Secrets and clues are the name of the game in the upcoming Watson & Holmes, a competitive race through London to solve some of Sherlock's most notorious cases. Beyond its tokens and characters, the game is made up of thirteen cases, each including a case book and a number of location cards. With all of these components combined, players will be introduced to a mystery, collect related information from various locations, and attempt to solve the case and confirm their suspicions, all while racing against the other players. To avoid spoiling any of these thirteen cases, we have devised one case for the purposes of demonstration and examples. Here, you will get a look at the case book from that bonus case and a few location cards containing clues of varying importance. With each piece of information revealed, your view of the truth will either become clearer or more muddled. Only by moving forward and exploring the most curious of London's locations will you be able to locate the answers you need to return to 221B Baker Street and solve the mystery.
Case X, as we call this bonus adventure, begins in Holmes' apartment, with Doctor Watson and the great detective tolerating an uneventful day in. A boy, Arthur Craig, arrives nervous, shy, and in need of assistance. He explains that his sister has been accused of a horrendous crime. Her former employer, Doctor Bont, has come up dead and foaming at the mouth, and as it was Madeleine who found the body, she is, of course, the most obvious suspect. The boy shares that his sister of pure heart, as anyone would, but also that he was in her company when the alleged murder occurred. It couldn't have been her!
The pertinent details of the case are many, some of which we will leave for you to discover on your first read through of the full case, but let's talk locations. The boy brings up a few key spots related to both the whereabouts of his sister and the doctor on the day in question. The murder presumably took place on Monday, when Madeleine was set to begin her new position at the South Kensington Museum. Arthur says that he was there with her then. Maybe a quick stop at the museum will give you some surprising context...
You may also be thinking that the murder scene is a good place to begin—a logical line of thought that would lead you to the location of Bont's Surgery. Arthur described the scene in brief, though Holmes has always been in favor of a first-hand look. It is, after all, the observation of trifles upon which his famous method is founded. If you can view and investigate the scene at which the murder occurred, you may very well be able to extract details that would go unobserved by the untrained eye.
Fortunately, here on this page, you have no competition. However, it is possible in the gameplay of Watson & Holmes that you will be unable to visit either of the above locations. Whether there are police present that you are unable to call off or a fellow investigator simply has more carriages, you may have to redirect your investigation to another location.
You may also be led elsewhere by small hints, or even after having read the cards above. For example, your first thought after leaving Bont's Surgery may be to ask around the area. Arthur mentioned that it was directly across from one of the entrances to Hyde Park, and about that, at least, he did not lie. How convenient that the Baker Street Irregulars tend to frequent the area. Maybe they saw something...
If however, your first visit was to the museum, you would have learned that Madeleine's departure from Bont's employ was financially motivated. A trip to the bank and the use of Holmes' many connections may be next on your list. Murder and other crimes of the sort are often motivated by money, or the lack thereof. Perhaps some mark on the doctor's account ledger will lead you forward in your investigation.
Each location you visit will provide new information to guide your next steps. Even an uneventful trip can tell you something of which you were previously unaware. With fifteen locations to explore in Case X, there will be numerous paths to follow, and your other investigations will be no different. At any point along the way, you may decide you've answered all of the questions indicated in your case file, at which point you would return to 22B Baker Street to confirm the facts.
You may now be wondering what happened to the doctor... You're in good company, friend. You're also in good luck! Alongside the release of Watson & Holmes, the full file for Case X will be available to download and print as an extension of your game copy. The cards, however, are only half of the fun. Between your dwindling supply of scarce carriages, the unique characters (and as friends of Sherlock, they are certainly quite the characters), and the many obstacles between you and the answers you seek, your investigative quest will invite a world of complexity and curiosity onto your tabletop.
Watson & Holmes will be available in stores in early 2017!