Sherlock or Der Plumpsack

Sherlock is a great little memory game designed by Reinhard Staupe and produced by Playroom Entertainment. Now to be honest, I’m not a big fan of memory games. I think they are fairly boring unless you throw a lot of other stuff in the game along with the memory mechanic; however, that tends to make games that are not very friendly to my four year old.

Sherlock manages to stay simple in form and still be interesting for kids and adults alike. The game is actually a different version of the game Der Plumpsack geht um, which features a very odd looking humanoid-like sack as the main character. It was probably a good choice to switch to Sherlock being a detective canine.

The game consists on a deck of 50 sturdy cards, 49 game cards and one Sherlock card. The game cards have a picture of a common animal or object and a value at the top of the card next to an arrow pointing to the right or left. The game is extremely easy to learn.

You set up the game by creating a wheel of cards that surround the remaining deck. By varying the number of cards in the wheel, you can adapt the game to the abilities and ages of your players. I recommend starting with six and then adapting as you go.

All players get to look at the cards for a short while before they are turned over, then the youngest player begins by placing the Sherlock card next to one of the face down cards. The player states what the card is and turns it over. If the player is correct, then the player moves to another card that is in the direction on the arrow and is over as many cards as indicated by the number.

In the example shown in the picture, the player starts by naming the hammer, then the banana, then the hat, which leads back to the hammer. If the player manages to get back to the card where they started, they get to keep that card. The card is replaced from the deck and play continues to the next player. The first person to collect six cards wins.

Sherlock is one of those games that you can slip into your coat pocket and take to a restaurant. The game is easily modified to make it easier or harder as needed, and the whole thing costs less than three fancy coffee drinks. Sherlock is available online from Funagain Games.

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