The Case of Little Gomersal is the first Case file of the Hidden Games series. It is a cooperative murder mystery game, where you take the role of a private detective that tries to solve the alleged murder of Max Cobbler at the local festival. Using the documents that are provided in the package you will have to solve not one, but four mysteries in the case:
- How did Max Cobbler die?
- Who sent you the envelope?
- Who is the sender of the torn letter?
- Who is the killer?
This is a spoiler free review, so you don’t need to worry reading forward.
Inside The Pack
Hidden Games: The Case of Little Gomersal comes in a postal envelope (or it looks like that), and it has a lot of printed A4 pages, of police reports, computer and phone screenshots, evidence reports, letters, fliers, a business card, and, my favourite, an issue of the local newspaper. I was very impressed by the quality and details that went into putting this together. The reports look official, and so does the logged evidence reports. Letters and some other clues have different hand writing fonts and even signatures. The flyers and the business card is not just a simple picture, but the real thing in your hand. And the newspaper, is the one that I appreciate the most – it has articles, advertisement, obituaries, pictures. It all looks very real.
Alongside all the various shreds of paper evidence is access to a (fake) police database for the case with interviews and other information on the case. It’s not quite as epic as the Detectives The Board Game one, but it does what it needs to do.
The package also comes with a A4 page helping you sort out the suspect, their motives, and alibis, and a huge A3 sheet with pictures and cards for the people involved, so you can hang them up on your whiteboard (or wall) and have a real murder board of your own.
What Is Not In The Pack
The box says it is a “real case” but it’s not, as it takes place in a made up town with made up people. The police documents are anything but correct. In the spirit of the game you are missing a lot of reports that would have been included in a real investigation like interview transcripts, crime scene photos, or a coroners report. There are also some evidence documents that don’t say where they come from (eg. here is a screenshot of a screen on a laptop, but you don’t know who owned the laptop).
In the previous version of this article, we stated that the voicemail could be hard to reach by people without UK phone numbers, and the interviews and the voicemails had no transcripts, which makes it hard for deaf people to take part.
Hidden Games International kindly contacted us via Instagram to let us know that there are transcripts available, but might be hard to find. In order to get to the transcripts you need to go to the case file on their website and one of the links in the hints will have a PDF file with the transcripts of all recordings. They also said they will look into adding it to the investigation page, which will make it easier to find.
It May Not Be Perfect, But…
The Case of Little Gomersal made me feel like I am part of a reality tv show like Murder Island (which is a pretty good watch, but nowhere near as good as The Murder Game from back in the early 2000s – hit us up if you remember that show existed, because everyone seems to have forgotten about it). We had a very fun afternoon solving the case, and we highly recommend it to people who enjoy true crime detective games. It did take us the recommended time of 2 to 3 hours and that is only because we took it slow and easy. The more people you get involved the more time it will take, but we recommend to play it with a small-ish group of close friends or family. There’s not an overwhelming amount of evidence to go through, so more than 3 or 4 people and you’re going to end up with some people getting bored.
Is The Case of Little Gomersal Worth It?
Hidden Games: The Case of Little Gomersal is a great gift for true crime nuts, or couch detectives. It is also amazing activity for your detective club, or your Wine and Crime nights (like book club, but you solve crimes instead of reading Pride and Prejudice again).
The pricetag is about exactly where I think it should be for a game that you can’t play more than once – it’s not too cheap to the point of making the case materials lower quality, nor is it too expensive for an experience you’ll only get to go through once. We had fun, and if you enjoy solving crimes, check out the cases Hidden Games have to offer. I know we will be going through some more in the future!
- Believable documents
- A lot of hard work and it shows
- Small package, fast play
- Accessible for deaf people
- Cannot replay it
- Missing documents that an investigation would have