Lucky Duck Games' Chronicles of Crime has very successfully blurred the lines between board game and app with stellar integration. The base game casts you as a modern detective out to solve some murders, with the help of various specialists. This worked via an app which managed and dished out the story elements depending on how you questioned people and approached the evidence.
This is all handled via QR codes. For example, to head to a location you simply scan that locations QR code. Want to speak to someone there? Scan their card. Want to then ask them about the fingerprints left at a scene? Scan the relevant evidence. It’s a simple but elegant system that sees the app intelligently translate the scanned items into relevance - scan a footprint and you will ask people their shoe size for example.
In the first expansion, Noir, you lost access to your mobile phone and team of experts on standby but gained some actions. Getting nowhere with a potential witness? Try bribing or intimidating them. Burly security guard blocking your way to a crime scene? Break in later. The catch is characters remember your actions and react accordingly.
Welcome to Redview, perhaps, shakes up the formula the most by ditching the cops/PI angle in favour of an on-theme Scooby Doo/Stranger Things mash up. This time you play as a group of teenagers, with curfews and all.
The character you choose is persistent throughout the game as the story of a small town with big secrets progresses. Each character comes with their own player sheet listing their stats and holding energy tokens. Instead of being limited to four actions, you perform skill tests in one of three areas resulting in a fail or a pass. Skill tests are performed by a dice roll and dice can be re-rolled at the cost of energy. The app interaction works the same way but it’s a testament to the strength of the system that it feels suitably different.
As teenagers you don’t have the same presence as the previous stories, and this really comes through. Break your 10pm curfew to see what I mean! Ultimately, Chronicles of Crime represents a fantastic purchase whichever adventure you take, and with the small cost of entry it’s worth taking them all.
Player Count: 1-4
Time: 30-90 Minutes