Sunday 30 June 2019

Review - Detective Stories Episode 1: The Fire in Adlerstein

Designed by Alexander Krys
Published by iDventure
For 1 or more players, aged 13 to adult

Detective Stories Episode 1 The Fire in Adlerstein

Sometimes people ask me why I love board games so much. To this question, I invariably proffer a raised eyebrow and a vaguely dismissive response along the lines of, "Everything."

And "everything" is true, of course.

But the one thing that really makes board games so special for me is their capacity to tell stories, or more accurately, their provision of the tools you need to craft your own stories.

The notion of a game as a storytelling device usually suggests a strong theme, and I absolutely love thematic games; but the simple application of theme alone isn't the same as good storytelling. Reading a few lines of text off an item card, or flipping an "event" card as you enter the next room of a dungeon, is only the window dressing. The story isn't what you read or see or do; it's what you feel. A truly great game knows this, and weaves narrative within the mechanisms, making them so intrinsically linked it's impossible to play the game without truly experiencing the world the game seeks to create.

When I think of games that blend story and gameplay seamlessly, I think of Tash-Kalar, Dungeons and Dragons, Winter TalesFireteam Zero, and Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. And I think, perhaps in time, I may be able to add Detective Stories to the list.