Lucky Duck Games sent us a prototype of Chronicles of Crime to preview while it’s up on Kickstarter. It’s important to keep in mind while reading this review that some of the rules, components, and art may change before it’s officially released.
This Chronicles of Crime review was made after playing through the tutorial and the first case.
What is Chronicles of Crime?
Chronicles of Crime is a crime solving cooperative game in which you and your friends investigate crimes around London. You’ll be using an app to scan QR codes found on all of the cards in the game, and you’ll also be able to search for clues around different locations by using the included virtual reality glasses.
Chronicles of Crime Gameplay
At the start of each game of Chronicles of Crime, you’ll choose a case to try to solve and place the boards and cards around the table. You’ll place a starting character (I think it’ll always be the Chief Officer) at the police station and you’ll get some initial info about the case.
Throughout the game, you will be going to different locations and interrogating people while trying to solve the case. To do this, you’ll be scanning the cards’ QR codes with your mobile device and reading what’s at the locations and what the people have to say.
You’ll also be able to search around crime scenes and other locations for clues. To do this, you’ll either place the VR glasses on your mobile device to look around the location, or you have the option to simply look around the location on your device without the glasses.
There are Evidence Category and Special Item cards that you can place on the board whenever you find clues at your locations. When you’re interrogating people, you can scan the items or even other people to see what they know about them. You can also turn to the four Forensic Contacts for help by simply scanning their cards and listening to what they have to say about the items and people you have found.
Every time you talk to people, search for clues, or move from place to place, time passes. The less time you take to solve the crime, the higher your score will be at the end of the game.
Once you feel like you have solved the case, you’ll go back to your home location (probably always the police station) and answer some questions about the case. After you’ve answered those questions, you’ll get a score for how accurate you were and for how long it took you to finish the case.
- I was worried that this wouldn’t work too well as a co-op game, but it really does. Sometimes you’ll miss something while searching for clues or you’ll need help figuring out who to interrogate next, so it’s definitely nice to have one or two other people with you. I actually wouldn’t recommend this as a solo game for those reasons.
- I’m glad that there is very little hand-holding in this game. You can get very minor clues from time to time, but for the most part you’re on your own to try to solve the cases.
- The one case we played (medium difficulty) was a nice challenge. We got stuck multiple times because the game has that ‘open world’ feel to it and it’s easy to miss stuff. In most cases, the tougher a game is the more we want to play it.
- It’s really great that the app gives you the option to search for clues with or without the VR glasses. I, unfortunately, get virtual reality sickness, so it was nice that I wasn’t forced to use the glasses. Both options work very well.
- You’re not going to find too many games that are easier to learn than this one. The tutorial is great and everyone should know how everything in the game works within five minutes.
- You’re scanning a lot of QR codes during the cases and you have to click the screen every time you want to scan something. I’d definitely prefer an auto-scan feature to speed up the process a bit (with a delay so you don’t accidentally scan the wrong codes).
- It’s a little odd that they chose to use London as the setting for this game. Arguably the best co-op detective game out there, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, is set in London, so it would have been nice to do some investigating in a different city.
- Even though this wasn’t a problem for my group, I think some people might find Chronicles of Crime a bit frustrating because there are so few hints given. If you get stuck, there’s really not much you can do except go “solve the case” and figure out what you missed. Again, I like it the way it is, but I think some folks would prefer more hints.
Chronicles of Crime is definitely a game that most co-op fans will want to check out. It brings something new to the detective genre and there is going to be quite a bit of content in the box. The two people I played this with enjoyed it a lot and were a little let down when I told them we could only play one case with the prototype version. I want to play through more cases and I can’t even use the VR glasses!
If you like the idea of mixing crime solving with a little bit of virtual reality gameplay, you 100 percent should check this one out. The only people who I would not recommend this game to are those who dislike detective games and those who absolutely, positively will not play a board game that has an app.