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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen’s Park Two Player Review

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All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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Do you want to feel like Sherlock Holmes as you attempt to make your way through case after case solving them with ease, or possibly realize that you’re nothing like the famous detective and struggle with every mystery?  Well, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen’s Park will let you get to the bottom of it and see if you have a true detective within you!

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen's Park Review

6 out of 10
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen’s Park Review Block

Is it Good For Two Players? : Yes, probably the best player count for this game.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen’s Park is a pretty unique gaming experience. It is a more board-gamey version of those subscription date night mystery games.  It may not be super polished and perfect, but it does capture the theme and feeling of solving cases like the famous detective quite well. This game might be one of the most subjective we have reviewed thus far as its enjoyment will really depend on the people playing it. 

Theme: 9/10
Replayability: 3/10
Components: 4/10
Conflict: 0/10
Fun: 6/10

Husband’s Rating
6 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
6 out of 10

Pros

Provides a unique investigative gaming experience

A popular theme that can appeal to a wide range of players

Quite a bit of content.  Even though the game is not likely replayable it does have 10 unique cases

Cons

Not as polished as it could be

Quite a steep learning curve for players new to these games in terms of what the game expects them to do

No good mechanisms in place to assist players who are struggling with a case. 

Scoring feels tacked on and Sherlock’s path to the solution usually feels impossible

This is a hefty game, when you pick up the box like I did you will already enter detective mode to figure out why it’s so freaking heavy.  The box is filled with paper and loads of it.  Paper always seems so light until you shove a board game sized box to the brim with it.  After looking at booklet after booklet for each of the 10 cases included in the game I realized this is probably a game you need to be in the right mindset to enjoy. 

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen's Park
Lots and lots of paper

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House is our first foray into these games so we had no expectations or experience with what this game had to offer.  All we knew was it wasn’t your typical board game and was more akin to an escape room or murder mystery style subscription box game.  So, we had the impression this wasn’t the type of thing to pull out when you want to play a true board game but wanted more of a puzzle style activity instead.

So we waited for a night when we felt like we had the mental capacity and fortitude to attempt to pretend to be like Sherlock Holmes.  We had just recently finished the Sherlock BBC series so if that’s any indication of the cases to come, we knew we had to be in tip-top mental shape, so we slapped on our 10 Nicotine Patches and cracked open the box.

Fast forward to three hours later, and we’re still rubbing our heads in contemplation with the solution to the case undetermined.  We thought we had looked at every aspect and explored every avenue but still felt as if we had no certainty in what the answer to the case’s mystery was.  

We had a giant notepad of clues we had explored and new information we had discovered but we were almost more confused than we were at the start of the case.  In other words, let’s just say we felt nothing like the famous detective Sherlock.

Since it was super late and our nicotine patches were wearing off we decided to call it quits and see what the solution was to the case, and see if we had the answers to each question presented.  Let’s just say we did not, and no, we’re not going to admit how bad we actually did.

After seeing the answers though we started to realize this might not be the game for the super over-analytical like ourselves.  We had explored so many avenues and followed so many clue paths that were just entirely irrelevant and didn’t pick up on some of the most obvious paths.  

We have played more cases since this one but each time we still fall victim to looking too deeply at the minor details, overthinking the entire case, and not seeing the obvious path to the solution.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Rules Summary:

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective has players reading a case (more reading than you would probably expect) and then just leaves players to explore on their own.  There are no directives or questions to follow initially, players just choose what paths to explore in an attempt to see what’s truly going on in each particular case.

Players have various maps, a directory, and sometimes newspapers and other items at their disposal and will need to use these tools to follow leads, interview suspects or persons of interest, and find the information they are looking for.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen's Park Map, Directory and Newspapers
The tools at your disposal

How this actually works is players decide on a person, place, or point of interest that they want to investigate, look the said thing up in the directory if needed, and then read its respective chapter in the case book.  If the players are on the right track the chapter will have pertinent information that will help them explore further into the case.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen's Park Directory
Example of the directory pages

Players can continue to investigate as long as they wish, but once they feel they have enough information to fully understand the case they flip to the back of the case book which will have multiple questions about the case.  After attempting to answer the questions, players can head to the solution section of the case book to see how well they did and read Holme’s conclusion to the case.

Players can then tally up their scores and see how well their investigation stacks up to the famous detective’s.  Players get points for each question they answered correctly and then subtract points for how many more leads they followed than Sherlock.  

Conclusion:

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen’s Park is a pretty unique gaming experience.  As we said it is almost a more board-gamey version of those subscription date night mystery games.  It may not be super polished and perfect, but it does capture the theme and feeling of solving cases like the famous detective quite well.

