Claire Harper, one of the first women to graduate from Oxford in 1927. Not only is she an expert in Criminal Law she is also an adventurous traveller. In Suspects, you take on the role of Claire Harper investigating a range of crimes in the style of Agatha Christie. You will push your criminal investigational skills and deduction skills to the max, to piece together the clues and psychological profiles to solve three different, yet interconnected crimes.
Suspects is a deduction, murder mystery style card game for one to eight players, designed by Sebastien Duverger Nedellec, Paul Halter & Guillaume Montiage and published by Studio H. Each case will have its own specific deck of numbered cards and will range from characters in the case that you need to integrate. Clues that are used to help solve the case and items that may aid in your investigational, deduction and crime-solving. Character cards may reveal information about other characters. They may lead you down other lines of enquiries, but they may also provide you with red herrings and information that is not relevant to the case. Work your way through the cards, figure out which lines of inquiry to follow and answer questions to solve the crime.
Suspects is a cooperative deduction game in which you will be reading through cards, discussing theories, piecing together clues and ultimately attempting to solve the case.
About The Game
Think Agatha Christie & Hercule Poirot then you will get the vibe that Suspects are putting out. The game evokes and imparts the feeling of these crime detective series very well. You start off with some narrative about the case and from there you have pretty much free reign to go about your investigation. All the cards are numbered and certain lines of investigation, crime scenes or clues will lead you to other numbered cards which you can pull from the deck to investigate. You can look for clues at various rooms/areas/crime scenes. These clues may direct you to some additional cards or persons. You can interview people about other suspects, or characters that will give you some background information that may or may not help you in your case. I really enjoy the freedom that Suspects gives you with respect to where you go and what you investigate. There is no scripted path that you must follow, and you will need to discuss with your fellow players how to proceed. I enjoy the freedom to pursue which line of inquiry you think is most appropriate and come up with various theories as to what is happening.
Some of the character cards may have line marks on them that may (or may not) match up with some item or clue cards. For example, a number of characters may link up with a particular sized shoe which you have found. It is up to you, as the detective(s) to figure out how important the clues are. Some of them will be red hearings which will lead you down the wrong path. Piecing together several subtle hints and clues from various cards and working through the case you will get to a point where you think you have enough information to answer a set of questions.
At this stage, you open an envelope that has a series of questions that you have to answer. There is a scoring mechanism based on the number of cards that you have revealed, the lower the number of cards used the more points you are awarded, but for the most part, I would just play this to solve the cases. The main enjoyment, for me at least, is just coming up with a plausible theory and hoping that it plays out. Answering the questions successfully based on the information you have found is fun, especially when you answer them correctly.
The game can play up to eight players. As with a lot of these deduction style games, for me, I think that capping this at two or three is probably best. There is only one deck of cards to be interrogated and there is a case of “too many cooks”. Having eight different theories and lines of possible inquiries would seem over the top. I played this with my wife, and it was an ideal player count. You can share the reading of the cards, discuss and bounce theories off each other and it worked really well. It is pretty easy on the rules front and is very accessible for a lot of people. You can pretty much grab the deck of cards for the particular case and after a read of the small rulebook, you can be playing in minutes.
I really enjoy the deduction aspect of the game, piecing together the clues, which sometimes can be subtle, to conclude the case is satisfying and enjoyable. If the 1920s setting, ease of play and the deduction aspect appeals then I highly recommend Suspects.