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I think we got a dud, none of the clues seem to match the green dots on the thief cards. I played it with my 6 and 9 year old and Arthur was the thief but he didnt match any of the clues that had green dots. I thought maybe I messed it up so my wife tried it with my 6 year old the next day and this time Beatrice was the thief and again the dots were messed up. Of the 12 clues 6 had green dots but only 3 matched the actual suspect card. Some of the clue pictures look like they are upside down when the tab is placed in the correct slot. Ive contacted Gamewright customer service and will wait and see what they say, otherwise I'll be sending it back.
My 10 year old,smart grandchild and I tried to play this game and found it to be very confusing,not explaining everything clearly enough. We spent 45 minutes trying to work it out and then packing it up to gather dust. A total waste of money not to mention it is supposed to suit children 5+. I wouldn't waste my money on this!
This game may have good gameplay and replay-ability once you figure it out, but I’m really disappointed with everything else about the design of the game, particularly at getting you quickly to the point of actually playing.
First of all, the instructions are lengthy and dumbed down to the point of handholding, so you have to walk through the entire set of instructions every time you reference them to find the simplest information. This probably doesn’t matter once you’ve played a few times, but there are a lot of mechanics to this game that are not self evident, so you end up having a VERY slow setup and first few plays.
It says 5 and up, but even the most gifted 5yos I have met are going to have a hard time deciphering these instructions and getting things setup without the help of a child with 5th grade+ reading comprehension. And the dumbed down nature and lack of organization to the instructions will frustrate older kids and test the patience of adults.
Second, the uninspired game board and graphics add insult to the injury of poor instructions. The game board has NO LABELS and low contrast - so nothing stands out, and painfully, the instruction indicating what all the unlabeled spaces mean is not separate from the sequential setup/gameplay instructions, just annoyingly mixed along the way with setup AND gameplay instructions.
The concept and quality of all the disparate mechanical parts is low. There is a clue tool that is poorly designed, manufactured, and nearly unintelligible in its function without those horrible instructions. There are so many better ways to add this functionality to the game with fewer dissimilar pieces.
The worst is that the first few times through, clues didn’t work and the game completion actually FAILED due to incomplete hole punches that obscured the clues. This kind of quality control just further complicated an awkward design and really detracted from gameplay.
Other irritating things about this game...The box is twice as thick as necessary to contain the contents and this brand includes a thick foldout advertisement for all their other games in every box that doesn’t really fit anywhere but the garbage can and is basically just photos.
UPDATE: We've played this game a number of times, it has not become a favorite. Some aspects of the game are fun and encouraging, but some just don't make sense. The most frustrating is the clue revealing gimmick that is faulty in that it's warped - so you either don't get the card in all the way - ruining the output of the game, or it just damages the cards! Also, why are we hopping aimlessly around the board? Arbitrary and distracts from the game. We don't even move our pieces any more.
I had heard great things about this game, and was excited when it came. My son and I played a round and loved it, except when we got to the end, and there was only one suspect left, it didn't match the THIEF card. So I went through and looked - out of the 16 suspect cards and 16 thieve cards (which obviously need to match up), only ONE matched. The names were different on the cards!! OK, nothing customer service can't fix - just send me a matching set of cards. So I reached out and got this response: "Please allow around 10-14 days from the date of this email for delivery - a bit longer for international destinations." that email was written on 1/20/20 and it's now 2/13/20 and NOTHING. I've event followed up with the person who sent me the email, and have heard nothing back after that original email. I'm so disappointed.
Lengthy and complicated directions. Not sure why all the rave reviews. I tried to prepare to intro the game to the kids for three times before giving up. ...and realizing I'd missed the return window by 3 days. Just odd that so many like the game. If couldn't hang on to the many possible steps and outcomes, reading, how could I expect a 6 and 8 year old to have interest while I explained?