Get Adler! Deduction Card Game
Play Time: 30 minutes
*Disclaimer: I would like to start by saying that I received a review copy of Get Adler! Deduction Card Game from the nice people at Caper Games. As this is the first game I have received for review I thought I would give it a step-by-step assessment. Therefore, this will be the first of a three step "review" process I will be doing for the game.
The Review Process will start with an unboxing that will assess the component quality and rulebook and feature my hopes and expectations for the game. The second thread will be posted after one play of the game and will feature my first impressions. The the final thread will be posted after multiple plays at different player counts and be my educated judgment of the game.
Summary of the Game
Get Adler! is a small deduction card game in which 4 to 8 players will be given an identity and then spend 7 rounds or less trying to determine who is Adler and arrest him or her before time runs out. To determine who is who, players will investigate other player's character features and hands of cards to see who is trying to obtain top secret documents and escape with them before being caught and arrested.
The game features eight identical reference sheets. These reference sheets are two-sided and appear to offer the players an explanation of each type of card in the game on one side and the features of each character in the game on the other. My first impression of the reference sheets is that they are functional and of nice quality for a reference sheet. They do not act as a player board so there is no necessity for a thicker or sturdier cardboard material and they are sturdy enough to withstand a slight bend without causing a crease. The colors and fonts used on the reference sheets are easily legible and of a nice size. My only negative impression is more of a personal opinion and that is that the art is a bit odd. It isn't beautiful but is life-like enough to not be an extreme detraction from the game, for me.
There are eight tokens in the box. Seven of the tokens are used to track the "time" or the round of the game. The eighth token is an optional player's turn marker. The tokens tiptoe on the brink of being too thin to be considered a nice quality but for the purpose they appear to serve, I think they are sufficient. My only complaint with the time tokens would be that they are clearly the face of a clock but are not exactly intuitive to look at and figure out what time each is representing. It is very doable, but it is worth noting that it was not the best choice of graphic design.
Character Cards and Playing Cards
The quality of the character cards and playing cards is just acceptable. They don't quite have that thick, firm feel and seem like they could potentially get bent easily if held too aggressively by players, but they are not cheap and overly flimsy. I wouldn't choose this quality of card if given an option but had I paid for the game I would not be too disappointed with the quality of the cards.
The box insert is nice. It fits the box well and when the deck of playing cards and the characters are split in half and returned to the box the cards fit in their slots nicely so that they do not commit the ultimate box insert sin of not being deep enough to hold the cards once they are removed from their wrapping so that they slide around inside the box. Big thumbs up for that! Small thumbs down that the tokens do not have their own space to be put in the insert but they can be placed on top of the cards in their cavities well enough to not cause a real disappointment or aggravation. The reference sheets can sit atop the insert and not cause a problem closing the box. All in all, I am happy with the insert and the box.
Upon inspection of the rulebook my immediate thought was that there is no component list in the rulebook. This is typically a no-no and a disappointing trait of a rulebook for me and I can't say I wouldn't have liked to see a component list in the rulebook, but there aren't too many components and each is easy to distinguish after a once-over of the rules.
The setup portion of the rulebook is quick and simple. It is laid out in a not-so-typical fashion but by the time you have finished reading the entire setup (three-steps) you have a good idea of how the game should look on the table and what components should be in play for each player count.
There is a small gameplay section that summarizes the games (at 4 players) before diving into the functions of the cards. The gameplay is simplistic enough to be covered in three paragraphs which is nice. The brunt of the game appears to revolve around playing cards to help yourself deduce who is Adler before the end of the seventh round (the earlier the better).
Having read through the 4 player rules multiple times my impressions of the rulebook is that it seems to present all the information you need about the cards and it relays the overall idea of the game, but I would have liked to have a little more explanation and description of the deduction part of the game. I believe I will be able to play the game once the game is setup based on the rules I have read but I think it will take some smoothing out of things that may (or may not) arise in the first play.
There are additional rules that are added for 5, 6, 7, and 8 players, progressively making the game more detailed and seemingly more interactive with more players. There are also advanced rules that introduce special abilities to each good agent. There is also an optional expert rule that seemingly makes the game more difficult for the villains, but I am not entirely sure without having played yet.
My overall impressions of the rulebook are that it appears to be just adequate enough to get you started, but I would not be surprised if we have questions the first time through the game because it doesn't seem as though the rules are quite thorough enough. Keep in mind, these are my initial impressions and I intend to touch on whether the rulebook did its job or not in my next thread about the game.
I should note that the rulebook does offer a link to a video run-through of the game to help players learn how to play. Always a plus!
Hopes and Expectations
Having read through the rules and tried to get to get a grasp of how the game will play I think my expectations for the game teeter between excited and nervous. My excitement stems from my enjoyment of deduction and what appears to be a simple yet interesting implementation of the Clue/Mystery of the Abbey mechanic that involves narrowing down features of a suspect from a roster of characters. My nerves stem from a concern about whether the game will generate enough excitement and substance in seven rounds of playing the mechanics the game offers.
My hopes would be that the game resembles the excitement of Good Cop, Bad Cop more than Mystery of the Abbey because while I thought I would enjoy Mystery of the Abbey, it fell flat for me. If Get Adler! can bring the mind-tricks and excitement of Good Cop, Bad Cop in the investigation mechanic and the banter involved with not quite knowing the true identity of each player then I think I will enjoy this game.
These are my hopes for the game and do not mean to imply that the game is meant to play like any other particular game and I cannot (at this time) verify what other games Get Adler! reminds me of once being played. I can say that I am looking forward to playing the game after reading the rules and will give my first impressions after one play of the game.
A special thanks to Caper Games for the opportunity to review Get Adler! Deduction Card Game.