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Board Games That Use Deduction

Aug 15, 2008
A number of board games make their purpose to have players figure out a mystery, usually the murder of a character. Murder mysteries have quite a popular following in the board game world, as they generally raise the stakes higher than most other forms of mystery. With a number of suspects available, players usually race against each other to uncover information and solve the crime before the others. Sometimes, players play as the suspects themselves and other times they act as independent gumshoes. In either case, however, deduction board games are some of the most popular sources of entertainment in the gaming realm.

One such game, Orient Express, gives players the chance to use their highly developed skills of deduction and reasoning to solve an intriguing mystery. However, unlike other detective games, Orient Express doesn't end when the first player figures out the solution to the murder. The train is on a set path from Paris to Istanbul and will make its complete route before the game ends. It is the job of the players to solve the mystery within this time frame, and it is perfectly possible for more than one player to correctly solve the mystery by the time that the Orient Express reaches Istanbul.

Players begin the game by choosing one of 10 preset mysteries before the game starts. Each of these 10 mysteries has been predetermined and can only be played once. There is a common theme through all of the cases, in that a murder has been committed by one of the eight possible suspects and it is up to the players to solve the murder before the train reaches Istanbul and the murderer runs free. The eight different suspects under investigation are an actress, a ballerina, a colonel, a fortune-teller, a gambler, a diplomat, a baroness, and a count. Someone on the train was murdered by someone in that group and it is the duty of the players to discover who.

Another inventive deduction game is Mystery of the Abbey, which allows players the chance to solve a thrilling murder mystery while additionally providing a unique atmosphere to enhance the level of fun and game play. The goal of the game is to solve the murder of the unfortunate Brother Adelmo, who was discovered at the bottom of a cliff by the monastery. Twenty-four different monks live in the monastery and it is the goal of players to discover the murderer before anyone else. However, normal monastic life is still observed during this investigation, providing a number of twists during the game.

Suspects are divided into a number of different categories to distinguish them. All of the monks are either of the Templar, Franciscan, or Benedictine orders, and are either Fathers, Brothers, or Novices. They either wear hoods or they do not, are either clean-shaven or bearded, and are either fat or thin. With all of these different distinguishing characteristics, players can slowly narrow down the list of suspects until they feel confident enough to make an accusation. However, as the game progresses and players begin to learn more about the culprit, they make revelations. If these revelations prove correct at the end of the game, they can score points for the player. In the end, the player with the most points wins, making it possible to win the game without being the player who solved the murder. A unique twist on a mystery, both of these games give players the chance to play detective in an exotic setting.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit board games using deduction, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures.
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