Review: Purrrlock Holmes – Furriarty’s Trail

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Cats are the best detectives. No one today will admit, that the best detective of all time was a cat. And Watson was his owner who, in his stories, twisted everything and adjusted it so that everything was more believable for the human reader. Who would have believed idea of a cigar smoking cat with an observation talent better than Scotland Yard detectives? Certainly not humans!

Our ticket into cat detective world has , who invites us to play his : Furriarty’s Trail game, which was released under logo.  took care of the illustration on the box and cards and whole game was released in . For Europe, the game is distributed by .

Whole game is hidden in a smaller box. On its lid we find title detective and the dangerous Furriarty, his nemesis. Inside, there is a plastic insert covered with accusing footprints and a set of sixty-five cards (belonging to five different suspects), as well as clue and bad guy tokens, all of them punched and stored in the compartments. Each player, however, places an board with a clock and a list of potential offenders in front of himself together with one plastic stand. At the same time, however, rivals must together prepare a trail of randomly spaced footprints (setup dependent on the number of participants) with Furriarty’s token located somewhere amongst them.

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With the help of the second villain token, players mark the moment, when the Furrirarty gets to move towards his escape. This happens always after last player’s turn in each round. Players then gets one investigation card, they can not see. Instead, everyone puts his card in plastic stand and turns it towards other players. He must not know, which character and what clock value is printed on the card. Players will then receive starting clue cards and hunt for the bad guys begins.

Throughout the game, players alternate in turns. Once they reach their action, player’s activity will consist of two parts. First is the main one. Active player chooses two cards from his hand, puts them in front of himself and tries to deduce identity of his own cards. Others have to tell him true about his selected cards and if they are a valid lead or a dead end. In order to be a valid clue for finding a perpetrator, it has to share character picture or hour with the card (hour may be also adjacent to still be valid as a clue).

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When player gets it right, he can keep the card in front of himself as a clue. On the basis of this information, a player may try to guess identity of his card – picture, hour or both – he decides, which part he wants to guess. Other players tell him only, if he is right or not, without any further information.

If the player succeeds (either partially or completely), he or she gets one or two tokens from the Furriarty’s trail and places them in front of himself. He discards all of cards as well as the criminal and replaces it with a new card, placing it in stand again without looking at it. He immediately tries to get some information with two newly-drawn cards and gets answers.

At the end of turn, player passes his remaining two cards to teammate in the clockwise direction and draws two new ones from the deck. An exception is when the player guessed incorrectly. In that case, he is not allowed to pick up new cards and he will have to look for traces next round only by using the two cards handed over by his neighbor.

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As soon as the whole round is completed, then enemy cat moves one box forward, getting closer to escape without capturing. By doing this, he reveals value of the token he jumped over. If the bad guy reaches end of a trail, before players are able to catch up (by collecting all clue tokens), players get final round to achieve this and then they all lose together. Player who earned the most victory points from tokens becomes winner and new boss of Scotland Yard.

Purrrlock Holmes is a deduction game, but it has also been able to integrate rivalry in a clever way. You need just a simple passing cards to others, and you are able to influence choice of others and hence their chance to deduce their criminal. This is because the player himself does not know identity of his card and it is precisely his task to find out.

But players have one more important task – apart from rivalry, they must not forget about Furriarty himself, who moves away with each round. Length of the route affects number of players, so total amount of turns stays roughly the same, no matter how many players you have. The experience differs slightly with number of cards you have to watch, but otherwise the match will be pleasantly dynamic and especially fast.

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Its course places game in the category of fillers. Usual match takes about fifteen minutes, and it is an ideal parameter for younger players. Children, of course, need a certain level of logical thinking, so Purrlock Holmes, despite its beautiful graphics, is more suitable for those slightly older, at least 9 years of age.

This game is actually such an interesting mix of Hanabi and rivalry. And surprisingly, these games are crossed really well into one. Players always guess only one card, but even when successful, this is by far the end. Whole match is then divided into several guessings. At the same time, the deduction is significantly easier.

Game has beautiful graphics. Processing is great and rules are very well arranged. In terms of processing, therefore, there is nothing to be criticized.

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Purrrlock’s Holmes: Furriarty’s Trail is a light and fast deductive card game, where you can influence your opponent and win. It is not enough to guess one card successfully, but players must be systematically successful and collect one success after another.They need a bit of luck, but if they do not try efficiently, they can lose as a whole team. Purrrlock Holmes is great guessing for many players.

DesignerStephen Sauer
ArtistJacqui Davis
PublisherAsmodee, IDW Games
Year Published2017
# of Players2 - 5
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 5 players
(4 voters)
Playing Time30
Mfg Suggested Ages10 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(4 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(1 voters)
CategoryDeduction
MechanicMemory, Pattern Recognition
FamilyAnimals: Cats, Books: Sherlock Holmes
Primary NamePurrrlock Holmes:
Alternate NamesCharlock Holmes: Sur La Piste De Fourriarty, Purrrlock Holmes: Auf Mauziaty's Fährte, Purrrlock Holmes: La Pista di Miaoriarty, Purrrlock Holmes: Tras la pista de Miauriarty, Schnurrrlock Holmes: Auf Mauziatys Fährte

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Purrrlock Holmes – Furriarty’s Trail
Final word
Purrrlock Holmes: Furriarty's Tail is a game where all players have to deal together with one bad guy. But everyone is busy with deduction of their own suspects, and the common goal is in second in order. Still, players can lose as a team if they do not try hard enough. Help and making guesses are the mainstay of this gorgeous game, although the coincidence will also come into play. Purrrlock Holmes, however, thanks to his very fast pace definitely will not disappoint and its appearance and course will provide a lot of fun.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
gorgeous graphics
deduction and rivalry
fast game time
quality in all counts
everyone can lose
Cons
coincidence (point tokens)
too easy for someone
4
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