Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Author: Marcel-André
Casasola Merkle

Publisher: Ravensburger 2003



G@mebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


The game is set in the London of 1896. It is the time of Sherlock Holmes and Watson and their endless fights against crime. London is dark and misty, shadowy figures are on the road. In the darkness of the night a crime has happened, which is now to be solved quickly. The more quickly, the better. Two clever detectives compete against each other to be the first to solve the crime. Proofs must be found, the chain of evidence must me complete. Who is the smartest detective?


The aim of the card game is to be the first to collect all proofs of the crime.

This is done by collecting proof cards with succeeding letters on it. The detective (player) who has collected 7 or more cards showing 7 letters in a row has won.

The 40 proof cards are parted into 5 piles and placed in a circle on the table. Each detective obtains 3 hand cards with values from 0 to 5, the rest of the 32 detective cards form the supply pile. At each turn a player can place a card in front of one of the proof card piles and improve his position there (see below). He then draws one hand card from the supply pile immediately afterwards.

The start player has to place a bet how much the sum of all hand card values might be (his own ones and those of his opponent). The opponent can now either choose to make his own turn (placing and drawing cards) but afterwards he has to place a higher (+1) bet than his opponent. Or otherwise he can miss his turn and doubt the bet of his opponent. In case of doubt both players show there hand cards and the sum is calculated. If the sum is less than the bet, the player who has doubted the bet wins. The winner can determine a proof card pile, whose placed detective cards shall be evaluated now. During the evaluation period all card values in the colour of the detective are counted from top to bottom until:

  • a special stop card appears
  • an arrow initiates another evaluation of the next pile
  • the bottom (last card) is reached

All values are added for each player and the higher sum wins this competition. As a reward the victorious detective can inspect the proof card pile in question and keep one of the proofs (with a letter). Afterwards all evaluated cards are placed on the discard pile and each player draws 3 new detective cards. The other player (the looser of the bet) starts the new round.

Hence by winning these little competitions the detectives gather proof cards in order to complete the chain of evidence.


This simple but neat card game offers quite a lot of fun for two players. It is a highly communicative game and the better you are in pretending the higher are your chances to win the one or the other round (and finally solve the crime). It rather provides opportunities for a short term bluff than a long term strategy, but you will have a lot of fun with this game.

The design of the cards is kept quite simple and not very winning, it is barely reflecting the atmosphere. Also the theme of taking over the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson competing in solving a crime is neglectible during the game. However, this is a card game and one should not expect that much from it. A good memory gives you a small advantage when you can remember your inspected proof card piles. But luck proves as a good friend as well. The only tactical element in this game is the placing of special detective cards (stop, arrow or double values) in front of the proof card piles in order to outwit your opponent during the evaluation phase.

After playing this games a little while we found a nice add-on for the ending (which brings some more atmosphere to the bet-and-pretend game). One could try to reconstruct the plot of the crime by bringing the collected proof in a possible action order, either using the letters on it or the depicted items. For a reasonable story one could obtain extra points.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany