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London, 1898. Nebulous clouds lie over the city, shadows scurry through the night. What happened? Two clever detectives try to outdo each other. Who will solve the crime first? Who will submit better proof? Who is the more astute sleuth?
Bakerstreet isnt quite what youd expect. Throw away any idea of a mystery or deduction game, or a game heavy with the atmosphere of a Holmesian story. Think dry; think memory; think bluff. Now that youve adjusted your expectations, Id like to tell you about a fun little game called Bakerstreet
Each player is trying to collect a set of 7 consecutive evidence cards (remember though, dont expect a theme!) The cards are lettered A-T, with two of each letter, with these letters being shuffled and put into 5 facedown piles. As the game progresses, players are trying to remember where they saw certain cards in order to fill gaps in their sets. So there is you basic memory element not too hard, but it sure helps to remember where you saw what.
But that would be a pretty boring game if that were all it was. Surely we can expect more, right? Yes! Each player has one's own deck of cards with identical distribution. The cards are numbered 0-5 with some having special actions.) Each player shuffles and draws a hand of three cards. On a players turn, he takes one of those cards and places it face-up, adjacent to the evidence pile of his choice. Since the next number card into that pile will cover the previous, it becomes important to try and remember which numbers and which special actions are in each pile. (After all, you dont want to choose a pile that you are going to lose!) But there is a twist: the last part of a players turn, he draws a card from his stack bringing his hand back up to 3 cards, then must make a bid of what he thinks is the total sum of the numbers of all 6 cards in both players hands. Naturally, he has no real idea what his opponent may have, and so makes a guess based on what he sees in his own hand unless of course he wants to bluff!
The stack searching and the card laying are important, but the real heart of this game is this bidding element. At the beginning of a players turn, if he does not believe the 6 cards equal the sum of the last bid, he may call the bluff. If the previous bid was the same or higher than the actual total, then the active player was wrong and loses the dispute. If the sum is lower than the previous bid, than the active challenging player wins the dispute. (If this sounds like Liars Dice/Call My Bluff, only with cards, youre exactly right.) Whoever wins the dispute gets to choose which stack of cards to be evaluated. He picks a stack of the already played number cards and goes thru them to figure out who has the highest total, highest total gets to search the stack and take one card secretly.
As you can tell, bluffing and set-collecting are a part of this game, but memory is the biggest part by far. Remembering which evidence stack has which letters, what number cards are in what stack, which numbered cards your opponent has already played whew! If you pick this one up, youd better like memory! But if you do like memory, this is an interesting little game. Bluffing the bid to try and set your next turn up in order to call the bluff, or placing cards at certain times to make sure the special actions will scare away your opponent from wanting to evaluate the pile these parts of the game make for a neat little system. But, in the end, it is a little system. This game is very abstract feeling, very memory drivenand very unique. It may never be a favorite of mine, but it is a solid little game that will appeal to people who want to do some brain exercise. Probably not the best family game in the world because of the abstract nature, but this game will definitely have its fans.
This game should be called 'The Purloined Letter." Forty letter cards, showing the letters A through T twice, are dealt into five facedown stacks of eight in a circle. You'll need seven consecutive letters to win.
Each player gets his own deck of 30 Detective cards, which are numbered 0 through 5. Play a Detective card faceup on a pile next to any stack, hiding cards beneath it, and replenish to three. Now estimate the total value of cards held by you and your opponent, surpassing his previous guess. When a guess is challenged, the challenge's winner picks a stack, and the numbers in its adjoining pile are totaled from the top down for each player. Having the higher value earns you a letter from the stack. Some Detective cards give you an edge, such as the power to double the value of your cards or to send the count to another pile. Elementary as ABC or 1-2-3? No!