“ Eight crime stories written in the fascinating, compelling style of the hit television series, CSI: Miami. Behind the sun, surf, and palm trees lurks a darker world. You will quickly learn that each suspect is capable of deceit. By rolling the CSI: Miami die you will follow the evidence, identify the killer and reveal the truth. Follow lead criminalst, Horatio Caine, and his team of CSIs to collect three levels of evidence in order to solve each crime. The object of the game is to be the first to submit a correct arrest warrant, proving means, motive and opportunity for one of the three suspects. „
The don't normally buy games that tie in with a television show but I am a huge CSI fan and when I saw this at a car boot sale for only a pound I had to have it. When I got it home and opened it up I was a bit worried to see it hadn't even been opened and played with. I was worried that the game was either too complicated to work out or the rules and format of the game sounded so boring that the original purchaser was turned off by it! I need not have worried though. Firstly there are two instruction and set-up leaflets inside the box. One is a Quick Set-Up Guide and the other is an in-depth step by step version which even shows a full colour illustration of how the board should appear when it's set up. On my first time playing I had to refer to both of these to get things straight in my own mind, although the instructions for set-up and the game rules are explained very clearly and did not pose any problems for me.
The game board is designed to look like a CSI laboratory and it looks very cool and slick. It is marked out with gameboard squares and different 'divisions' (special squares) such as "Forensics" and "Autopsy" and each division is represented by a picture of one of the cast members. The game is based around the original season one cast so we have characters like Sara Sidle, Grissom, Brass and Warrick on the board. There are also special spots printed with a fingerprint and which say 'Disclosure' - these spots have a special card pick-up attached with landing on them as you play the game. The background scene on the board game is a glittery nightscape of Las Vegas and it all seems very dangerous and sexy! The board game meaures around 20 inches squared and there are cards which have to be placed around the board - not on the actual board itself - so bear this in mind when setting up.
There are eight game pieces to choose from. These are in the form of a picture of a character from the show: Catherine Willows, Jim Brass, Dr. Robbins, Sara Sidle, Gil Grissom, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes and Warrick Brown. These little cardboard pictures slot into a plastic stand which then becomes your game piece. The game is playable for 2-4 players or for teams. I recommend the latter or if you can find four people because the nature of winning the game means that playing with only two people becomes quite difficult.
There are a lot of paper slips and cards in the box but these are easy to sort out as they are colour coded and clearly marked with what type of card they are. There are eight sets of Crime Story cards which have 27 cards in total. Each game you play you chose a crime story to follow so you take one set of 27 cards out of the box. The Crime Stories are named as if they are an epsiode of the drama - 'Last Dance' is one, for instance. In each set of cards there are 3 levels of Evidence Cards for each 'Division' square on the game board. There are two special 'Grissom Cards' and one card detailing the story outline.
There are four cardboard folders and a notepad with a slip of paper which each player receives. This is called the 'Arrest Warrant/Checklist' and it has a list of terms and blank spaces for each player to fill in as they play the game. For instance it says:
Name of Victim:
Name of Suspect:
The aim of the game is to basically identify the criminal, their means and their motives, in the case of the specific Crime Story that you have chosen to follow. To be able to identify the suspect you have to work your way around the board collecting evidence and clues from each of the 'Divisions'. You have to also work through each of the three levels in each division, marking these off on your Arrest Warrant sheet as you go. You do not have to go through all seven Level Three Evidence cards to be able to attempt to solve the crime and identify the suspect though but you must have completed all of Level 1 and 2.
For each Crime Story there is a glossy booklet which you have to read a short description of the circumstances of the crime. There is also a glossary of terms and the solution. Since the Solution is readily available to read for all eight stories this game is quite rightly aimed at those aged 13 and up who can contain themselves not to cheat!
Players move around the board game by throwing a dice and can move in any direction. It is a race to reach the end for yourself as well as trying to get there before the other players. I really enjoy the sense of being in this CSI environment and I find that anything that is related to a character is true to the television show representation. The Grissom cards, for instance, have some really wise quotes written on them which are supposed to be advice from the Grissom character and it's fun to read these and feel part of the CSI story. There is quite a lot of reading and close attention that needs to be paid. Each Evidence card has quite a lot of detail which as a player you have to note and remember and recognise. This is not the kind of game that you can play when tipsy! It requires a bit of focus. I do like this game a lot although it's one that you have to be in the mood to play as it takes quite a long time to play (can be over an hour) and as I said it requires reading Remember there are a lot of CSI-speak that you have to look up when reading the cards - for instance, do you know what Tubocurarine or Penolphthalein are?
