Puzzles and Abstracts - AwSHUX Previews



1 Like

Mazescape – didn’t Friedemann Friese do something a bit like this a few years ago? “Folders” was the title – though they only had a single fold in them. I suspect the paper will wear quickly, though they’re a bit more than one-and-done.

Umbra Via – I still enjoy Tsuro and there are some Tsuro-like elements here, with a lot more complication. I’d definitely like to try this in spite of the silly terminology pasted on to what seems like an enjoyable abstract game.

Sherlock 13 – interesting anime influences on the layout of that box cover; I rather like it. The game looks moderately intriguing too, though I’m not sure I like the non-elimination elimination mode. (Is this a new edition? BGG says it came out in 2014. Ooh, and there’s enough information that I could build a set to try it as a PBF.)

Vivid – like Umbra Via I think I’d have liked this more as an overtly abstract game. I do like the CVD-friendliness of these components, but it doesn’t leap out at me.

Kroma – nice idea, but for me this drifts too far into the Bay of Gimmick.

Mandala Stones – the way I tend to play games I tend to need some sort of term for each entity - “pass me that purple swirly thing” seems unlikely to work. (And colour isn’t correlated with shape.) Might well be fun though.

Blokk – the sort of thing one would have to learn, but could be fun until one had.

Rorschach – same sort of space as Codenames, Decrypto and Wavelength, which is already fairly crowded, but it might well be worth a look.


Sherlock 13 looks a lot (a LOT) like the classic Sid Sackson game Sleuth; all the cards are in people’s hands except the one you’re trying to guess, you can get varying amounts of info depending on what action you take, and everyone gets info on everyone’s turn it looks like (although in Sleuth, you often get secret info just for you as well). And you turn into a board game component if you’re wrong.

So it does look fun and I’d love to give it a go because I love logic games, but there’s definitely no room for it next to Sleuth and The Search for Planet X. Both of which I highly recommend! One thing they share that may or may not happen in Sherlock 13 is everyone’s vastly different note taking techniques. It’s fun to see someone else’s sheet after the game and be like “I know the information is the same but what the hell did you do here?!”

1 Like

Sherlock 13 seems like the sort of game that BGA (or any other automated platform) would ruin. On your turn you use one of three sentences: “who has (eyes)”, or “(Bob), how many (eyes) do you have”, or “I think the criminal is (Irene Adler)”. BGA would make the giving of those answers automatic and they’d just show up on your deduction log. It reminds me of Dinosaur Tea Party, which similarly removes the bit where the other player gets to answer the question. It may be mechanistic, but it’s also sociable.

1 Like

Sherlock 13 just makes me really sad. It’s literally 13 cards presented as a full game. Would do perfect as a microgame format, but as it is? It’s just insane! Talk about air-boxes. 13 is few enough you could even add a few reference cards without even breaking the Button Shy limit, and thus eliminate the need for the writing sheets! It’s perfect! Except it’s not made by Button Shy, so it’s only perfect in its wrongness.