Who here can get lost in a true crime documentary on Netflix? Well, if you’ve run out of shows to binge, Gameology has you covered with the exciting new game, Detective. Why watch cases on TV, when you and your friends can SOLVE cases in this storytelling adventure!

Detective, released by Portal Games, lets you and up to 4 friends investigate at least 5 cases, with more cases available online. Each case lasts an estimated 2-3 hours, so you’re going to put in a lot of overtime at the precinct. It uses both board game elements and an online database (which you literally use to research your cases) to simulate a crime investigation. You’ll be managing your time, resources, and stress levels as you try to uncover the culprits.

Detective comes with a small game board, tokens, and character cards to help keep things organized but the real bread and butter is in the deck of cards that comprise each case. These decks will act as your story, encounters, and clues. Depending on how you tackle each case, you will see a unique assortment of cards in the deck. You’ll only need about a third to half of a deck to build your case, so every group’s experience will be different. These cards will represent leads you’re tracking down in the precinct, courthouse, labs, and while you’re doing fieldwork. Each category will take up a varying amount of time, and you only have from 8AM – 5PM to work, unless you choose to stress yourself by putting in overtime. You’ve got about a week to solve each case, so it’s imperative that you investigate a case wisely.

In addition to various scenarios in the game, the cards themselves will provide players with a variety of options to choose between. Most encounters will branch off in various directions, some situations may merit extra attention, and others can even influence future cases. For example, you decide to go interview some witnesses in the neighborhood where the crime was committed. This could give you a variety of information with which to act on later in the day. Furthermore, you might have the option to interrogate the old lady across the street some more, assuming your interrogator has enough energy for the task. Let’s say you do press the old lady, the backside of that card could tell you to seed a future case with a new card that represents ramifications for bothering the old lady! This is one of the features that makes Detective a really exciting game to me!

Another feature that I find quite charming about Detective is the online database that you use to play the game. You know how detectives are constantly checking cross-department databases in crime shows? Well, Detective didn’t leave you out in the cold. Many cards will reference information on this database and there are all sorts of extra clues and evidence to be gained. To further influence your future cases, you will store information, like fingerprints, in this system and they may play roles in future investigations!

All said, I feel like Detective is one of the most interesting games to be released this summer. If you like games with a rich story, details to hunt for, and a few hours to spare, Detective is a fantastic choice. We’ve got a demo copy on the shelf, here at Gameology, so feel free to come down and give it a try. If you enjoy true crime and procedural cop shows, Detective is a perfect fit for you!


~ Andrew Narzinski

Editors note: Detective sound like your cup of tea? You can buy it using this link! 🙂 It supports the store and articles like these.