Ultimately a fun and challenging game that's easy to set up and play and which doesn't have over-complicated rules or methods. It also really does feel closely linked to the television show so if you love CSI or any of the spin off shows then this game will probably excite you!
Review also on Ciao!
Before I start on my review I would like to thank MagdaDH for helping me get a writing link added to my suggestion as I couldn't have submitted this without her. I hope you all enjoy it.
This is a new game that I received at Christmas from my fiancé. Im still not sure whether he bought it because he knew Im a fan of the series on Channel 5 or because he thought he would like it.
CSI stands for Crime Scene Investigation and has been on our screens in the UK since 2001 but I became aware of it when I moved to Selby in 2002 and for the first time had access to Channel 5. It wasnt long before my fiancé was hooked too and it is back for another series on Tuesday nights at 9.00pm.
The show goes over all the processes used by the crime scene team in order to collect and analyse evidence. There can be a few gory sequences in the reconstruction scenes but on the whole it gives a good insight into how DNA can be found, how fibres can be traced to the point of origin and how leaving fingerprints is never a good idea even if your name isnt already on the database system. This is enough to scare anyone thinking of committing a crime as the list of how you can be caught goes on and on as technology progresses.
Although some of the scenes are sometimes a little bit far fetched, on the whole I am told it sticks pretty well to the facts and the only bit that makes me laugh is that the suspect always confesses his crimes at the end of the show. No one seems to be dragged off kicking and screaming.
***The Aim of The Game***
This is the simple bit. You have to find whodunit. What isnt so simple is that you have to have found means, motive and opportunity to be able to accuse your suspect.
***Whats In The Box***
As this is a board game the board itself. This is a square board that folds conveniently into quarters with a start square and seven different areas of evidence on it around the outside. In the centre is Gil Grissoms office.
A pad of Arrest Warrant/Checklist forms. These are for jotting down important information and for crossing off each section as you go round the board.
4 Folders. These are for keeping your warrant forms safe from your opponents prying eyes.
A choice of 8 player pieces although only 4 players can play at a time. These are all characters from the series so you can choose your favourite to represent you. Made of thick coloured card, these slot into one of the 4 holders provided.
One Dice. Pretty standard white dice with black spots on.
8 Colour coded crime story card sets. There are 8 different stories to be played in this box. Each set consists of 21 Evidence cards, 3 double sided suspect cards 2 Grissom clue cards and 1 spacer card with a story outline on it.
25 Disclosure cards. Pick up one of these when you land on a fingerprint spot. They all have instructions on them and should be read aloud unless it specifically says not to, in which case you keep it until it is of use to you.
9 Index cards to separate the sets in the black, card box that is supplied.
The Rulebook. Have fun with this one as it can take a while to get through all the instruction. As well as rules there is also a glossary for all those not in the know about the expressions used such as Buccal, which is the term for a swab taken from the inside of the mouth. There then follows scenarios and solutions for each of the eight stories.
Gil is the boss of the team in Las Vegas and his specialised field of expertise is Entomology thats bugs and insects to you and I. The star of every show Gil is the backbone, which holds the other CSIs together.
She has a colourful past, as she was an exotic dancer to pay her way through college. She has been in the lab for over 10 years and is Gils right hand woman. She is extremely good at the identification side of the job so give her a shoe print or tyre print and she will do her best to find the specific make and size for you.
He is a reformed gambler, which cant be easy living in a town like Vegas. Weapons are his speciality, whether it is casting wounds or firing guns to match bullets, he does his job fantastically.
Nick has a background in law, as his father was a public defender before becoming a judge. He started his life as a CSI in Dallas before taking up a position with Grissom and has a great way with people. He is good at finding the trace amounts of evidence to link someone with a crime, whether it be a fibre from a jumper or the tiniest spot of blood.
She is the newbie of the team and previously worked with the San Francisco Coroners Office. A bit of a fan of Grissom she is great when it comes to the Forensics side of things.
Captain Jim Brass
He has a long background in the police force but was the supervisor of CSI before a rookie was killed on duty and he was demoted back to detective, as Grissom was given the job of the main man. He knows how to get warrants for any searches that are needed and is great at interrogating suspects.
Dr Al Robbins
He has been the coroner in the team for 5 years and loves nothing more that getting into descriptive details of how a person died. Always sympathic for the victim he treats the body with respect as he carries out his post mortems.
