A Study in Emerald (Second Edition) board game
A Study in Emerald (Second Edition) board game

A Study in Emerald (Second Edition)

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Overall Rank: #991 | Trending Rank: #1490
It is 1882, and the Old Ones are already here.

They arrived seven hundred years ago and have been ruling the planet ever since. The majority of people just get on with their lives, accepting their monstrous rulers. However, a growing band of revolutionaries wish to free mankind from their slavery. These freedom fighters call themselves the Restorationists. A secret war has already broken out between the Restorationists and the forces loyal to the Old Ones. The invention of dynamite has changed the balance of power, and a lone assassin now has the capacity to destroy an Old One. In this shadow world of assassins, informers, police agents and anarchists, nobody is quite sure who is who and which side they fight for.

The game A Study in Emerald draws its central plot from the award-winning short story penned by Neil Gaiman, in which the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft are combined to telling effect. However, to create a world detailed enough for players, much has been added from real history. The nineteenth century was a time of unrest, with many colorful characters fighting both for and against the authorities. A Study in Emerald is the outcome of the merging of these three worlds.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Super odd, but we ended up playing back to back.
  • They took of an abomination of a borderline unplayable game and made it playable and pointless. ...an improvement?
  • 7.5 Played 4 player with a better grasp of the rules. Still couldn't say that we got every detail correct, but... With 2 vs 2, people were second guessing each others roles and bumping off agents, or was that just me. Yes we lost, I think, still a bit confused as we ended the game by killing a loyalist and then re-read the rules on agent deaths. 7 After 2 player learning game.
  • A bugnutty, zany gaming experience with an off-the-wall amount of narrative chrome. Many complain this game is fiddly (thus the 2nd Edition), but I find drives home the narrative experience of navigating the crazy world the game inhabits. The endgame scoring is both wonderful and infuriating. Getting players to understand the central conceit (only one player wins!) is key, but difficult. Especially when playing with euro-minded optimizers. The fact that the game keeps you on the edge of your seat even when it's abundantly clear who is vying for which side is a pretty incredible feat. An all-around excellent game. While there are of lot of games that share its mechanics, there are none that share its dizzying narrative drive.

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