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Noir: Black Box Edition is a clever collection of six deduction games.
Quick. The simplest games are designed to take less than 15 minutes and the most complex take an hour.
Tense. Winning requires wits and luck.
Variety. Includes six different games. Supports 2 to 9 players!
Small Footprint. Comes in a small box and requires relatively little table space.
Tight Storage. The box insert barely holds the cards. It can be difficult to get the cards out of the insert.
Unclear Rules. Some of the rules are written awkwardly and take time to decipher.
Loopholes. Some game rules naturally lead to bad game experiences.
In Killer vs Inspector, once the Killer figures out the detective's identity, the detective is trapped in a Monopoly-style death spiral. Unfortunately, due to the Killer's abilities to canvas and change identity, this issue occurs frequently.
In Hitman vs Sleuth, the impact of the issue is lessened by the Sleuth having three possible identities. However, exhausting the deck still swings the game heavily in the Hitman's favor, especially if the Sleuth has lost any identities.
The Notable Mechanics
Random Setup. A critical part of the game. Without randomized starting conditions there wouldn't be any deduction or variety!
Identity Swapping. Without the ability to change their identity the criminal would be cornered very quickly.
The limited swapping used in Master Thief vs Chief of Police limits the Thief to a pool of three identities. This is a superior version of the swapping mechanic that preserves tension and avoids Loopholes.
Canvasing. When you play a card onto the field your opponent(s) must reveal if their identity is adjacent to that card. This simple mechanic is a powerful and tactical action. However, it is also a major part of what causes Loopholes.
Shifting & Collapsing. Moving rows or columns (shifting) and removing rows or columns (collapsing) are how players maneuver closer to their targets. They can also be used to distract and mislead your opponents.
Capture. Knowing their identity isn't enough. Your opponent(s) must be captured (or killed). You must also be adjacent to an opponent to capture them. This system often creates a tense chase where players need to pin down their opponent(s) without revealing their own identity.
Roles. Each game has a different set of roles for players. Many roles are similar, however, there are meaningful differences in each game, and the more advanced roles in games like Mafia vs FBI add more variety and depth to the mix.
Noir: Black Box Edition is a fun & fast collection of deduction games and a great addition to our collection.
+ tense 'cat & mouse'
+ small package
+ simple clever mechanics
• box insert too small
• some confusing rules
For more information about Noir: Black Box Edition visit http://www.level99games.com/catalog/other/30-noir-black-box-....
This review with images is available at http://blog.indianwolfstudios.com/2016/10/noir-black-box-edi....
More reviews available at http://blog.indianwolfstudios.com/.