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Ace Detective - Board Game Box Shot

Ace Detective

| Published: 2013
21 8 1
Ace Detective

A Noir Card Game by Richard Launius, featuring color and black/white artwork from the grand masters of detective pulp: Black Mask Magazine.

The year is 1941. Within 8 months, the United States will join in the war raging in Europe and brewing in the Pacific. However for the moment, the lives of most Americans continue in relative peace…unless you live in the City by the Bay.

In San Francisco... crimes, mysteries, and good old fashioned murder present unique challenges to detectives and residents alike - especially if you happen to be a detective investigating a dirty backroom deal inside a Neon lit nightclub, or a future criminal plotting against a spouse under a flickering streetlamp. It is up to you, the players, to create the story.

Ace Detective is a StoryTelling Card Game that rewards imagination and the turn of a good tale. Play your cards right, tell your story, and be rewarded the Plot Points needed to place clues on the suspects of the crime. But be careful. Everyone in this gritty city is competing to tell his/her own story... become the true Ace Detective.

Ace Detective Cards
images © 8th Summit

User Reviews (1)

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Went to Gen Con 2012
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
59 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“Story Telling Noir Style”

I knew the dame was trouble the moment she walked into my office. A young starlet has been found dead in her bed. The suspects her sister, a pompous actor, a successful business man,and a director. Who could have killed this young star?

Thus starts another game of Ace Detective. This is a story telling game. The game includes several murders in which you much discover who was the murderer. There are wonderful colored cards that you use to tell the story. Each of these story cards has a large image at the top followed by three smaller images. The large image tell you what type of card it is such as a person, place or danger; shown as a gun.

In order to lay a card down and add to the story your card must match one of the three smaller icons on the last card in the story chain. Some of these cards allow you to place a suspect token on one of the four suspects. These tokens, placed face down, have both positive and negative numbers thus allowing you to place a token with a negative number on someone you don’t want to be the murderer, and positive tokens that allow you to select the suspect.

Using a method that is very similar to one used in the game, Android, there is no right or wrong answer to the crimes. The tokens that you have placed on the suspects are added and subtracted and the suspect with the highest number is in fact the murderer, and the person with the most tokens on that suspect is the game winner.

Again this is a story telling game. If people you play with only place down story cards due to matching icons the story thread can be totally lost. Points are awarded to players as they tell the story, and plot points are used as money during the game. If you would like to purchase some more story cards, or clue cards, or move someone’s token from one person to another you pay using these plot points.

The story cards have words such as worker, driver, or strong legwork, which I think sometimes limits people’s imaginations. They see the words on the cards and think the card always has to be used that way. I am more of a believer that as long as you are describing a place on a place card or a person on a person card that the card does not have to match the image you are coming up with. I would love to have more of these cards. We usually go through all the cards each time we play, and more variety would be great.

Sometimes it is difficult to know if you want to play a card that makes the story better or play a card that allows you to place or move a token so that you can better be in control of who is the murderer. I’m not sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed the game more as simply a story telling game, that ended with someone winning who had the most points from telling their story.

If you play with a group that love old 40’s detective stories be sure to give the game a try. After all it’s a dark and story night, and a murder is on the lose. Bring out your bottle of Whiskey, set back in your chair in your PI’s office, and set out to discover a murderer. Tell a good story, and enjoy.


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