Unlock! Heroic Adventures: Sherlock Holmes – The Scarlet Thread of Murder

8 Overall
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Puzzle Design
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Unlock! Heroic Adventures: Sherlock Holmes – The Scarlet Thread of Murder

  • Played June 2019
  • Play at Home

  • 90 minutes
  • 1-6 players
  • $33.99 CAD / $29.99 USD for a 3 game box-set
  • Yes

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Sherlock fans can rejoice! Unlock!’s new Heroic Adventures series is a box containing three of their newest games. Sherlock Holmes – The Scarlet Thread of Murder is a game that captures of feeling of the original books (and even a little bit of the 1981 gamebook) as best as a play-at-home game can.
The cards, as you would expect from an Unlock! game, is a sturdy cardstock that easily withstands replays if passed between friend groups. They are tarot-sized cards, making them significantly larger than your standard playing cards, allowing for detailed close-ups and scene-establishing landscapes.
The artwork is beautifully detailed, striking an impressive balance between the Victorian-era paintings of the time period and the photorealism expected from a detective-themed game. Staying true to the source material, the writing in this game is polished and concise. Unlock! continues to impress by building on the app and its uses in the gameplay. The soundtrack, as usual, is atmospheric and sets the scene for the game. The little sound effects that play when certain doors or containers are unlocked also add to the effect.
The puzzles, similarly, were very well themed. Examining clues, questioning witnesses, and chasing down leads all over London as you piece together the story pulls you into the heart of any good Sherlock game.
They are intuitive, but also designed for those with an eye for detail. The puzzles were always logical, as would be expected of a Sherlock-themed game, and the results always related back to the overarching plot. We managed to bypass a task/puzzle through our “”detective”” work; some of our team thought this was a possible oversight, but others thought it felt true to the nature of the books.
The Scarlet Thread is a game where you’ll get out of it what you put in; if you’re actively involved in and invested in solving this mystery, the ending delivers a swell of pride in your chest as you prove your wits to Sherlock himself.
Regardless, you don’t have to be a Sherlock fan to have a great time or to appreciate the solid puzzles in this game. The final puzzle is a fantastic conclusion to an hour-long investigation. We would highly recommend The Scarlet Thread of Murder to any Unlock! fans, and we recommend three experienced players for an optimal experience, as four players can feel somewhat hectic, as the clues can begin to unravel too quickly.”

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