Identify the Criminal Among the Cast of Characters of Sherlock 13 | Casual Game Revolution

Identify the Criminal Among the Cast of Characters of Sherlock 13

Sherlock 13

Is Moriarty at it again? Can you trust Mrs. Hudson? Or perhaps Sherlock Holmes himself is the criminal this time!

Published by Arcane Wonders and BoardM Factory, Sherlock 13 is a 15-minute deduction game for 2-4 players.


The thirteen character cards are shuffled, one is placed face-down in the center of the table, and the rest are dealt out evenly among the remaining players. Every character card shows two or three icons. There are eight icons in the game. Each character card’s selection of icons is unique to that character. Each player also takes a clue sheet. Players will use the clue sheet to track the information they learn during the game, and the clue sheet also states which character cards are in the game and which icons each one contains.

On your turn, you may investigate or interrogate. When you investigate, you choose one of the eight icons, and every other player who has one of those icons on at least one of his cards, raises his hand. If you choose to interrogate, then you choose one other player and ask how many of a specific icon he has in his hand, and he says the number out loud. Alternatively, on your turn, you can accuse. If you accuse, you announce which character you believe is in the center of the table and look at it without revealing it to the other players. If you are right, you win the game. If you are wrong, you are eliminated, and your turn will be skipped for the rest of the game (however, you will still answer questions about your hand of cards).

Sherlock 13 Components


Sherlock 13 is a light, fast deduction game that plays smoothly, and is easy to set up and play several rounds of. It has a nice pace to it and solid player interaction. With each question you ask, you have to consider not just what information you need to learn, but also what information your question will be giving to other players, since everyone hears the results of the questions that are asked. This element of the game can make your turn a little more complex and gives you something extra to think about.

There are two rule variants offered. One is for a two-player game that does work pretty well. It’s fast, but it does lean in nicely to the element of being careful about what information you reveal to your opponent. There is also an advanced variant in which players order the cards in their hands at the start of the game so that there is a first card and a last. You never include your last card when answering a question, and on your turn, you always move the card currently in first position into the last position, changing what cards you’re using to answer questions about. This adds a really interesting element, complicating what information players learn and when, and adds an extra layer to the deduction. We quite enjoyed this variant and found it tricky, without overly complicating the gameplay.

The theme works well enough. Sherlock Holmes is obviously famous for mysteries, and this is a deduction game, so the two go together. Probably if you’re a fan of the books, you will also appreciate that there are a lot of characters here that you might not see in other games that only use the most well-known ones. There is some nice artwork used, especially on the player screens used to hide your clue sheets, and the clue sheets themselves are very well designed to help you track your suspicions and knowledge.

Depending on the questions asked, it can by chance be over quite quickly, but it’s so easy to just set up another game. Sherlock 13 fits in nicely into the deduction genre as something quite light. You’re not going to spend the evening playing it, but it can be a nice, fast start to a game night.

Pros: Fast to set up and play, variants both work well, good component quality

Cons: Theme feels a little uninspired, game can end a little too abruptly

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of these games.