Best Sherlock Board Game

Bob Roberts
• Sunday, 20 December, 2020
• 8 min read

For people coming to the hobby with a love of Sherlock Holmes, there may be curiosity about the intersection of board gaming and Sherlock Holmes. There certainly are a lot of games to choose from. As the list populates, the only ground rule is that there has to be some kind of identifiable tribute to Sherlock Holmes, even if the protagonist is unnamed, but his identity can be reasonably inferred.

detective board consulting sherlock holmes game games sh cooperative
(Source: coopboardgames.com)


I will comment on games I have played regarding theme, overall quality and any elements that would be of interest. For games that I have not played, I will either comment superficially or leave that to other contributors.

In my opinion, this is the greatest overall tribute to Sherlock Holmes in board game form. The authors definitely took pains to recreate the feel of Victorian London and the characters from the original canon. The game is not without flaws, as a brief perusal of the forums will attest.

However, I can look past these flaws and just marvel at the work of genius that this game is. My advice, don't worry about solving efficiently and beating Holmes's score.

Take the scenic route and make sure you have the solution and enjoy the sometimes fleshed-out subplots as well. This game is very light, and the roll-and-move mechanics will frustrate the modern gamer.

I would hold off pursuing expansion cases until you see if you actually think you are going to play through the originals. I have this on order from the Geek Store, so I will comment further once I play it. It seems clear from the cover art and description that this unnamed sleuth is Mr. Holmes.

games board sherlock holmes game bored fun play toys street 221b
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

I picked this up on the bay for fairly cheap recently, but haven't played it yet. Though this is clearly a Jack the Ripper themed game, Sherlock Holmes is one of the 8 base characters in the game, and is also featured on the box cover.

Dr. Watson is also one of the 8 characters. One of my first purchases when getting into the hobby about 6 years ago, and I still have a sweet spot for it. This cat and mouse adventure honors Holmes through its primary use of a deduction mechanism.

A card game based on Sherlock Holmes. This is a fantastic solo game where you take on the role of Sherlock and Watson as they solve cases.

It plays a bit like a Choose your own Adventure, but as you solve cases you are able to improve your characters. Not quite a Sherlock Holmes game, but still based, in a way, on the canon.

This is a nice family weight game where you're trying to impress Sherlock with your deduction skills. Hidden teams of Comedian characters with various knowledge and abilities.

sherlock game
(Source: www.youtube.com)

It is a fun kids memory game where you flip over cards in a sequence during your turn. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brainchild, Sherlock Holmes, the master detective is one of the most famous fictional characters in English literature.

Sherlock Holmes’ avid readers help to create the very modern practice of fandom. BBC’s Sherlock is one of the best ongoing TV series of recent days portraying Holmes’ intense crime stories.

With the release of BBC Sherlock’s fourth season, the interest in the legendary fictional detective has once again risen. But for all the ubiquity that Sherlock Holmes has achieved in popular culture, there is also his appearance in video games.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is adventure mystery video game which takes place in London. As the game starts, players will be introduced to the main characters; Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, Toby and Constable Marrow.

The game is all about exploring crime scenes and examining clues in order to help Sherlock. The most fun part of the game is the theories and discussions as the player are allowed to make the deduction regarding the cases.

sherlock board games cards fan deviantart game playing drawings
(Source: syanglau.deviantart.com)

The game starts with the original plot line with Sherlock and Dr. Watson to investigate the series of sudden disappearance related to Cthulhu Mythos. While the other games of Holmes’ conclusions come from gathering random clues found around the crime scenes, where players have the opportunity to take evidence back to Holmes’ famous 221 B Baker Street flat and examine it under a microscope or put it through chemical tests.

As Holmes, players spend time searching for important clues, most of which the police force will miss. Items are at least partly visible, and players can also analyze various clues using Holmes’s desktop laboratory.

