Embody a 1920s Gumshoe in Suspects | Casual Game Revolution

Embody a 1920s Gumshoe in Suspects


From designers Sebastien Duverger Nedellec, Paul Halter, Guillaume Montiage, Suspects offers three cooperative cases that put players in the footsteps of sleuth Claire Harper in this ode to classic detective novels.


Suspects is an easy game to set up and play, yet it offers a wealth of choice in its simplicity. Players will choose from one of the three available cases and read the accompanying introductory information to set the scene and understand the information they must gather to solve the case. From these, specific artifacts (for example, in the first case players will receive a map of an estate and a family tree) and a case deck are taken. Players will take the card numbered 1 and read the card and begin their journey to answer the dictated plot questions, fill in the gaps, and solve the case! 

Along this journey, players work together to piece together clues from speaking to available suspects or exploring the various areas. Most areas and people will have numbers corresponding to the deck of approximately 50 cards that allow players to begin those dialogues and further investigate. While this is happening, players will discover cards that have symbols which, when all are collected, open access to someone or somewhere else. Likewise, some items will appear on cards that also contain colored lines, which may link it to other cards (already or yet to be discovered) that may make them useful or turn them into evidence. 

The game concludes when players determine that they have enough information to answer the questions and solve the case. Players will then open the relevant envelope and find out if they were correct or missed key points in their investigation to complete all tasks. Doing so in less than 30 cards and getting everything correct will score the highest points and “best” ending, while certain thresholds and missing information will yield less than ideal – or even downright disappointing – conclusions.



Suspects is the perfect cooperative experience for a game night or even an evening of playing solo. Setup is minimal and easy, understanding what to do is as simple as picking some numbers and reading the corresponding cards from the deck, and putting together the puzzle of whodunit. 

The 1920s detective homage presents itself in clever manners, such as how characters are written as well as artist Émile Denis’s subtle motifs that honor the mysteries of the game’s inspiration, Agatha Christie. 

But as can occur in many deduction games, there are holes in the plot that one cannot fill just by doing sleuthing. Without spoiling the game, there’s a question posed in the second case that players are to answer that is not so much in the cards as it is in straight detective work. This doesn’t bring the conclusion to that case down nor does it distract from the gameplay, but for players who want to pretend to be a detective but not actually be a detective, it could spoil the chance of a perfect score and ending. 

That said, the dry humor, sprightful intrigue, and easy-going pace of the game makes it a great entry in an expanding genre of detective-based game genres. That Suspects doesn’t rely on an app and is contained in just a few materials makes it the perfect group game to provide a tactile experience without too many things to fidget over. And if your gaming group is brave enough to add a bit of zest to reading the dialogue of character cards, then you have yourselves a night of pleasant fun on your hands.

Pros: Great game for casual groups, good intro into the detective game genre, simple set-up and item management

Cons: Some cases may ask you to do a fair bit of actual sleuthing outside the information given to get the most preferred case outcome