MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House is the sequel to the map searching, mystery solving, smash hit from publishers Edition Spielwiese and Pegasus Spiele. Designed by Johannes Sich, featuring artwork from Daniel Goll and Tobias Jochinke, the game sees players once again working their way through cases, though in a new part of the crime city. This section has a canal, dockyard and still plenty of crimes to be solved. However, is this just more of the same, and is that a bad thing? Let’s find out!
Crime is back! Or perhaps it never left this part of the city. Opening up the large 75 x 110 cm city map, players are greeted by an elaborate, detailed city. It’s not just a snapshot in time though, with it possible to see the characters depicted at various times throughout their day. This allows players to piece together where they started their day, where they went and perhaps what they did or what happened to them along the way.
Coming with 16 cases, marked with a difficulty and an “adult theming” parental rating, these work in the same way as the original. Working as a team the players flip the top card of the selected case. This points them to find someone or something on the map. With potentially the victim of the crime found they will be tasked by the next card to discover, deduce or determine something. This could be where they came from, where they ended or perhaps who was following them along the street.
When players think they have determined the answer to the question they flip the card over. The reverse of the cards will show a coordinate that reveals the answer. Regardless of if they are correct the team can then continue on. One player can be a lead investigator and look when the team guesses, enabling the remaining players to guess again if they were incorrect – potentially giving a hint if the team really needs it. The team works through the cards and slowly pieces together what happened, who committed the crimes and maybe even why. There’s no points to score, simply getting to the end of the cases is the aim of the game.
The 16 cases vary in length and difficulty. There’s an introductory case which is 5 cards long and gives little tips on how the game plays. This gets players used to the game before they jump into the rest. There’s no particular order though it makes sense to work through the lower difficulty rated cases first. The longest case, named like the game “Full House”, is 15 cards long and may or may not take you all across the map. Regardless of their length though, each draws your attention to new wonderful details on the map that you had missed before.
MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House fixes one of the issues families may have had with the original. By including an indication of how adult the theme of each case is, parents can decide what they are comfortable with letting their children see – at least sort of. The full map is always visible, so everything can be seen. However, the motives and the crimes committed might not be obvious to everyone, without the nudges from the case cards. The parental rating is therefore a nice touch that goes some of the way, though the game still doesn’t feel like the family friendly experience it looks like it should be.
Akin to the original, MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House claims to be a game for 1 – 4 players. Again it would be possible to play the game at 4 but the experience wouldn’t be the same. Trying to follow characters and determine details upside down isn’t easy, making it a better experience for everyone involved to be seeing the map from one direction. Squeezing 4 people along one side of a table to see the giant map isn’t comfortable and even then if the detail in question is on one side of the map or the other and not perfectly in the middle it would still be a struggle for all to see. At 2, or perhaps with multiple smaller children, the game is a much smoother experience to enjoy, with each player easily able to see all of the map from the same side of a table and equally share in the discoveries.
MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House is more of the same, but it is a great “same” that continues to elevate the Where’s Wally logic of finding things into a memorable experience. If you had issues with the original then, unless it was the lack of parental advice on what cases contain, you won’t find a revolutionised experience here. In my review of the original I mentioned burning through the cases and eagerly awaiting the release of MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House. Once again we have powered our way through the cases, loving the details on the glorious, large, map and crime filled stories. Here’s to hoping more is yet again on the way!
(Editor’s Note: MicroMarco: Crime City – Full House was provided to us by Asmodee for the review. The game is currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)