13th Dec2023

‘Perspectives’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In the style of Mysterium Park and Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Perspectives is a fully cooperative deduction game that includes three separate cases that take place over four acts each. Every act takes around twenty to thirty minutes, giving the players around seven hours of content in the box. In this review I’ve taken pictures from the cards used in the first act of the first case only, and this definitely constitutes minor spoilers, but I would like to think that without context and relevance, you’ll have forgotten whatever you see by the time you pick up the game.

I’m also going to mention now that I’m calling this a “mini-review” because Perspectives is such a unique concept that I can’t say too much without spoiling the experience for you. What I will say is that you’ll need at least two to six players to enjoy Perspectives and whilst I played it with two, I feel that the experience will be quite different at say, six. This is because during the setup for each act, you’ll deal the 12 cards from that act evenly between the players in a specific order, and assuming you intend to play without any of the instructions that Perspectives easier, only one player will see each card.

The setup is simple – each act focuses on a specific crime, and you and your friends must solve it. The act will start by asking you a simple question – and this helps focus the players on a simple, single objective to zone in on the cards in front of them. Usually, I would use a real example at this point, but because I want to avoid spoilers, I’m not going to do that. A made-up example might be “What colour was the object when it arrived at its final location.” The players will then examine their cards, looking at things like shipping manifests, photographs and written testimonies to decide if they can answer that question.

The key thing about Perspectives is that no single photograph answers this question, and players will definitely need to discuss what their cards show (ideally without simply describing them verbatim) in order to work out the answer. After this initial question is answered, each act will reward the players with more questions to answer – albeit at this point you should put the cards aside. This introduces an aspect of memory, but hopefully because you’ll have examined your cards carefully for ten to fifteen minutes, you’ll be able to answer them from memory and again through discussion.

Playing Perspectives with my wife was interesting because we both think about things very differently. I have an abstract, imaginative brain and I found myself looking for clues in that way. My wife is logical and methodical, and she looked for facts and clear evidence – and between us we did quite well. I mentioned earlier that this experience would certainly vary at higher player counts, and that’s mostly because the more people in the conversation, the more opinions there are – and the more widely spread the clues that support each other are likely to be. This must be fun in its own right, but I’m yet to experience it.

Obviously being released at this time of year, Perspectives is an ideal Christmas game to share with the family. That said, it’s not a game for children because it really is quite difficult. The first case was tough enough (but we got through it) whilst the second and third were much harder. We completed the second, just about, but needed help on the third and ended up sharing a couple of cards with each other which resulted in a reduction in our score!

Perspectives is a very fun game in the cooperative/deduction genre, and I think it could be a good one for older (teenage) children to play with parents and grandparents who love a proper puzzle and have good powers of deduction and both logical and abstract thinking. The downsides to Perspectives are that it is definitely too hard for younger players, and it’s also a one-shot deal. There’s literally no point keeping it once you’ve finished it, so my recommendation is that you enjoy it for what it is and then pass it on to friends.

***½  3.5/5

Asmodee provided a copy of Perspectives for review

Comments are closed.