Welcome to Crime City, a place where if you look close enough, you can find almost any kind of crime, from bullying a little kid for his candy to taking bribes in a back alley to robbing a bank. Team up with up to three other players to solve each case and some of the many crimes in MicroMacro: Crime City.
The first thing you will find in the box (besides the manual) is a massive city map depicting Crime City and the cases you will follow throughout the game. The map is 75cm x 110cm, so when playing, you will want to have a nice big flat surface or consider sticking the map on a wall if you don’t have a big enough table.
To see all the fine details of this massive map, where some characters are as small as a few millimetres, you also get a little rectangular magnifying glass made of plastic, so there is no fear of breaking it quickly, but be careful not to lose it! The box comes with a sticker for your magnifying glass that helps so that you don’t lose it.
The box comes with 120 cards that detail steps, questions and answers, split up into 16 different cases for you to figure out, which you can neatly file away in 16 little clear envelopes that perfectly fit the size of the cards.
How do you play it?
Setting it up is effortless, thanks to how the game is made. First of all, you will find your magnifying glass and MicroMacro sticker in the box, and the manual’s first instruction is to have fun with your sticker and put it on the bottom of the magnifying glass.
Then, you will want to take your 120 cards out of their packaging. Refrain from shuffling them! Avoid looking at the back of the cards so that you don’t spoil the answers for yourself, and use the icons on the top right to sort your cards into separate clear envelopes. The icons show which case the card is a part of without revealing too many details and which step of the investigation the card is. Keep the cards in order and together in their own envelope to avoid confusion.
Now you will want to spread out your map so everyone playing can see it, either in a place with a lot of natural lighting or where lights can easily be turned on so that you can see everything. The details on the map are tiny, so you will need to be able to see everything correctly.
One player should be chosen as the Lead Investigator to hold the cards for that case so that others can’t see the back and that the investigation won’t be spoiled for anyone. From there, pick a case and start investigating!
Each case will start with a white card with the name of the case on it, as well as a difficulty rating based on stars out of 5. More complicated cases will have a higher star rating. The icon in the top left describes what you can expect to find in that case to help parents decide if they want their children to be involved in the case, ranging from no depictions of murder, physical violence, or sexuality to explicit. Parents are urged to play through explicit cases before allowing their kids to play.
Once you have started your case, each card will have a task that needs to be completed to solve the case. The answer to each task will be on the back of that card. When investigators are solving the case, they need to find a scene on the map that confirms their solution, and the coordinates on the map must match the pin on the card.
Once the group is ready to guess, the Lead Investigator can turn over that task card to see if they are correct. If correct, players hear what is on the card and then move on to the next task. If incorrect, the Lead Investigator flips the card back over, tells the group they are incorrect, and isn’t allowed to help now that they know the answer (unless they are completely stuck and need a hint).
What did we think of MicroMacro: Crime City?
MicroMacro: Crime City is an incredibly entertaining game, with little scenes throughout the map that might not even be related to the crime cases throughout the game. Solving the crimes and finding proof, finding where a killer stashed a murder weapon, finding out where the killer is hiding or simply who committed the crime is incredibly fun, and finding the scenes on a map that is so crowded feels like a real achievement.
We found it more fun to play in a group of just two people than more, as too many people looking for the same tiny scene can cause some head-butting, and I mean literally.
The only sad thing about the game is that once you know where to find the scene on the map and have solved the case, there is no element of replayability to the game, so it’s more or less a one-and-done experience. Pegasus Spiele has tried to fix this by expanding the board game with two others, each with their own maps. Still, it would be fantastic if you could get updated case packs to keep the game entertaining and allow some replayability.
Alternatively, once we realised that we would only be able to play MicroMacro: Crime City once, we resolved that once we had completed the game, we would go through each case and start colouring in the relevant scenes, working our way through the black and white map and giving the massive map a second chance at life once you have solved the cases.
For more information on MicroMacro: Crime City and to get the game for yourself, head over to solarpop.co.za.
MicroMacro: Crime City
MicroMacro: Crime City is an enjoyable experience where you get to solve mysteries and become an investigator, but because of the nature of the game, it can only be played once.
It can be played by just one person, or up to four people
Super easy to set up
Parental guidance is necessary for violent depictions throughout the map
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