Remember those old Choose Your Own Adventure books where you’d be given two seemingly random choices, pick one and end up dead? Then you’d go back to the page with the choice, which you carefully held on to just in case exactly that happened, took the alternate choice and also ended up dead?
Soon you can enjoy that in board game form.
I thought Choose Your Own Adventure books were a relic of my childhood. Something you’d see next to Animorphs and Goosebumps. It turns out that they’re still a thing and the company that makes them, Chooseco, is partnering up with Asmodee and Z-Man Games to turn House of Danger into a board game.
There will demos of the game next month at select American libraries.
Fortunately we live in a world where narrative driven board games exist. So while CYOA is going to exist and is presumably going to cater to a younger crowd, we can sink our teeth into Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective.
It’s a natural evolution of the Choose Your Own Adventure formula with the added bonus of mostly working.
Sherlock Holmes casts you as the Baker Street Irregulars, off to solve a case at Sherlock’s behest. You visit locations in London that point you towards passages in the book that may give you the clues needed to crack the case. Or they may be a dead end.
When you’re satisfied that you know everything about the case you can go talk to Sherlock who’ll quiz you on your findings. This is the part where you feel spectacularly dumb as the quiz has questions about things you’ve never heard of.
Then you move on to the next case. You get a better feel for what the game is asking of you. You go sleuthing and come back to Sherlock, who asks a series of questions you easily answer.
You feel like a genius.
There’s some clunkiness and older editions have translation errors that cause some kerfuffles but overall it’s a worthwhile experience.