A lab guy who has since started to become a CSI, Greg loves to offer witty comments as he goes about his job. He loves anything scientific and is great at matching DNA samples.
Take the set of story cards out of the box which match the number you are about to play and separate the evidence cards into the 7 divisions and place them with the text side down around the board. Each set has 3 levels to it. The Grissom cards go on the appropriate square and the suspect cards are placed beside the start box. Place the disclosure cards on their matching square and have everyone select a playing piece. Each player also needs a warrant form and a folder.
Before play starts one player reads out the Crime Scene Description in the rulebook and all players can look at the Crime Scene Photo. If they need to, players can refer back to this description throughout the game although it helps to take notes of anything you may think is important. Players should also note down the names of the three suspects given and any relevant information about them. This can be found on the Story Spacer card.
Everyone places their character on the start box and the highest roller of the dice goes first. Before he or she starts, the Level 1 suspect card should be read aloud. On each throw of the dice you can move your character in any direction to help you land on one of the 7 division of the Crime Lab. These are Interrogation, Autopsy, Identification, Trace, DNA, Forensics, and Ballistics. If you land on one of these sections you can read an evidence card although you have to read all of the evidence in each level before you can move on to the next no matter how often you land on the square.
If you land in Grissoms Office you can choose to go to any of the labs you need evidence from and the first person is awarded the Grissom card for the level they are playing in which has a special clue on for that lucky player.
If you land on one of the fingerprints around the board, you can take a disclosure card and do as it says. Sometimes they will let you steal a piece of evidence from your opponent or sometimes they will save you from losing some. There are bad cards to watch out for too though so beware when deciding to land on this square.
If you land on the same square as an opponent you can see some of their evidence if you ask correctly for something that player has. You may also take the Grissom card from them if they have it.
When you have collected all the evidence from the level you are in then you are returned to the start position and read the next levels suspect card. When you have completed all levels then you can hazard a guess at who did the crime.
This can get quite complicated if playing the full game as you have to write down the specific evidence cards which led you to believe that suspect had the Means, the Motive and the Opportunity and this can be difficult to spot for a beginner or for someone who hasnt watched the show much. If this is the case then you can play a simplified version where you just have to tell your opponents who you think it was and give reasons for this before reading the solution to see if you are right.
If you are wrong you put the rulebook back and play carries on without you so dont give anything away at that stage of what you got wrong or youll spoil it for the others. If you think you are right then you can read out the solution to the other players and they can agree or disagree whether this is the case.
***Who Is This Game Aimed At***
It says on the box for aged 13 plus and I would agree with that if all players were fans of the show. However, if you are not aware of the types of things to look for in evidence and you havent seen CSI before then I would say this would be for aged 16 and above, as it does get quite complicated.
***Price and Availability***
This game is available from Amazon and HMV for £19.99 and £17.99 respectively. You can also get the CSI Miami version of the game for the same prices.
When I first got this present I was really excited by the prospect of playing a game of this show, which I love so much. I thought it was going to be a game similar to Cluedo though where you have to guess which weapon, room and person were involved in the crime and was delighted to find it was something different. That was until I started to read the rules, which sounded very complicated and long-winded.
However, once you start actually playing the game it isnt quite as bad as it sounds. Basically its just a race against your opponents to read all the evidence before having a stab at which one of the 3 suspects did the crime. We did try playing it with the full set of rules but found that although we could often say which card raised our suspicions of a suspect, it was often difficult to determine whether it would be classed as means, motive or opportunity. We found it easier just to describe why we thought that person had committed the crime and how they were able to do it.
We havent played the whole 8 stories in the box yet so I cant comment on all the scenarios although by looking at the descriptions of the crime scenes I can say they are all very different. I have deliberately not told you anything about the separate stories, as I wouldnt want to spoil them for anyone who is interested in buying this game, but I will say that there are a lot of murders along the way.
The game can take quite a while to play depending on how long it takes you to land on each evidence square, in each of the 3 levels. We were playing for just over an hour with 4 players.
I enjoyed the descriptions of how evidence is obtained as the game progresses and its amazing how certain you think you are that one suspect has committed the crime until you find something else, which completely changes your mind.
One thing that does concern me about the game is that there are only 8 stories in here and the ending is the same each time, so you would probably remember who did it when playing again even though you have to collect all the evidence before taking a guess. I imagine that there will be add on packs to follow in due course, which could make this an expensive game to keep playing.
***To Sum Up***
For any fans of the show then this is a must.