Review: Chronicles of Crime 1400 – deduction in the fourteenth century

Detectives in ancient history have made it much harder. They had no technology, only their eyes, hands and mind. Revealing the perpetrators at a time of tangled relationships, church interventions and slow shifts between locations could not have been much more complicated.

In the new millennium edition of and its first incarnation with the year , players will have to do without modern conveniences in their imagination. But in reality, the game requires a cell phone, as we are used to from the original version. The new version is signed by the design duo and . The game is produced by .

We can already see a medieval scene on the lid, while inside the player is waiting for a folding plan with lots of card slots. Its meaning is purely organizational and does not affect the game itself, yet the players place it somewhere near the center of the table. But even more important are decks of cards and location boards. Among them, players will find their home, where they see three family members who will help them. But there is also one important helper – a faithful dog helper, whose snout players will be able to use in the stories of this box.

And on all cards, without a difference, a QR code is printed. The exception is the large vision cards that players will need at the beginning of their detective endeavor. But first they have to download and install Chronicles of Crime, find section 1400 and choose the scenario they want to try. A tutorial is also included.

As soon as players run one of the scenarios, they first learn the basic plot and then the application prescribes several vision cards. They will explain them in front of them and will serve as a small contextual help. Above all, however, players should be given their starting location and the crime to be solved.

Then the investigation proceeds only as a story, shifting by reading barcodes. So players always have to move to the location where they want to do something first. But he must have it discovered, because otherwise there is no card on the table and it is not possible to move there. They usually learn about new places by questioning characters.

When they first arrive at the place, players will find out what they see. In addition, in some locations, they may look around with the help of a display, such as looking at a crime scene, and must be alert. This is because they categorize all the found items and take cards from them. One by one, they load in the location and find out if this is a significant clue or not.

But players spend most of their time questioning witnesses and suspects. He must be again where the character is. For these purposes, they use cards with portraits, which they place in locations and thus gain an overview. You only need to read the barcode to interrogate. If they want to ask the characters for another character or object, then they continue by loading another code.

The more they ask, the more they learn. But with every journey between locations, with every survey or question, time passes. Of course, this has no effect on the chance of success. The total time to resolve the case only plays a role in evaluating the performance of the detective team. But before players can enjoy success, they must return to their home location and answer a number of tricky questions correctly (by reloading barcodes).

Some may not perceive Chronicles of Crime as a board game. And this also applies to the new version of the 1400. The cards and boards here only form the backdrop and most of the time they look at the digital device, which is the central element of the whole experience. Without it, they will not move on, learn new information or try to solve the mystery.

But a story so extensive with such freedom of movement and deduction could not otherwise be reasonably solved. Players decide for themselves when and whom to ask. If they miss something, they can get stuck very easily. This is followed by a complex search for clues. All you have to do is forget to ask some characters about an important object and you can start wandering in circles. Although many places are accessible from multiple conversations.

Players are helped not only by their dreams printed in the pictures on the cards, but also by the cards. With their help, they can, for example, register characters whose existence they have learned, but they still have no idea where the witness is. The same goes for items, because you can know about the existence of something you don’t already have.

We perceive the combination of digital technologies and physical objects as a great choice. It allows the game to be branched and non-linear. There is a lot of information from which players must choose the right and essential. But important places, characters or objects of interest are always highlighted here.

The difference is looking around the crime scene, because there detectives really have to rely on their eyes. And most importantly, they must be able to classify the found objects into general categories, such as melee weapons, documents or food.

Above all, the award deserves the ingenuity and sophistication of the detective stories themselves. They will take you through a number of locations, you will meet a bunch of characters and experience the feeling of a real detective investigation. In multiplayer, the game thinks of a chance to look around the scene multiple times, but each attempt costs some time. However, the phone itself is operated by only one player, so he has to read to the others. Someone has to operate the cards. So the ideal is the number of two players, when these roles are well divided.

A huge plus is the accompanying application itself. It is smart, clear and fast. Players simply read one barcode after another and very quickly are able to proceed or change the location and implement a possible plan. With regard to the final evaluation, it is good to consider time-consuming things, such as moving between locations.

1400 brings a pair of new mechanisms, the more fun of which is a four-legged faithful friend to help players find and identify tracks. Then there are the prophetic dreams that the detective allegedly has, and which rather set the story, give it some framework, and thanks to them, the players at least know what they are looking for.

The box contains a package of characters that are always used differently. The portraits are for multiple uses, so sometimes suspect number 2 will be named that way and other times. It can be a murderer, a detective or a member of an abbey. Everything is possible. The illustrations are properly period and you do not doubt for a moment that you are really in the Middle Ages.

Chronicles of Crime: 1400 is the best advertisement for connecting the table and digital worlds. The game offers a fantastic experience mainly thanks to the excellent four scenarios. Everyone guarantees you fun for more than an hour and completely engulfs you. And that’s exactly what detective work should be like. You just shouldn’t think of anything else during it. And Chronicles of Crime: 1400 that’s exactly how it can capture.

DesignerDavid Cicurel, Wojciech Grajkowski
ArtistBarbara Gołębiewska, Mateusz Komada, Katarzyna Kosobucka, Mateusz Michalski
PublisherLucky Duck Games, 999 Games, Broadway Toys LTD, Corax Games, Gém Klub Kft., Hobby World, Kaissa Chess & Games, Korea Boardgames Co., Ltd.
Year Published2020
# of Players1 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 1, 2 players
(20 voters)
Playing Time90
Mfg Suggested Ages14 and up
User Suggested Ages12 and up
(5 voters)
Language DependenceExtensive use of text - massive conversion needed to be playable
(4 voters)
CategoryAdventure, Deduction, Medieval, Murder/Mystery
MechanicCooperative Game, Scenario / Mission / Campaign Game, Storytelling
ExpansionChronicles of Crime: The Millennium Series – Chronicles of Time Expansion
FamilyComponents: Digital Hybrid – App/Website Required, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Misc: LongPack Games, Series: Chronicles of Crime – The Millennium
Primary NameChronicles of Crime: 1400
Alternate NamesBűnügyi krónikák: 1400, Crónicas del Crimen: La Saga Millenium – 1400, Kroniki Zbrodni: Seria Milenium – 1400, TO XΡΟΝΙΚΟ ΕΝΟΣ ΕΓΚΛΗΜΑΤΟΣ: 1400, Место преступления: Средневековье, 騎士教條1400, 사건의 재구성: 1400

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Chronicles of Crime 1400 – deduction in the fourteenth century
Final word
Chronicles of Crime: 1400 absolutely captivated us. The individual scenarios are completely immersive and during the investigation you will be completely surrounded by a world inhabited by believable characters. The experience is not disturbed in any way by a digital application, which is completely intuitive and guarantees a smooth flow. The game measures time in a turn-based way, so there is no need to rush somewhere. Detectives can take time for everything. Chronicles of Crime: 1400 is the perfect detective experience if you don't mind the significant use of a digital application.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
+ atmosphere
+ quality of scenarios
+ intuitive controls
+ dog
+ time measurement
Cons
= after four scenarios it's over
4.8
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