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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Great story
  • Well made
  • Can Regift

Might Not Like

  • One use
  • Too easy
  • Internet Connection
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Fire In Adlerstein Detective Stories Review

fire in alderstein

Grab your deerstalker as it’s time to solve a mystery. In the box, players will be presented with a case file of evidence including photos, maps, and police reports. From this they must use their powers of social deduction to uncover the mystery and figure out whodunnit! Set in a fictional German town, you’ll be immersed into a world of gangs, affairs and mystery.

The Case Of Carl Notebeck

The case, The Fire in Adlerstein, introduces you to journalist Carl Notebeck who claims he’s been falsely arrested for arson and murder. He was seen outside the residence of Joseph Bremer when it went up in flames. Luckily, Carl has sent us a dossier of evidence which should clear his name. It is up to players to look through the case and analyse each bit of information. Through these details new suspects will come to light and players must assess who had motive, means, and opportunity.

Once players have solved the crime, they can use the game’s companion website to check their answer or ask for hints.

Reviewing The Evidence

The case file is full of fun information, and it’s delivered in a variety of formats. There are time stamped photos, police reports, prescriptions, newspaper articles, bagged items and website links which will take you to online evidence. One item takes you to a Facebook page where you can learn more about a suspect and their alibi. This was a deviation from usual paper materials and switched up the pace. However, this information is inaccessible if you don’t have a Facebook account or access to the internet.

Additionally, most clues revolve around a straightforward deduction: if that person was there at this time, they couldn’t have been the killer. I enjoyed this process, but gameplay suffered due to its lack of diversity. The only puzzle on offer was a cipher which felt cumbersome and out of place.

The game also comes with a sheet where you can write down the suspects, evidence of their motive, and their alibi- if you’ve found one. This is a nice detail as it helps track progress throughout the case. All materials come in a fancy box which looks at home on any board gamers shelf.

Final Thoughts

The Fire in Adlerstein was a good case. It had enough suspects and materials to sink your teeth into. However, my group found it too simple. There weren’t many puzzles to solve, and the social deduction required didn’t stretch the imagination. Carl Notebeck had done a good job of circling important information in the dossier which made finding solutions easy and not taxing. This would be a fantastic first mystery if you’re new to this type of game, but as I spend a good deal of my gaming time solving mysteries, it felt “elementary!”

Despite some shortcomings, this murder mystery is well made and can be reassembled to pass on to a friend. I loved this aspect as it means the game gets more use and doesn’t just end up in the recycling, like other single-use cases. The story was intriguing and guessing the correct killer was entertaining and felt like a victory. This is a great gift to buy someone who loves a good mystery but is new to the genre. It's not too tough but has enough going on to pull you in and make feel like your favourite detective.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Great story
  • Well made
  • Can Regift

Might not like

  • One use
  • Too easy
  • Internet Connection

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