Our Detective Club review, what we have to say about the deduction and communication party game. Players take turns giving a clue that matches two artwork cards in their hand. The hook is that everyone except one person knows the clue and the goal is the figure out who that person is. Everyone puts down two art cards and at the end has to describe why they knew the clue and are not the mystery liar. The person who doesn’t know has to lie and stretch their way through so as not to be detected. This really fun party game is like Dixit in reverse.
We took a look across fun, replayability, player interaction, quality and art & style to come up with the overall score for our Detective Club review. See the breakdown by category below.
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– CATEGORY BREAKDOWN –
Fun (8 out of 10)
For the fun section of the Detective Club review, we award a fantastic 8 out of 10. This is an incredibly well-constructed party game and it is hard to get more fun than that. At first glance, you may think this is just a Dixit impersonator, but that is not the case at all. The cool artwork is almost interchangeable and it is a secret submit and judge game, but the little subtle differences make it a unique experience.
Instead of trying to guess a clue, you know the clue and are trying to guess who doesn’t. This little difference makes for a game that is more about bluffing than a personal interpretation of artwork. This mixture of communication tactics and the artwork storytelling makes for a fun time that is not exactly like any others out there.
Replayability (6 out of 10)
For the replayability section of the Detective Club review, we award a solid 6 out of 10. The game has plenty of meat on the bones but eventually, you start seeing cards again and repeating things and it all gets a bit stale. As far as party games go, some have more longevity than others, and you can put this at about a medium in that space.
Not that they could, but nothing really changes from game to game. Since communication is your main tool, it gets tough playing with the same people when you are giving the same truths and same lies all why giving the same tells. You have to respect their “choose a topic” specialty rule, because it attempts to help with this issue. This is where you have to choose a theme ahead of time and clues need to relate.
Player Interaction (8 out of 10)
For the player interaction section of the Detective Club review, we award a great 8 out of 10. You have to make your case and then your peers vote on who amongst you is the lone liar; this makes for some top-notch player interaction. The entire game is stretching, bluffing and keeping an eye on the other players. This is on the high end of player interaction experiences and exactly what you should be looking for in a party game.
The only issue is that maybe you are the liar or maybe you just have absolutely no art cards that could represent the clue. This puts you in the exact same boat and if I am judging you, there really isn’t a way for me to tell. That is all part of it though and a another piece of body language you just have to be on the lookout for. You are also laughing and smiling the whole time so real serious discussions of motivation rarely come up.
Quality (8 out of 10)
For the quality section of the Detective Club review, we award another fantastic 8 out of 10. The game is well made. The creators of Detective Club, though small little nuances, took a few mechanics in a crowded space and carved out a wonderful and unique experience. People may compare this game to Dixit at first glance but as they delved deeper they would see that yes it took some of the great things about it, like the abstract art and storytelling methods, but completely changed the problem that needed to be solved and changed everything.
From top to bottom, the game is well constructed. This is not surprising coming from Blue Orange games who always does a great job with components. That is also the case here. The artwork cards are beautiful and you even get a big wooden magnifying glass token to vote with.
Art & Style (8 out of 10)
For the art & style section of the Detective Club review, we award a very good 8 out of 10. The communication that comes from the game is great, but that is all because of the main part of this game, the crazy and unique artwork. The style is aetherial and abstract like a Rorschach test but with colors and complex illustrations. Every card could be a print that you blow up and hang on your wall.
The “Detective Club” aspect of the game is pretty lose when you think about how this is a game about putting down crazy art and determining who is lieing about it but the designers stick with it throughout. It may be loose but it is a good way to think about the flow of an operation. Evidence is presented, some people are not who they seem, things are evaluated and then justice is served. This throughline and overarching theme serves the game well.
– IN CLOSING –
Detective Club Review | Board Game Halv
Detective Club is a fantastic secret submit and judge / communication party game. It reaches the same fun and excitement levels of similar party game Dixit, but has enough differences to justify owning and playing both. This game looks like it could have easily fallen in the shadows of some of the other leaders in the party board game field, but it has done a great job of setting itself apart and being one of the best at what it does. This has been our Detective Club review.
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