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Review of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Everything is Connected

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Game: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Everything is Connected

Designer: Matt Fantastic

Published: IDW Games

Players: 3-8 players

Playtime: 20-60 Minutes

Play Type: Social Story Telling/ Deduction

Synopsis:

Based off the TV show and novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, in this game players will take on the roles of Holistic Detectives, Police Detective and Assistant Detectives to get to the bottom of a mystery. Given a handful of clues and a few persons of interest, you must decide what happened and give a more convincing tale than your competing Police Detective.

Game Play:

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In Dirk Gently’s: Everything is Connected, players will take on different roles as the rounds pass. There will always be one Holistic Detective, and to the left of that person will be the Police Detective. The remainder of players will be assistants.

During set up, each player will take four clues. Then the current Holistic Detective will draw one mystery card, and 3 persons of interest cards. These are placed in front of everyone and are common knowledge.

Assistants then take two of their four clue cards and hands them to the Holistic Detective. These will become elements that must be incorporated into the story that is being told.

Once the Holistic Detective has all of the clue cards, they take half of them and try to create a convincing story using all clues to explain the mystery. In addition to using all the clues, the player must tie the story to a person of interest.

After the Holistic Detective gives their interpretation of what happened, the Police Detective takes the other half of the clues and does the same thing.

Once the two players have given their arguments, the assistants simultaneously vote by pointing at the person whose story they felt was more convincing. That detective takes the mystery card as a point.

Rolls then shift to the left, making the Police Detective the new Holistic Detective. Players draw back up to four, then start another round.

The game ends when each player has been the Holistic Detective twice. The player with the most mystery cards wins. If there is a tie players must compete in a final mystery. If there is still a tie, players split the win.

Components:

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Everything is Connected is made up of three IMG_20180705_095357different decks of cards, with a total of 300 different cards. The cards are quality cardstock and feel like they will live through some wear and tear.

Artistically, the game is very simple with very little illustration or artwork. It is mostly comprised of text, but some of the cards do have some imagery on them. While I would have loved to see more imagery, the game is still aesthetically pleasing without it. The cards are well laid out, easy to read, and easy to distinguish one kind of card from another.

The game is color blind friendly, as while the cards are easily distinguishable by color, they are also labeled by type of card on both sides.

Overview:
Positives:
  • Party Game Feel
  • High Player Counts
  • Replayability
  • Portable
  • Keeps Players Engaged

Negatives:

  • Pop Culture References Some Players May Not Get
  • Adult Humor (Not Family Friendly)
  • Improv is Necessary

 

It would be difficult to say whether Dirk Gently is a good or bad game, in that it is the kind game that is really going to depend on who is playing. Players who are looking for a party game, that includes some adult humor, but more talent and strategy than games like Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples or the variety of other games that are similar to these titles will find that they may really enjoy this game.

Players must be comfortable with improvising stories given some elements to play this game. When players are very good at this trait, it makes the game funny and engaging. However, if played with a group of people who do not enjoy this, the game is quick and downright boring. Additionally, players must be somewhat aware of popular culture. Many of the  clue cards reference bands, places, and political movements that players must be aware of to weave into their stories. Players can look these items up if they are unfamiliar, but it does slow down game play.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Everything is Connected is not a family game. There are many adult references in the game, and because of that stories tend to be inappropriate for young kids. Some example clue cards include: “Masturbation”, “A Super 8 Stag Film”, “A Underground Sex Shop”,  and “Discontinued Condoms”. There are others but you get my point.

I would suggest this game for adult players looking for a party game that has more involvement and strategy than other adult themed party games available on the market. Due to the nature of voting and the variety of stories that players can tell, the game keeps all players engaged throughout. It also has a great deal of replayability in that no two stories will ever be the exact same, even if players were to get the same set of clues. It plays similar to other story telling games like Once Upon a Time, so if you enjoy that, but want something differently themed I would suggest taking a closer look at this one.

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