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A Note for Murder Kickstarter Preview


Quick Look: A Note for Murder

Designer: Robert Kerr
Artist: Michael T. Schroeder
Publisher: Puzzling Pixel Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 15-20 min.

From the publisher:

A very mysterious note has been left at the entrance of Scotland Yard! The contents are disturbing and cryptic at best. Only one thing is certain--it’s a Note for Murder! Racing to prevent a heinous crime and with very little to go on, Inspector LeStrade has enlisted the aid of Sherlock Holmes and his team of investigators. Will they piece it together in time, thwarting the deadly plot? Or will it be too late?

In A Note for Murder, you and other fellow detectives must piece together clues to deduce the identity of the murder suspect, decipher the murder weapon and exact the location where the fatal crime is set to take place. Each of you has unique knowledge pertaining to the murderous plan but there’s a catch! Even though you are working together, you alone want to take the credit for solving the puzzle and preventing the crime. There’s not much time left; the game of murder is afoot!

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of A Note for Murder. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Review: A Note for Murder

Overview and Theme:
A Note for Murder is a quick deduction card game set in the world of Sherlock Holmes. Players have a secret card, held backward in their hand so they can't see it but the other players can, and take turns asking questions about that card to try to deduce the unique combination of suspect, weapon, and location where the next murder is planned.

I am a sucker for all things Sherlock Holmes, so I was excited to give A Note for Murder a try!


Components and Setup:
The prototype of A Note for Murder comes in a small tuck box with 49 clue cards and 1 player aid card; the published version is planned to have a two-piece telescoping box and linen-finish cards, which I am very much looking forward to!

As with most card games, the setup for A Note for Murder is very simple: shuffle the deck and deal five cards to everyone, and then deal each player one extra card but backward so they can't see the front of the card (Hanabi-style).


Game Play and Mechanics:
The most important information in A Note for Murder is that the deck of 49 clue cards is created in such a way that any two clue cards will share either one item (suspect, weapon, or location) or no items. No two cards will share two or three items, and that will be important as you get further in the process of using cards to make a deduction.

At the beginning of the game, each player will give the person to their left one card that matches one of the items on the player's secret card as a starting clue.


On your turn, you'll show the player next to you one card from your hand and ask if it matches your secret card (in any way) or not. You'll put the cards that got a yes on one side of the table in front of you, and the no cards on the other side, to keep them straight.

As the game progresses, you'll be gathering more and more information from these clues, and you'll be trying to figure out which suspect, weapon, and location is on your secret card. Once you think you have the answer, you'll make a guess for all three aspects of your secret card on your turn instead of asking for another clue. If you're right, you'll win...but if you're wrong, you'll be out of the game.


The Good:
A Note for Murder is a light, quick way to approach deduction games in the tradition of Clue; it's easy to set up and typically plays in just 10-15 minutes, so it's a great length to be a filler or waiting-room game.

As a gameschooling mom, I appreciate the amount of logic and deductive reasoning in a small package and a short play time in A Note for Murder. There is a lot to talk about and a lot of great skills to work on in terms of identifying the items and figuring out which ones you can eliminate, not to mention opening the doors to a study of Sherlock Holmes!

The Bad:
As much as I adore the gameplay of A Note for Murder, the groups I played it with struggled with the art and imagery on the cards. Because the art leans more towards realism but is squeezed onto a poker-sized card, the tiny details tend to blend together and become hard to differentiate. It was difficult for players to tell from across the table if two cards had any elements in common or not, and the game slowed down with a lot of, "Wait, I can't see" or "Pass that to me for a moment." There were several items that were very difficult to make out--for example, the Noose on the background of the Abandoned House--it blends right into the wallpaper. A Note for Murder could really shine with a tweak of the art, which could make the images a little more icon-like and pop more from the background.


The other issue, which could be easily fixed, is that there is only a single player aid card which lists suspects and weapons. The card leaves off locations, and the single card was often in high demand as multiple players wanted to see it at the same time. A revamping of the player aid card to include location names as well, and providing four aid cards in the box, would completely solve that issue.

Players Who Like:
Players who enjoy deduction games from Clue to Alibi to Sleuth may enjoy the faster gameplay with the deduction found here in A Note for Murder.

Final Thoughts:
A Note for Murder packs a satisfying amount of deduction and mystery into a pocket-sized game with a tiny footprint and short play time. The current version may be difficult for folks with vision issues or families playing in low light due to the art style, but A Note for Murder has the bones of a great game.




Check out A Note for Murder on:

              

On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends May 2, 2019.




Alexa Chaplin- Reviewer

My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids.  In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!

See Alexa's reviews HERE.
A Note for Murder Kickstarter Preview A Note for Murder Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on April 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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