Tuesday, September 28, 2021
MicroMacro - Crime City
I labeled this post as board game, but that label is debatable. MicroMacro - Crime City is a game which is played on a large city map, and doesn't really involve a board or meeples. It might be actually easier to play this with the map pinned on a wall, rather than spread out on a table. But while being very far from any other board game I own, MicroMacro is an absolutely brilliant game in the detective genre. It is easier to show than to explain, so fortunately there is an online demo case.
To some extent MicroMacro traces its lineage back to Where's Wally / Waldo? books. Finding specific characters on a large illustration full of many other characters is part of the challenge. However, in the Wally / Waldo books the challenge ends there, while in MicroMacro that is just the starting point. The city map with the many characters is not a snapshot in time, but time passes when moving from one location to another. So you can find the same character several times on the map, and follow his story. Very often the direction in which a character is going is a hint on where to find the previous image in the series, and the next one.
The game in this is that you get a set of cards that ask you questions about the story. For example you might first be asked to find a specific crime scene and be given some general directions; then you might be asked where the victim was earlier, or where the criminal went afterwards. By following all these series in time you end up figuring out the whole story of the crime. As I said, best to play the demo case linked above to understand the principle.
MicroMacro is the sort of game you can bring to a family gathering, e.g. for the various upcoming holidays. Pretty much anybody can play. After some complaints, the developers added age recommendations to the various cases; so if there are younger children you don't want to confront with murder or infidelity themes, you can find cases that don't involve anything critical. But while there is a tiny exhibitionist opening his raincoat on the map somewhere, this is all very harmless, and shouldn't really shock any children above the recommended age of 10. The big draw of MicroMacro is that you can get people to play who never play board games. And it's a very positive experience, everybody always feels happy and clever when they figured a case out on the map, regardless of age.
There are already two versions of the game out, Crime City and Crime City - Full House. In Europe they cost between €20 and €25, but looking at Amazon.com the game appears hard to get in North America. Whether you want to play it solo, with a significant other, or the whole family, this is a game I would recommend.
Labels: Board Games