Decktective: Bloody-Red Roses
- Played August 2020
- 60 minutes
- 1-6 players
- $14.90 MSRP
- What People Say
Decktective: Bloody-Red Roses is one of the first games in a new series from our friends at dv Giochi. We’ve previously reviewed a number of their games in the Deckscape series, which we generally thought were quite decent. Would this new game end up being similarly good? Read on to find out!
In terms of play style, Bloody-Red Roses works slightly differently from the previous Deckscape games. Those games were structured mostly as a series of puzzles, with a loose story tying them together. This game is structured as a murder mystery, split into two parts: firstly, gathering evidence and secondly, figuring out the crucial details of the murder and finding out whether your conclusions are correct.
The component quality is quite good, with the game consisting of a set of beautifully-designed and reasonably sturdy cards about twice the size of regular playing cards. However, in addition to the lovely art, this game has a special trick up its sleeve: the box and a number of the cards can be combined to produce a little diorama of the murder scene, complete with a number of important details and clues that will help you unravel the mystery. While a simple touch, this really helps sell the story and setting of the mystery in a way that all of us quite enjoyed.
As a result, we all rated the immersion of this game quite highly. The combination of the 3D crime scene full of interesting and important details, and the story development throughout the game kept us all quite engaged. As the game plays out, players are forced to observe and speculate, share info with others, and cooperate with others both to decide which evidence is important and to come up with theories as to the circumstances of the murder. We especially liked that the story develops as you play through the game, both as new pieces of evidence reveal new details and as special “plot twists” occur that change things up or reveal crucial details.
Thus, the gameplay consists not so much of a series of puzzles that must be solved linearly, but one long process of deciding which evidence is most important and then coming up with theories as to what exactly happened. Every piece of evidence you come across has some bearing on the case, some of course being more important than others, but the game has a clever mechanic which limits how much evidence you can collect, so you will need to choose collaboratively which pieces to keep and which get discarded face-down. Once you’ve collected all the evidence you can and you think you have it all figured out, you then get to put your theories to the test and find out just how much you got right and how much you got wrong. We particularly loved the emphasis on careful observation, deductive reasoning, and collaborative discussion.
In the end our team had a great time playing through this together. It’s a simple, fun little mystery with an emphasis on observation and reasoning as opposed to more cerebral puzzles, great for a family game night or a get-together with friends. In theory you could play this game solo, but we would highly recommend against that as a lot of the fun of the game is coordinating with others and discussing theories. So get a few friends together, and give this one a try. Highly recommended.