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Cold Case: A Story to Die For Review

Troy Wellington
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Cold Case: A Story to Die For

Intro: Cold Case is a series of murder cases that the police at the time were unable to solve. You take the role as investigators reexamining the cases and trying to bring justice to the
unknown culprits. In this particular case an ambitious young reporter was found dead in the forest with a wad of cash stuffed in his mouth. The small town hosts many possible suspects. It is up to you to read the interviews, inspect the evidence, and do the job that police couldn’t do 33 years prior. You must figure out not only who committed the crime, but why they did it, what weapon was used, and how they got away with it.

Components: In this thin box you will find a file with a lot of recorded interviews. Each with a photo of the person being interviewed. These range from one to four pages and make up
the bulk of the game. There are a couple letters, an autopsy report, some pictures, a flier, and a newspaper clipping. There is no answers sheet in the game, you will need to be able to get online to figure the answer out. There are definitely fewer components than other games of this style.

Pacing: This particular case follows a pretty linear path. You’ll have to read through all the interviews, and there is a lot of reading! It helps to trade off with each other and have a note taker as well. After each reading you can start to form a picture of the crime, who the true suspects are, what exactly had happened and what the motivations were. Also as you are reading you’ll be using the other bits of evidence as references. This case doesn’t have a lot of branching paths that players can take, or pieces of evidence to rummage through. It pretty much is just reading through and piercing together the story. Depending on your reading comprehension you can finish this case in about an hour to ninety minutes.

Difficulty: This was probably the easiest case I’ve done. There is lots of evidence to point you in the right direction. There are a couple things that may be missed. But with the minimal amounts of evidence in the box you can cycle through it enough to stumble upon it eventually. We did get stuck on one part, but that was more of a reading comprehension error.

How it compares: As I stated, this is a much easier and linear case. There is more reading and processing than inspecting. So if your group prefers reading to each other and then discussing ideas more so than piecing out clues on your own then this might be more for you. It doesn’t have the same amount of depth as the Hunt a Killeror Unsolved Case Files series. But there is a good story. Think of it as a Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective where you just read the appropriate passages.

I did enjoy my experience playing this game. The story was good. The characters were interesting. The mystery was intriguing. In the end, though, it felt a step back from other cases I have done. It was light on the components, so it never felt overwhelming, but it felt a bit too basic as well. I am glad to have played it and would gladly play another Cold Case game again.
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