If you haven’t played a game like this before you may not know what to expect.  There is a lot of reading required to play this game, like 90% of it is reading and we’re not exaggerating.  So if this isn’t your thing and you make fun of your friends that actually like books, this might not be the game for you.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen's Park Cases
Look at all the reading!

Since reading is such a big part of the game, it is quite important that it is all correct, which the game mostly succeeds at.  Many people argue that these games have too many errors and incorrect translations, but we did not find it that bad and were able to make our way through cases without much frustration in terms of misunderstanding the writing.

We did have many, many frustrations with the game for other reasons though, all of which were almost entirely due to our personal tastes.  We are overthinkers, there’s no question about it.  That type of personality and mindset does not mesh well with this game in our opinion.  

Paying attention to minor details will have players spending countless hours exploring pointless paths and leads, only to find out they knew nothing about the case at the end of the game. This is especially true if this is your first foray into these Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games and are not entirely sure how they work.

It took us multiple cases before we realized that 70% of the leads we were looking into were barely relevant to the case.  The game expects you to not really think things through that deeply and instead leap from one clue to the next.  Once you can accept this, the game is actually quite enjoyable and fun, but for personality types like us that can be quite a difficult feat.

The game requiring these large logical leaps wouldn’t be as big of an issue if the minor leads pushed players back on the right track, but in our experience, once you get “lost in the weeds” in a Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective game, you kind of get stuck there.  

The minor leads don’t lead you to the solution in a more drawn-out way, they kind of just distract you from the key piece of information that you’re missing.  Even worse, the longer you get distracted, the harder it is mentally to go back and try and figure out the piece of the puzzle that you’re missing.  

This is why our first few cases of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Carlton House dragged on for hours.  We got fed up and frustrated and turned to the questions only to realize we knew nothing about the case.  Slowly though we got a little better, but it’s still a struggle for us to not get lost in the details.  We just wish there was some sort of “catch-up” mechanism put into these games to push people who have strayed from the solution too far back onto the right track.  

So while these games might not be for us, in no way does that mean they are bad games.  If you are able to get comfortable with what Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games want you to do, or if you aren’t an over-analytical mess like us you will probably find the games much less of a struggle and more enjoyable than we did.

This game might be one of the most subjective we have reviewed thus far as its enjoyment will really depend on the people playing it. 

Is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House and Queen’s Park Good For 2 Players?

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Carlton House probably plays best with just two players in our opinion.  As we said, it’s super important to not get lost in the details of this game in order to enjoy it and not get frustrated or have each case take countless hours.

If you have a lot of players trying to make their way through the case, people will want to explore different things since we’re human and we all think a little differently.  So one would assume the more people playing, the higher the potential is to explore too many minor details and take too many offshoot leads.

With more people playing it will also take longer to agree upon what to investigate, lengthening the game.  You could take turns to avoid having to discuss what path to take but this leads right back into the issue of exploring too many irrelevant leads.

Playing with two players makes discussions simple and allows decisions to be made together much easier.   It might make it more likely for players to not reach the ideal solution, but it definitely provides a smoother and less complicated team dynamic cooperative gaming experience.  

The only benefit we can see to playing with more players is that if you do get off track, there’s a possibility that somebody in your group might be able to pull your group back to where it needs to be before you get too lost.

Pros:

  • Provides a unique investigative gaming experience. 
  • A popular theme that can appeal to a wide range of players.
  • Quite a bit of content.  Even though the game is not likely replayable it does have 10 unique cases.

Cons:

  • Not as polished as it could be
  • Quite a steep learning curve for players new to these games in terms of what the game expects them to do.
  • No mechanisms in place to assist players who are struggling with a case.  This can make game nights feel wasted and frustrating if you get too lost and don’t even come close to the solution.
  • Scoring feels tacked on and Sherlock’s path to the solution usually feels impossible.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - Carlton House & Queen's Park Board Game - Captivating Mystery Game for Kids & Adults, Ages 14+, 1-8 Players, 90 Min Playtime, Made by Space Cowboys
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - Carlton House & Queen's Park Board Game - Captivating Mystery Game for Kids & Adults, Ages 14+, 1-8 Players, 90 Min Playtime, Made by Space Cowboys
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - Carlton House & Queen's Park Board Game - Captivating Mystery Game for Kids & Adults, Ages 14+, 1-8 Players, 90 Min Playtime, Made by Space Cowboys

We hope this Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Carlton House and Queen's Park two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


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