With the release of Sherlock’s fourth season, interest in the legendary fictional detective has once again risen in the eye of the fickle public. Not a bad achievement for the second best ongoing TV series based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

But for all the ubiquity that Sherlock Holmes has achieved in popular culture, he has been strangely absent from the realm of video games. Now, I'm not going to cover every single release in this recap of the series, but instead highlight what I feel are the unique ones to give a sense of how much effort has been put into these games.

The plot winds through several iconic locations, both from the Cthulhu mythos and the works of Conan Doyle, and it gives the characters of Holmes and Watson various opportunities to comment on the other worldliness of it all. You can bust out the magnifying lens to examine things harder, or bring them back to 221B Baker Street to view them through a microscope where you can also conduct chemical tests on them to learn more.

survive space attack board game rp
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Matt Montgomery, Desert News A standout in mystery-solving board games, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a game that pits a team of detectives in a battle of wits against a Sherlock Holmes. They’re armed with a map, a directory of London, a handful of newspapers and a case book, which features interviews and descriptions of locations.

Share your screen with something like Zoom, and all players can see what you’re seeing, giving everyone a chance to read the clues they’re given aloud. Matt Montgomery, Desert News A quick-playing, brain-boggling game, Words takes competitive word building to an interesting new level.

To accommodate play, you’ll need a narrator or, if you’re using something like One Night Ultimate Werewolf and screen-sharing the accompanying mobile app, a facilitator. Just make sure to send people their roles privately, or you might just end up spoiling the whole thing before you even start.

Matt Montgomery, Desert News One of the recent successes of modern board gaming, Code names is a game where two teams of players are faced with a grid of words, and they’re trying to figure out which words belong to their team. Translating Code names to remote play requires one player with the game on camera, who will be responsible for maintaining the grid of words.

The host player will need to flip over cards and show the group, indicating what shape they should be drawing on their sheet. If a player ever can’t fit their shape into the prescribed 9-by-9 grid, they’re given one more chance to survive in the form of another card flipped over just for them.

sherlock holmes dgs 3ds game aceattorney hilarious
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Remote play would be easy as there’s no hidden information, and it’s also a game that lends itself well to socializing while everyone’s drawing their pieces on their grid. Other games where you draw on a grid that could work well include Bricks, Railroad Ink and Patchwork Doodle.

Classics like Monopoly and Clue have popular multiplayer app experiences, too, so you can easily jump on a call with a distant family member and make some memories without being in the same room. Tabletop Simulator and Tabletop both present a fully three-dimensional experience in which you can grab, flip and rotate pieces in 3D space, bringing some physicality of board gaming to a digital presence.

“Suitable for up to seven players (ages ten and up), this cooperative game involves psychics, ghosts, and murder.” You don’t need to wait until a thunderstorm hits late one evening to get spooked playing these eerie mystery games.

Reviewers love that a round can be complete in as quickly as 20 minutes, and it’s a little different every time which makes it the perfect party game. It’s simple enough for children as young as eight to quickly pick up, and it’s fun to take on the persona of Professor Plumb or Miss Scarlett.

Take a step back in a time machine to the cobblestone, gaslight lamp lit streets of London to help the police at Scotland Yard solve a series of crimes. While the game is challenging, reviewers share that the map and newspaper should be scoured as they contain helpful clues.

trilogy sherlock holmes challenge games
(Source: www.acornonline.com)

Be forewarned: Reviewers caution that once you start this murder mystery game you’ll have sleepless nights in your future as you try to solve the unsolved case of who killed high school student Jamie Banks nearly 30 years ago. To uncover the truth, you’ll need to solve three different mysteries surrounding her death first using the case files of the original detective that include photographs, newspaper clippings, and more.

You can play the game alone, with a team, as a stay-at-home date night, or even as part of a murder mystery party. You and up to six players will need to work together to solve the ghastly murder that took place at Warwick Manor, a haunted mansion full of ghosts.

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