I extolled my great praises with Suspects: Clair Harper Takes the Stage, the first installment of Studio H’s wonderful mystery series of board games. And the third installment is on the way in the form of Suspects 3: Adele and Neville!
Suspects 3 is designed by Guillaume Montiage. The game features three unique mystery cases that the upstart detective duo – Adele and Neville – must solve. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra eyes on the case before the police arrive, right?
Although the cases are standalone, there is a slight over-arching story that connects them all together. So, feel free to pick and choose which case you want to start with and go from there!
What do we think about Suspects 3? Grab your magnifying glass and let’s dive in!
Suspects 3 Gameplay
Just like its predecessors, Suspects 3: Adele and Neville begins with an overview of the case and then grants you some additional documents and a deck of cards with which to begin your investigation. You’re basically handed a few different people and locations to visit, which will then begin to open up the case for you in the form of new leads and information.
Deciding to investigation a lead will give you card matching the indicated number. This, in turn, could invite you to ask additional questions or do further investigation in that area, granting you more cards. The cards essentially mimic the passage of time; the more cards that it takes for you to solve the mystery, the worse off your result.
Your goal is to correctly answer the questions posed to you by the case. You’ll always want to reach these first, before you begin, to give you a better idea of where you should be focusing your efforts. Additionally, the questions themselves won’t be immediately pertinent until the case starts unfolding before you.
At different thresholds of the case – when you have drawn certain numbers of cards – you should evaluate your answers to these questions. You can always change your mind, but however many cards you’ve revealed up to that point will dictate your score for that particular question. But it always pays to at least guess something at each of these checkpoints.
Hopefully in the end you’ll be able to correctly solve the case, and put Adele and Neville in good standing with their crime-solving reputations!
Staking Our C.L.A.I.M. on Suspects 3: Adele and Neville!
Suspects 3: Adele and Neville‘s components are a carbon-copy of the earlier Suspects titles, which is great. I love the record disc in the first case, and there are so many little clues on the documents that make sense as you play through the mysteries.
There’s also very little plastic in the game, save for the thin bands that hold the card decks together, in lieu of plastic wrap. Everything else is paper, which is a nice environmental touch that I appreciate as an avid gamer.
That’s all you need for this game. There are no real fancy bells or whistles because all of the information is just in the cards and what you can deduce for yourself! Revel in the simplicity.
As with many modern mystery games, you can expect there to be some red herrings in Suspects 3: Adele and Neville. I find myself often taking a beat to think before deciding if a certain line of questioning is likely worth pursuing. What sorts of information could you possibly gain from that particular question? Obviously you can’t predict it entirely, but the goal is to solve the case with as few clues as possible.
The other bit of strategy advice I can give is that you should definitely keep notes. This is something that’s mentioned in the rules, but oftentimes the timing of happenings in the case becomes important for you to piece together the tableau of what happened. Things that don’t immediately seem vital to the case can reveal themselves to you in this way!
The thing I appreciate most about the aesthetics in Suspects 3: Adele and Neville, is the consistency through the iconography in the sequels. Even if you haven’t played a game in the Suspects line since the first one, the level of intuition afforded by the design makes it super easy to pick up. There might be a handful of newer icons in the cases, but I felt very comfortable with what they represented.
On top of that, the visuals for each case are thematically tied to that case. Take, for example, The Candy Love. As you can see from the images I’ve shared so far, there is this 70s music kind of vibe, and that carries through all of the documents, fonts, etc. It’s the little touches that evoke that kind of imagery, and it’s so well done throughout the game.
With many different mystery games out there, what sets Suspects 3: Adele and Neville apart? I’ve already spoken at length about how the simplicity of the Suspects games put the emphasis on your own abilities to deduce and solve the mysteries. The Candy Love, which is the first case, is listed as ‘Easy’ but it still is a decent challenge to piece together the clues. And the game does a wonderful job at making you think you know what’s going on before flipping everything on its head.
So far all of the Suspects cases I’ve played have involved a murder, so the stakes are high! Of course, there really isn’t any replayability, although I’ve managed to replay cases with friends who are experiencing them for the first time as well. It’s just as fun to sit back and watch the thought processes unfold, periodically asking questions while the team does their best to solve the crimes.
Oh this game can be agonizing! This is especially apparent when you pursue a line of questioning that ends up in a dead end, leaving you with cards that count against your total. Your success with Suspects 3: Adele and Neville can also be dependent on the order by which you pursue those leads. That’s why it’s very important to think about every decision that you make to ensure you’re confident that it will lead you in the right direction.
By having multiple questions that you’re intended to solve, the game also gives you gratification for partially getting the case correct. It’s not an all-of-nothing kind of situation. This is really nice because it makes you feel good when you are right. And even when you’re wrong, going back to see what you might have missed is just as enjoyable, giving you those ‘Aha’ moments.
Suspects 3: Adele and Neville: Can You Solve the Case?
Suspects 3: Adele and Neville picks up right where the Suspects line left off: a tangible treat for amateur crime-solvers everywhere. Channel your inner Holmes and see if you have what it takes to stack up against the great team of Adele and Neville!
Once again, Studio H delivers in a big way with Suspects 3: Adele and Neville. I’m happy to give the Nerds on Earth Seal of Awesomeness award to Suspects 3, citing its ability to make me feel smart even in the face of defeat. It’s easily my favorite line of mystery games, and I can’t wait to try my hand at cracking some more cases!
You can find Suspects 3: Adele and Neville in the USA through Hachette Boardgames when it releases on October 11th, or try to find it at your FLGS!.
Disclaimer: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of Suspects 3: Adele and Neville from Hachette Boardgames in exchange for an honest review.