Theme and What is It?
To properly review the Dirk Gently board game, you must have a bit of history. Douglas Adams was the artist (it was art, therefore I haven’t called him a writer), behind The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a trilogy of books that took ten books to write properly. He was the king of dry humor, and that also spilled over into his book, Dirk Gently and the Holistic Detective Agency, now a TV show on BBC.
To best eeeeeek out the humor of the series, the BBC/IDW recruited the only man I have ever seen pull off a Snow White Costume at a board game convention convincingly. I am not sexist by any stretch of the imagination, but most men just couldn’t pull it off. Matt Fantastic (Trade name for Matt Loter), has designed a storytelling game, not unlike the myriad of games that attempt to do the same thing.
To wit, the first mystery that came up, was the sound of the color purple. This is Douglas Adams, reincarnated, in a Snow White dress.
Like most party games, the rules are not difficult. It is how they combine those simple rules that make it interesting.
In DGatHDAEiC, pronouced in short D’gathedek, has three different decks, a mystery deck, a person of interest deck, and a clue deck. To determine the mystery, the holistic detective, and the police detective put together a story that ties the clues to the person of interest, and how it is more likely than not that their version is more correct than the other detective. Ultimately the group decides which story they like better.
In DGatHDAEiC, the mystery doesn’t really matter, the story does. The winner tells the best most likely story, and the person of interest becomes guilty by way of popular vote, as all criminal cases should be decided.
The game is simple. There is not much about the game that stands out to me. The mechanic is clean and simple.
Quality of Components and Insert
This is a card game. There is nothing in it that is going to scream at you. And, that is okay. Some games depend on the novelty of components, some on the novelty of the gameplay, this is the latter.
The box is the same cover as the TV show. Apart from the it is text on a card. For Douglas Adams, the art is in the words.
If you like dry humor, if you LOVE Douglas Adams, if you like story-telling games, this may just be a great game for you.
Difficulty and Age Range Suggestion
The first card I found for clues, has 32 detached pinky fingers, I think 16+ is largely appropriate. I don’t know whether to thank Douglas Adams for that, or Matt Fantastic.
In party games, with simple rules, the truth of a conclusion is in the gameplay. This game, because I love Douglas Adams will remain for the time being on my game shelf.
In short, to an already brief review, the proof is in the gameplay. With an adequately goofy group, this game is fantastic. People enjoy creativity in game playing in my experience. I like this game, and at least one person in your gaming group, might want to consider this as a purchase for your group. I find it not dissimilar to Cards Against Humanity in content, though gameplay is decidedly different.