Purrrlock Holmes

Purrrlock Holmes

This summer has been a busy one for me and unfortunately that has meant very little time for board gaming and even less time for blogging. That being said I did manage to squeak in a few smaller gaming sessions and it seemed that no matter where or who I was playing with Purrrlock Holmes was always on the menu.

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About

  • Published by IDW Games
  • 2-5 players
  • 20-30 Minutes
  • Deduction
  • Memory
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Setup

  • Follow the diagram in the rulebook to set up Furriarty's trail based on the number of players.
  • Choose the first player (Whoever has the most cats).
  • The first player takes the Furriarty token without the number on it and places it to their right, between themselves and the last player. 
  • Give 1 card stand and 1 player board to each player.
  • Shuffle the clue cards to make the clue deck and deal 1 clue card face down to each player. Without looking at their card, each player will place the card in their card stand with the suspect and hour side facing the other players.
  • Seed Investigations. To seed each player draws 2 clue cards from the clue deck then performs the investigate action on these 2 cards (Reveal each clue card to the other players one at a time. If the card has the same suspect, the same hour or an adjacent hour the players will indicate the card is a lead. Otherwise, the players will indicate the card is a dead end. Leads go to the left of your player board and dead ends to the right).
  • Deal 4 clue cards to the first player and 2 clue cards to all other players.
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Gameplay

Each player's turn consists of two phases:

  1. Action Phase: You must investigate once and you may Guess once, in either order.
  2. Cleanup Phase: Pass two clue cards to the next player then draw 2 clue cards.

To investigate choose 2 clue cards from your hand and reveal them one at a time. The other players must state if the card is a lead or a dead end. Your card is a lead if it has the same character, same time or an adjacent time to your investigation (place the card to the left of your player board). If it does not then your card is a dead end (place the card to the right of your player board).

The guess action is optional during your investigation phase. You may do this before or after you investigate. To guess a player states if they want to guess the suspect only, the time only or both. The other players must tell your truthfully if you are correct. 

If you guess correctly the suspect or the hour, collect a single paw print token from the start of the trail. If you guessed both correctly, collect two paw print tokens from the start of the trail. Once you've solved your investigation place your investigation card face up in front of your player board and place your collected paw print tokens on it face down. Discard all of your leads and dead end cards and immediately seed a new investigation. 

During the cleanup phase, pass the two cards remaining in your hand to the next player. If you have no cards to pass, the next player draws two cards from the draw pile. You then draw 2 cards, unless you guessed incorrectly this turn in which case you draw none. 

The Furriarty token placed in between the first and last player indicates when Furriarty takes his turn. On his turn move the numbered Furriarty token one space towards the end of the trail revealing the paw print token he passes.

Each player may call paws (at any time) once per game. Flip your player board over to reveal the -1 victory point side and perform the guess action. 

End Game

The game ends when one of the following two conditions are met:

  1. Furriarty is caught by a player performing the guess action and collecting the furriarty token from the trail. The player with the most points from paw tokens and the Furriarty token is awarded Scotland Pound Chief Inspector. (In case of a tie the best inspector is the one who scored more points with fewer cases)
  2. Furriarty escapes by moving the furriarty token off the trail end. There is no winner, however the player with the least amount of points from paw tokens is demoted to Litter Box Inspector.  (In case of a tie the lowest scoring player who took on the most cases is demoted)
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My Thoughts

  • The game comes in a reasonably sized box and is very affordable.
  • The components are simple but of good quality. You will be able to get plenty of plays with the game before seeing any wear. 
  • The rules were easy to read and understand. The rulebook contains diagrams that eliminate any questions you might have. I was able to unbox and start my first game within 15 minutes.  
  • The game seems a little challenging for some people on their first turn while they get used to the gameplay but once they solve their first investigation it makes a lot more sense. The more games you play, the better you will get at deducing and solving your investigations. 
  • The game is incredibly fun and quick to play (under 30 mins). The race to solve your investigations before Furriarty escapes creates an amusing time crunch to the game. There is very little time for mistakes which means that sometimes you have to make guesses before you have enough information to definitively solve your investigations. 
  • All players have to be able to solve some of their investigations in order for someone to win. It's pretty near impossible to catch Furriarty without all players picking up some of the paw prints. This can be frustrating or amusing.  
  • I really enjoy the ability to calls paws. You take a negative at the end of the game but it can allow you to strategically guess during other players turns and snatch a higher valued paw print from the trail.  
  • If more than one player calls paws I wasn't sure who would have priority. Would it be the player to the active players left or in reverse from the last player who called paws? I just wasn't sure. 
  • The only other rule I wasn't clear on was during the investigation phase if the player must choose both cards to investigate at the same time, or if the player can investigate one card then choose their second card. We've played both ways and prefer the latter. 
  • This is a fantastic game wether you're playing with the family, as a filler game or as your top pick. We've played multiple games in a row and enjoyed every play just ask much as the first. It is a great game to add to your collection.  
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Where to Buy:

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Tell me your thoughts on Purrrlock Holmes in the comments below.

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