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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.
As this is a game based on educational principles I am also able to draw on my experience as a primary school teacher (Australia) when reviewing them. I hope you find this insight useful.
Sherlock is a fun game that tests the memories of the players but instead of the old matching concepts of the past, Sherlock uses a mystery theme. The game consists of 49 cards (clues) and to start the game 8 of these are placed face-up in a circle with the remainder of the deck placed in the middle of the circle. Each card contains a picture of an item or thing such as a bird, tree, book, magnifying glass etc. All players get to look at these for 3-5 seconds before they are turned facedown to form the circle.
The starting player is given the Sherlock card and must then select one of the cards and correctly name the picture on the card. They reveal the card and if their guess is incorrect they must turn the card back over and the Sherlock card passes to the next player for their turn. If they correctly name the picture though they can continue. Above the picture is a directional arrow pointing to the left or right and a number. The player must move around the circle the number of spaces indicated by the directional arrow and then name the picture on this card correctly.
The player continues as long as they continue to name each picture correctly. Their turn will end in success if they can keep recalling correctly long enough to allow them to return to a card that has already been turned face-up. When this happens they have solved the mystery and they win the card in question. This card is replaced and the other face-up cards turned facedown and the game continues from there. By collecting a certain number of cards the winner is determined and this can be agreed on by the players before beginning.
The Final Word
Sherlock offers a nice twist on the classic memory games of the past and although the mystery theme is not crucial to the gameplay it will engage the audience that this game is directed at. The game is more difficult than it might first appear as the inclusion of new cards can muddle the most sharp of minds.
However if you feel that an even greater challenge is needed then you can modify the game to replace all face-up cards that were not collected in a given round. Like most Playroom games, the cards are well designed to withstand many plays. Well worth a look.