I am quite a fan of board games, and also of Da Vinci Code, however I must say I wouldn't normally buy this board game - only I found it in bargain sale for £2, so decided to give it a try.
As of packaging, it's classic themed square cardboard box with all the bits inside. For the price I found all pieces to be good quality, robust built, they don't look or feel cheap.
Firstly, you need to find at least one, but max 5 grown ups (or geeky 10+ I don't agree game is suitable for 7+ kids unless they are really into the theme) who preferably read the book or at least saw the movie and are willing to spend time playing a movie-based board game with you. At least my box is saying 2-6 players, not 2-4 as stated in description here, however I don't think it would be comfortable for 6 players.
Then you need to set up the board - fairly easy, there's a cardboard plan that you just need to unfold, select a game, take out appropriate cards and place them on the board, prepare all the decoders and funny gadgets that you may need to use and give every player a paper sheet from the block where they can write notes and record their answers. There are 15 "mysteries" to solve - 15 unique games. Mysteries are a phrase or word that you need to uncover, which you do by traveling the board and visiting significant places from the book (Westminister Abbey, Louvre, etc.) - you draw cards when you're there, and each card gives you some kind of clue, or part of the clue. Sometimes you need to use one of the funny gadgets - decoder, cryptex, mirror, sometimes you only have certain amount of time to look at the card (timer is included). Once a while you get a letter, and its position, which you write down until you have the whole phrase (or can guess it). There are also extra points for answering some questions that you come across. You don't need to be familiar with the movie, or know a lot about art and history, but it certainly does help a bit and makes the game more fun. The game ends when someone solves the mystery, which generally doesn't take too long - perhaps 30-45 mins so you don't get bored.
Disadvantages - there are only 15 mysteries, and you need one or two to get into the game to find out exactly how it all works. There is a DVD with instructions and a Sample mystery which I would recommend if you don't waste the mysteries for learning how to play. Also, person skilled in anagrams and crossword puzzles would have an advantage as they may see the mystery phrase with very little letters. Also they are all themed so guessing the mystery will be easier if you have seen the movie or, better, read the book.
Final verdict - well, if you are into the theme, and are perhaps a bit geeky type that finds searching for information and playing with words fun, than yes, you will like the game. If you don't fit the profile, you will find it incredibly boring (speaking for my husband who I made play with me once). It's not a colorful exciting board game for kids if you expect that, and I find it quite hard to find someone who would find it interesting enough to play, so most of the times it just sits in the cupboard. For £2 I don't mind, but I wouldn't pay full price for it
This review is on the 2006 game edition which is different to the on previously reviewed.
I received this board game a few years ago and only really played it few times up until recently because it seemed like quite a complicated game to play, and to some extent it is (especially for young children).
The idea of the game is to move around the board searching for clues to solve a mystery; I would personally class it as a more in-depth version of the popular board game 'Cluedo'. You take notes as you uncover clues using a variety of methods (for example, decoding words using tools provided or using a mirror card to reveal a secret word), you then make notes on the clues you find to uncover an answer.
When a player reveal the correct answer it then starts the second phase of the game, where each player is asked 5 questions and using the notes the found from the clues, have to answer them (gaining points for each correct answer), from personal experience this phase can turn a game around completely if you do not have enough notes or miss out on vital clues.
There are 2 special cards you can discover: Taxis, which allow the player to move around the board faster, and Computer cards which allow you to look at an opponent's notes for 30 seconds. However if you have some of these cards in your possession left at the end you lose points for each card!
The game comes with an instruction manual, and an instructional DVD which is necessary to play properly, without them you would be stuck on so many things and of course, you wouldn't know the aim of the game.
Overall this game is very fun, but you have to take it seriously, and you must have patience because games can last up to about 3 hours (from my own experience) and can get very tedious sometimes. I wouldn't recommend this for someone who just wants to play a casual board game with friends, or for younger children as it can get slightly confusing at times. I would however recommend it to someone who enjoyed the books and/or film who has the patience and time to sit down and play this game, I also found it very interesting.
In the box you receive:
* 200 cards numbered 0 - 199
* Game board
* A 6 sided dice
* A 2 minute timer
* A mirror card
* A cryptic decoder
* A Sidebar decoder
* 6 pyramid play pieces (counters)
* A Pad of answer sheets
* Instructional guide DVD
This review was originally published on Ciao by me (Warda010)
If you like games that require some skill rather than just luck, then you will enjoy playing Da Vinci Code - The Game. This international code-breaking sensation can be played by 2 to 4 players and is suitable from age 7 upwards.
The object of the games is to break you opponent's secret code before they manage to break yours.
The box contains 26 tiles - a set of 13 black tiles and 13 white tiles. Each set is numbered from 0 to 11 and also contains a Scramble tile which has a dash on it instead of a number.
How to start
Firstly remove the 2 Scramble tiles and then place the remaining 24 tiles face down on the table and mix them about. Each player selects 4 tiles (or 3 tiles if four people are playing) and stands them in front of themselves. The blank side of the tiles should be facing your opponents. You can choose any combination of black or while tiles but it is important not to let your opponents see what numbers you have picked up as this can spoil the game.
You must place your tiles in numerical order - lowest number on your left and highest on your right. This is crucial to the game so make sure you arrange them in the correct order. If you select 2 tiles with the same number, always place the dark tile to your left. For example if you select white 4 and black 4 you should have the black 4 to the left of the white 4.
How to Play
To begin play, the youngest player (who I shall call player A) selects a tile from those remaining on the table. This tile then becomes the Clue tile. Player A stands the Clue tile to one side so only they can see the number. It should not be added to Player A's row of tiles (yet!)
Player A should now point to any tile of an opponent and say aloud the number they think is hidden from view. Player A can choose any opponent to do this to. If they are correct, the opponent must reveal his tile by tipping it forward so that everyone can see the number. This tile remains exposed for the remainder of the game. Player A now tries to correctly identify another tile, either from the same opponent or different player.
If Player A guesses wrongly they must reveal the Clue tile by placing it in their row of tiles with the number facing out towards their opponents. It must be placed in the correct place in the sequence. This then helps your opponents to crack your code. However, if player A guesses correctly again they can decide to end their turn by inserting the clue tile into their row of tiles but without showing it to their opponents. This means Player A has a row of tiles one tile longer than his.her opponents.
After a player's turn is over, either with a correct or incorrect guess, play passes to the player on the left. Any player whose code has been broken is out of the game and can neither take a Clue tile nor make guesses at opponent's tiles. Play continues until only one player has unexposed tiles and this player wins the game.
To play the advanced version of this game, add the Scramble tiles into the tiles on the table. If a player draws one of these tiles they can insert it anywhere in their row of tiles. This makes it harder for opponents to break your code.
This international code-breaking sensation is named after the great master of code-making. "When we find a good educational game we jump for joy. Well, we jumped very high when we came across the game...It has all the elements of a perfect game. It is easy to learn, it has quick play, it is challenging, it makes you think, and above all...it is fun. If this game does not become a classic game we will be shocked!"