When it comes to board games, I am somewhat of an impulse buyer. I’ll see something and think it looks nifty and then want it. And then I’ll buy it. And it will sit here and we’ll mean to play it, but won’t.
Currently, that crown belongs to Pandemic Legacy, because we’re refining our Pandemic skills on normal games before we bust out the 12-month (game time) epic.
So, obviously, to help with that I purchased Chronicles of Crime (and the VR add-on) based purely on some posts I’d seen on an Instagram account I follow.
Best decision ever.
It’s amazing. You search the crime scene, you question witnesses, you make deductions, examine evidence and baffle yourselves silly all with an app and some QR codes. The crime scenes are 3D scenes you examine on your phone, and with the VR glasses, you can feel like you’re there. And it’s pretty bloody good. You’re wanting to uncover more locations in the hope you can search another scene. And then there are so many suspects to juggle and inconsistencies to find. It’s just brilliant.
You know what’s not brilliant about it.
Owning a cat.
I have, over the course of the evening, developed a real hankering to stick the game parts to the wall with blu tack or bits of easy peel tape so that a) we can recreate the classic cliché of a police investigation board and b) because then Peppa can’t walk all over it all.
The game requires stuff to be laid out. You have 37 categories of evidence that you can find. You need to be able to see the names of all these categories in order to make the leap from something you see (a briefcase, say) to the category it lives in (bags and baggage). It’s much easier if these are all spread out to begin with – less easy with a cat jumping in the middle of them.
The same with the crime board – the locations you visit grow off this like a property octopus (a proptopus, probably). You don’t need a cat coming and upending all that, not after you’ve diligently sorted all your suspects to their proper locations.
I want to stick it all to the wall and play the game like Elementary’s version of Sherlock (with no orange highlighters, obviously). I want to spin the couch round and stare at a wall of evidence and try and make sense of it all. Having seen if for myself, I now know why the police do this; it’s not because it makes it easy to visualise or anything like that – yes, that’s a happy by-product of the whole deal, sure.
It’s because all it would take to derail any sort of criminal investigation is for a rogue cat to meander into a police station and up on the desk. It would just fuck everything up. Trust me. If the criminal underworld knew the cops used desks, there’d be cats going into police stations up and down the country.
Nothing would get solved.