Try Animals of Baker Street: Hot Adventure

gender : study, story
Number of players : 1 to 4 players
Game duration : 45-60 minutes (90 minutes for the last case)
Offered price : From €34 to €37.90
Authors / Editor : Clementine Beauvais – David Neale / IELLO
Illustrator : Biboon

Sit around a table, have an adventure, discover a criminal, solve unsolved mysteries…, investigative games are an opportunity to have a pleasant and immersive time. But too often doing research can also exclude parts of the public, starting with children struggling to reach their parents when the focus of the research is a very bleeding predator. Finally, it was before The Beasts of Baker Street, which combined a warm investigative adventure with the welcome little vibrissae of “young” and old.

Today is not a day like any other: As a new day passes on the famous street of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes is not the same… The famous detective has lost his hat and can no longer hold my hand. . For his part, good old Toby screams and barks. But this behavior hides something. In fact, he is speaking to a small group that is unlike any other. A small group consisting of the frog Lemon, the bird Sorbier, the Mahogany mouse and the tarantula Calabash.

These four little feathers, hair, skin and… brrrr… spider… are actually what we’d call the “men” of the crown’s most famous sleuth, and by the way, a big fat sloth. rather than gnawing on his bone at the bottom of the stove, rather than investigating. Honestly, this is good because it allows us to dive in Baker Street Animalsan investigation game, you understand, unlike any other.

And above all, an exploration game is far from being a “first attempt” production, as it is the result of the collaboration of two people with experience in the fields of writing and playfulness. On the one hand, Sherlock Holmes – Consulting Detective: Baker Street Mavericks, Holmes in the Unlocking series, or Dave Neale, who we know for two investigations related to Echoes in another register. On the other hand, childhood and youth writer Clémentine Beauvais. The result is as charming as it is solid in its genre, even if it can’t get everyone on board.

Because the mix can be explosive, it’s divisive nonetheless. We’re not going to beat around the bush to explain the ins and outs you already understand, Animals of Baker Street isn’t a detective game in its Consulting Detective guise compared to the universe in which it takes place. . No, it won’t be a matter of brainstorming or failing to find the culprit. At worst, the players around the table will run out of time because they didn’t solve the mystery fast enough. Something the game will give a simple answer to” No big deal, ignore the time now and continue exploring at your own pace “. But you have to admit that sometimes it’s nice too. It avoids feeling silly about not succeeding like Sherlock in solving a puzzle in five moves.

But that’s not why Baker Street Animals it is not at the head of the reflection that the investigator prevents any sense of pleasure. Because if the beginning is simply to find the famous deer hunter as a tutorial, we quickly discover six consecutive studies that work perfectly and weave an adventure that will even go so far as to confuse the animal and human kingdoms.

This is one of the other things I really like about this adventure. Without relying on anthropomorphism (which I greatly appreciate), Animals of Baker Street plays the card of the parallel lives the animals lead in our company, and it’s fun to see the two worlds collide time and time again. moments of tenderness that only animals can give us. With neurons, fancy or not, investigations that could rarely keep us stuck for more than a few seconds offered us a touch of role-playing, capturing reflections, small voices, playful mimics and grunts. Bring to life a universe that leaves a real emotional imprint. And above all, anything but the feeling of spending a few hours in a boredom that never manages to tickle our soul at the end.

But let’s stop talking about sensations to dwell a little on mechanics. Because we must not forget that in order to benefit from this quality narrative, it will be necessary to solve the mysteries of the animals of Baker Street. And in this register, like Consulting Detective, no complex mechanics will prevent enjoyment. Like page numbers for reading, the neighborhood surrounding Baker Street is divided into areas that can be explored at leisure (or almost): a sewer where rats lurk and threaten strangers with their presence, a burrow, intelligent moles who can read, a laziness-as-lazy hedgehog hideout. a bush, a slightly crazy squirrel tree, Sherlock’s apartment…, going there will lead to dialogs. and a set of clues based on cards to be handed over and kept. It is clear that while playing the role of time saver, it will be necessary to act intelligently without making mistakes, reacting to the stimuli provided by the events. A made-from-scratch example would be a good way to learn more if you want to learn how a person is burned, researching in a drugstore, even if later you have to visit the mall to understand the strange characters that only they can translate. on this piece of paper pointing in the right direction. Elementary… just like a game that makes you feel comfortable with the gears after just a few minutes of reading the rules.

In fact, you guessed it, progressing through The Beasts of Baker Street will certainly be like embarking on an intellectual treasure hunt that doesn’t try to burn the brains out of the table for everyone’s benefit. . And it is at this moment that cleavage will occur. The most engrossed will love to follow the conclusion, the children will enjoy the adventure that is far from simple for them, while the most robust and greedy in the field of puzzles/mysteries will be worried about the clues and the flame. good decisions must be made.

Anyway, one thing is for sure, as players who are used to Detective Council, Unlock, Watson and Holmes, etc., we had a good time. Already, thanks to the general atmosphere of the title, with its very pleasant and immersive potential, even if we do not touch on the madness of the role-playing game (you should hear the sound of our mouse). Then, thanks to a fun and very effective little mechanic based on cards and powers, it simply asks you to compare the side of the card in your hand with the side of the newly discovered card. Is the pass closed? So take the powerful spider card that can clear the way. Do the parts of the numbered magnifying glass fit? Then draw the associated card, this deduction was correct. And so on. potentially changes in the set, the time of night, the evolution of circumstances, the collection of a clue or phrase, even an important event…, many cards that can be linked together to progress again. and still until the end of the investigation, clearly gratinated with beautiful narrative lines. In short, enough to offer a fun dynamism and give the youngest and parents like us quality grain to grind in a complete concept.

In short, for experienced players Baker Street Animals it’s closer to a fun story-telling role-playing adventure than the brainstorming typical of hard-core mystery games. Of course, we’d love to see this team of furry and furry charmers stick to more complex puzzles than we’ve come across. Of course, we’d love to cut our teeth a bit on the more acerbic puzzles. Of course, we would like to question our deductions of false statements or contradictions, although a few times the hesitation won us over without further violence… But in the end it could hurt the taste. with soft little paws intended as a moment of pleasant relaxation.

Gamelove Verdict:

Even if Beasts of Baker Street remains a game where real thought and insight are necessary for successful exploration, its mild difficulty and ambient charm give it all the contours of a narrative adventure full of wit in the world. Sherlock Holmes. It’s cute, docile, and approachable, so it’s out of the question to have an intense reflexive crisis over its six-case cut epic (+ a tutorial). In fact, becoming addicted to Baker Street Animals is like embarking on an adventure that allows for some great family time, where traffic jams are as rare as they are epic. But this it does not in any way prevent it from being very agreeable to anyone who wishes to devote himself to it, fully acquainted with the facts.

We love

– An adventure in a lovely universe
– Undeniable writing quality
– Artistic claw to fall back
– A great way to bring parents and children together around a series of investigations
– Very easy access card system like game mechanics
– Fast installation for games with effective duration (45-60 minutes for request, 1 hour 30 for last)
– This small side role is very pleasant
– Baker Street is an adventure on the edge of human life

We don’t love

– A simple exploration game
– It is inevitable that some of the expert players will leave in the dock
– After the tutorial and six quests, it will be hard to go back

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