The Animals of Baker Street mystery game is very well written

Help Toby, Sherlock Holmes’ faithful dog companion, carry out investigations, and find out why you need to play Beasts of Baker Streetour board game of the week.

Toby, Sherlock Holmes’ faithful dog, is growing old to fulfill his mission to help his master solve cases. Fortunately, he can count on the help of his four best friends: Limon the frog, Sorbier the titmouse, Mahogany the mouse and Calabash the tarantula (who arrived in London on a bunch of bananas).

Take this little group of furry investigators, everyone, through the seven scenarios offered in the box. Each animal has its own characteristics. Acajou sees all the clues that others don’t, thanks to his sense of observation (and especially his big glasses). Rowan is fast, agile, stealthy, and can fly. Limon is gentle, altruistic, and knows how to manipulate other animals to collect their testimony. Finally, Calabash is the strongest of the group, he answers the call in case of trouble or to intimidate witnesses.

Hardware overview. // Source: Iello

Each investigation begins with an introductory text, which sets up the plot, and indicates which part of the board will be used (day or night) and the number of time units available to complete it.

Then, together we chose which places we wanted to visit: the grocer, the street, the sewers, the tree in the park, Sherlock’s living room, etc. Each move costs one unit of time. Then we read the corresponding map, then we can, if we want, try to make our investigators contact the area in question.

For this purpose, each card has several magnifying glass halves: the glasses on one card, the handles on the other. If the two magnifying glass halves match perfectly by aligning the two cards, the indicated effect is resolved. This can be positive if you match the right cards wisely (you get a new card, you advance in the investigation), or negative if you don’t (you lose time or have to leave the area in question).

The Beasts of Baker Street
Are the two magnifying glass halves aligned? // Source: Iello

Little by little, we advance through the plot, we collect clues, we unlock new areas, or we recover objects that we can interact with.

The game ends, either when we solve the investigation, and we read the conclusion, or when all time units are spent, and then a card shows us the consequence of this failure.

Why is Animals of Baker Street played?

The Beasts of Baker Street
Source: Iello

Because we’re being nice, we’re saving you from wasting more time reading the rest of this article. Why? Because if you like investigative games and narrative games, you MUST play Beasts of Baker Street.

We only discovered it at the very end of the year, and it’s a shame, because it’s clearly going to have a place in our selection of games to offer at Christmas. It easily enters the podium of the best board games of 2022, and climbs directly to the top of our favorite investigation games.

Obviously, the first element that we notice is the game’s impressive graphics, highlighted by the box itself. But what hit the mark from the first minutes of the first part, and which was confirmed only after that, was the impressive precision of the writing work.

The duo of authors found the perfect alchemy for this category of games. The former is a successful writer, author of many novels, and winner of many prizes in children’s literature. The second is a specialist in investigative games, and we owe him in particular some situations ofUnlockbox of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detectiveand the series of Echoes.

The Beasts of Baker Street
Our furry and furry investigators. // Source: Iello

The stories, the dialogues, the plots are fun to read, listen and follow. The situation of the animals can let imagine a game for children. But, like the best animated movies (we can think of Ratatouille where Zootopia), The Beasts of Baker Street can definitely be done with kids, but perfect for a group of adults. We see the qualities of humor, funny situations, which the youngest does not suspect.

So, yes, it’s a narrative game, there’s a lot of reading. But the quality is such that it does not become scary. Quite the opposite. This game is proof that it’s not necessary to suggest a morbid situation to make a good investigative game or to burden yourself with complicated rules.

The Beasts of Baker Street
a place // Source: Iello

In other words, if you like this kind of games, you should play Beasts of Baker Street. It’s, as far as we’re concerned, a big favorite, with just one flaw: no sequel has been announced for the moment.

  • The Beasts of Baker Street is a play by Clémentine Beauvais and David Neal
  • Biboon described
  • Edited by Iello
  • For 1 to 4 players from 10 years old
  • For games that are about 45 minutes
  • Priced at €35 at Philibert

Jury decision

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