. However, you are instructed to build a 3D crime scene by arranging some of the cards carefully into the box. A nice twist on the usual boxed games and not something we were expected from such a small box.
The remaining cards are used to play the game. Depending on how many are playing, you are dealt a limited hand each. as there were two of us, we got 3 cards each.
Each card has a value. On your turn you have the choice of playing a card – ie showing it to everyone and discussing it – or discarding it. If you throw the card away, it goes onto an archive pile. You cannot tell anyone what was on the card but you can read its title.
The archive file is important as you play cards based on their value and how many cards are already in the archive. So at the start there is only 1 card in the archive and players can only play a card worth 1. Over time the archive grows as people have to throw away cards to be able to play their higher value cards. Consequently, you end up throwing away evidence that only you know, but that may be relevant at the end of the game!
The instructions tell you to discard cards that you think will lead you the wrong way in your investigation. but how do you know they are leading you the wrong way? It may have been a vital piece of evidence if only you had linked it to another players card…..
At the end of the game, when all the cards have been played or discarded, you have five questions to answer. At this point you get to discuss all the cards lying ace up in front of you and anything you can remember from the archive pile. (You still can’t look at those cards).
The box contains some plastic clips, which you use to record your answers on the question cards. This is your solution to the mystery. Then it’s time to flip over the cards and find out if you got the answer right, plus your score out of 10 points.
We got 9 out of 10 right, so felt we’d done a good job.
The game took us less than an hour. Although it can only be played once, no components are destroyed or altered, so you can easily pass the game on to others afterward.