I tried CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Board Game yesterday with Johanna. We both like the show, but have a healthy suspicion towards licensed games. Most of them suck, that’s general knowledge.
Unfortunately CSI isn’t one of the good ones. The eight (yeah, just eight) crime stories are good, very much in style of the series. However, it’s the game that doesn’t function. Well, it does, but in a very boring way. Forget all about deduction, CSI is a roll-and-move race to the different members of Grissom’s team. Players must get clue from each department and then do it once again and on the third time, they can either check all the clues or go to Grissom to state their suspicions.
What’s even better, players must hit the departments with an exact roll, making sure there’s as much pointless die-rolling as possible. We, obviously, ditched that rule immediately. However, that took of most of the tension in the game. That’s bad.
The whole system is very messy. There’s lots of cards to handle and the whole pointless board. The expansion set can be played without the main set using a special 12-sided die — I have a feeling that might be a better solution.
It’s not completely bad. The stories do catch the atmosphere of the show (even if the game doesn’t offer any excitement) and people who aren’t used to better might not mind the roll-and-move mechanism. However, I don’t think I’m going to play the game again. I think I’ll just read the cards to enjoy the stories.