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Translation of review: http://blognawolnyczas.blogspot.com/2016/07/komisarz-wiktors...
COMMISSIONER VICTOR: The lost painting case – game review.
Some time ago, while reviewing AbaloneQuattro, I said that we have a soft spot for logic games. We just like them and that’s it. We have a fair amount of them in our collection and would never turn down anything new.
This time we will be reviewing New game from Tailor Games – Commissioner Victor: The lost painting case. Did we like it? I wish you a nice reading.
WHAT GAME CONTAINS
Everything is contained in a medium sized box. What will we find along nicely written rulebook?
• 32 Suspect tiles
• 4 Commissioner Victor tiles
• 8 Innocence counters
• 22 Identity counters
I complained about the box for Squirrel Rush. I’m going to complain more. It’s a rare sight that the box has so much air in it. I understand that the publisher decided to make some standard of boxes for their game, but… just take a look:
Fortunately the rest of the components is high quality and graphics are pleasant for the eye.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Museum. Expansive paintings. Theft. Not once and not twice these words were the building blocks of a film’s scenario or book’s plot. This time they serve as a theme for the game. Our task is to take the role of one of the detectives, Commissioner Victor’s protégées. He gave us no easy task – finding the perpetrator of the theft of famous (and probably awfully expensive) painting from the local museum. The one to finish the task will be richly rewarded.
We will get some Suspect tiles and with them we will try to come up with description of man, who in our opinion committed the crime. Player with the most points wins
PREPARING THE GAME
Game setup takes few minutes. First, we have to prepare suspect tiles. To do this, we mix them and according to the number of players we remove some from the game. We form face-down stack from the rest of them. Put Commissioner Victor tiles on the bottom of the stuck in number equal to the number of players. Take tile from the top and put it revealed on the table, then each player draws three tiles. And that’s it. Game is ready to play.
FLOW OF THE GAME
Most logic games I know have really simple rules. Commissioner Victor is no different.
Game goes in turns. Each player will perform actions in clockwise order.
What can we do? There are 5 actions:
1 Taking off Innocence counters (Does not apply to the first turn) – Before your turn you have to remove your Innocence counters from the board to prevent obstructing you own movement.
2. Adding a tile to the game field (mandatory action) – we build a 5x5 square from tiles during the game. Tile must be placed so it neighbors with at least one edge of one other tile (just like in ex. Carcassonne).
3. Moving a tile (optional action) – before or after adding a tile you can move one tile already on the game field so it touches at least one other tile (just like in the “adding a tile” action). However, you can’t make a move that leaves game field in two or more unconnected clusters. There are some similarities with the Hive here. Just like in Hive you can’t move a tile that is blocked by other tiles.
4. Placing an Innocence counter (optional action) – At the end of your turn you can place one (in two-player game – two) counter on a chosen tile. This tile cannot be moved. This counter disappears at the beginning of your next turn.
5. Draw Suspect tile (mandatory action) – draw one tile from the stack. If you draw Commissioner Victor, then put it in front of you. This is how the end phase of the game begins. From now on you can’t take of Innocence counters. At the end of the game you will have one tile in your hand.
Ok. So now it would be good to explain what adding and moving tiles does. Each tile depicts a suspect’s description. Each character has 3 features: hairdo, eyes and mouth. So we must plan ahead so the last tile in our hand matches the board the most. What does it mean? You have to check all 5 rows and columns and check the frequency of features that are occurring in them. Now, if there are 3 characters with the same feature (ex. wearing glasses) as your last tile, you Get 1 point, for four – 3 and for 5 – 5. Player with the most points wins.
What can we say about Commissioner Victor? We are surprised. Really. I did not expect that game on some tiles can be so good. Game, while based on really simple rules, can be quite demanding and brain-heavy.
I really like the author’s approach to the game. Game could be easily based on shapes, colored icons and so on. Instead of this, we have some theme around the game, which gives this abstract game some flavor.
Game demands focus and paying attention to what happens on the field. Last time I complained (during the review of Squirrel Rush) that games with random factor for more than 2 players suffer from one particular syndrome. I mean the boring moments of waiting in between turns. Situation on the board is ever changing and we can’t do anything about it. We can only observe what’s happening. Luckily, we won’t experience this during playing Commissioner Victor. Game revolves on two dimensions, on hand and on the table. Situation on the table changes dynamically and we have to track it all the time. On the other hand, we need to keep track of the tiles in hand to have the best candidate for suspect at the end of the game.
Commissioner Victor is a game with random factor. It is not particularly annoying, but sometimes bad luck during tile drawing ties your hands. We can always change the strategy (play for a different suspect) and use tile moving. The problem is that it does not always work. Happens.
Play time. Games are quick. We don’t have much to do during our turn, but you still have to think it through. Luckily, game’s are not dragging. As I said earlier, we don’t have much time to be bored, because you need to always analyze the situation on the field while keeping track of your hand.
Scaling. Very good. Game works well with any number of players.
Replay value. Huge. Each time we face other field patter, so each time we have to think how to get the best score.
Attaching two-player “mini”-game was a genius move. I purposely put “mini” in quotes, because it could be standalone product. Completely different rules and approach to the theme. Searching connections between characters demands focus and logic skills. It is great fun.
Commissioner Victor is a great title to have in the collection, especially if you like logic games. This one is really good. Light game, which can force some thought. Should play well in every game group. We truly recommend it.
+ very easy rules,
+ needs thinking,
+ no down-time,
+ beautifully published,
+ high-quality components,
+ very good scaling,
- too big box,
- random factor which can really get on nerves from time to time.
Nice review. This game just entered my 'games of interest list for Essen'.
This got left in view after my editing of the Spiel Preview, due to its price.
I have only just now checked the rules and your review translation. Thanks for now ensuring it goes on my own Spiel geeklist.
- Last edited Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:20 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:19 pm