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I highly recommend grabbing this game.  It has a short play time and can be played cooperatively or competitively.  The logic puzzles are great fun.

Heather Swanson

MeepleGamers

8.5/10

Publisher: Funhill Games


Designer: Lance Hill


Artist: Tazia Hall


Artist: Medea Phartskhaladze


Game Type: Deduction


Game Type: Card Game


Initial Year of Release: 2020


Age Range: 14+


Expected Playtime: 10-20 minutes


Number of Players: 2-4

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 1

Theme and What is it?


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9/10

Disciple Detectives is a deduction game set in Biblical times.  The people on the cards were famous disciples of Jesus in the early Church.  However, only certain information about these people exist from historical documents and Biblical writings.

Players will give clues about what is known (or not known) about each of the disciples.  The different attributes of each disciple are shown by iconography on the cards.  A dry-erase pen and note taking on the backs of the cards helps in deducing who is who.  

Players do not need to know information about the disciples in order to play the game.  Each player has a reference sheet of attributes.  The instructions include more details about each disciple for those who desire to dig deeper.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 2
Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 3

Gameplay Mechanics


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9/10

Each person holds a set of cards in their hands based on the number of players.  They may not look at the backsides of the cards.  That is where the disciple is revealed.  Only the other players can see it.  It is like Hanabi in that sense.  You don’t know what cards you hold, but other players do know.

There are three options on a player’s turn.  One includes revealing clues about one trait for all other players.  Another option includes putting other player’s cards in numerical order.  A final option is to guess a disciple in their hand.

Each action a player takes uses one of the 7 tokens in the game.  If players ever run out of these, the game ends.  If a disciple is guessed correctly, one token gets to be moved out of the used pile back into the token supply.

This game can be played competitively or cooperatively.  Players win during a competitive game if they are able to guess all the disciples correctly before running out of tokens.  When playing competitively, the winner is the one who guesses all their disciples correctly first.

Most of the disciples are straight forward when giving clues.  Some of them have quirks which make them give incorrect information.  Each of the quirks are based on information from a Biblical story.  For instance, Judas answers incorrectly for whatever he is asked about.  This is based on his betrayal of Jesus.

Thomas requires that his card is touched when revealing any clue.  He didn’t believe Jesus was real after raising from the dead and wanted to touch him for proof.  So, in the game, no matter what clue is revealed, players always touch his card when giving clues.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 4

Initial Impressions


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8/10

I really didn’t know what to think when I first saw this game.  On one hand I was concerned it would be too Sunday-schoolish.  I wondered if it was a church learning game with a weak mechanism.

On the other hand, Funhill Games produce really solid products.  If it was anything like their other games, it was bound to be a winner.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 5

Game Build Quality


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8/10

The cards in the game are a good thickness and can’t be seen through when held up to the light.  The tokens are made of cardboard.

The dry-erase markers work well on the cards and the sand timer is sturdy.  The instructions are easy to understand.  Only the large reference cards cannot be written on with the marker.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 6

Artistic Direction


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8/10

The artwork is well done in Disciple Detective.  There is a different image on each of the 14 cards.

The style reminds me a little bit of Japanese animation.  I think it has to do with some expressions on the faces of the disciples.  It all works well together, but from a distance, I wish it were easier to distinguish the different trait icons.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 7

Fun Factor


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9/10

I really enjoy the deduction aspect of this game.  I like that I can take notes on the cards of the other players as well as my own cards.

It was good to rely on the quirks to help reveal information when playing cooperatively.  Another advantage was revealing whether cards were odd or even early on.

When playing competitively I didn’t want to reveal much information.  In that case it is better to reveal traits that are shared by the most disciples.  

It was enjoyable to have this switch in strategies between to two ways to play.  I found it most fun to work cooperatively.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 8

Age Range & Weight


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9/10

Disciple Detective is listed as a game for ages 14+.  This is a good age.  It is a hard game!

I played it with my 14-year-old and she really liked it.  It was not so hard that she did not have a good time.  She is a tough sell on playing board games, so that is saying alot.

Learning to play is easy.  The tricky part is paying attention to the quirks.  In fact, I found it challenging enough to enjoy playing without the sand timer.  

Normally, a player has 30 seconds to determine which of the 3 actions they will take.  While this will keep the game moving along quickly, it makes the game substantially more difficult.

There are ways to change the difficulty level besides not using the timer.  Playing without quirks allows younger players to join the fun.  Adding the disciple Paul to the game makes it more difficult because of his particular quirk.

Disciple Detective - Funhill Games - Review 9

Conclusions


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8.5/10

I highly recommend grabbing this game.  It has a short play time and can be played cooperatively or competitively.  The logic puzzles are great fun.

After playing a few times, I found some tricks to make the game go smoother.  It is easier to see other players’ cards by sitting close.  The iconography can be hard to differential when sitting too far away.

Another thing we found super helpful were using card holders.  I had some round ones normally used for young kids that worked perfectly.  It makes writing on the back of the cards with the pens easier.

These types of deductive logic puzzles are something I really enjoy.  The game is a hit for me because I can adjust the difficulty level as well.  I’m sure with time it will be easier to play, and someday I’ll be able to use the sand timer.  Until then, I’m going to take my time and enjoy the challenge.

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