Sleuth


Age 10+
Players 3-7
Time 060
Tags

Absolutely genuine classic deduction game from the master designer Sid Sackson. There are two decks, one normal size, 36 cards showing 1,2,or 3 diamonds, pearls or opals, in 4 colors, red, green, blue & yellow. This deck is shuffled and one removed and hidden; the missing gem for you to discover. The remaining cards are dealt out, any spare are turned up. The other deck is 54 small Search cards, showing one or two elements, eg. diamonds, pairs, or blue opals, red pearls, or free choices. Players are dealt 4 each face up. You then select one, ask one player how many they have of that type. So ask for Pairs and the player will say "3" if it has the Blue Diamond Pair, the Yellow Pearl Pair and the Green Pearl Pair. But if you ask them for the Red Diamonds, they must pass them over to you to look at in secret, but also declare to the other players how many are being passed.

Players have simple score pads showing the 36 gems on which to record information. Discard the Search card and draw another. You can declare your deduction at any time, or on your turn ask one question without having the Search card and then immediately declare. Mark your sheet, check the missing gem. If you're wrong, you keep playing, but only answering questions. If you're correct, you win.
The simplicity of the rules and the cards belies the complexity of the game. It is the mixture of seeing some cards, but only getting told numbers for others, that makes it hard to deduce. Any notation you devise has to be flexible but reliable, and it is as important to record negative information as well as positive detail.
The game was part of 3M's classic range of games (3M Gamette Series), but has been re-issued by Face2Face.
Sleuth is a stripped down version of The Case of the Elusive Assassin-- featuring the core mechanics of the original game without the board. Proximity and movement are no longer a part of this system.

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