Shadows: Amsterdam is a real-time simultaneous competition between detective agencies where players are using pictures that contain intel to communicate within your own team. The game is for two to eight players and aged 10 and above.
We always love a co-operative game but this game is slightly different as you are not allowed to communicate with any kind of action at all. It all depends on how well your team members know how you might think!
This game comes in a small portable box that contains two detective figures, six evidence tokens, two police tracks, five police tokens, two tracking markers, 40 map cards, two screens, four tiles, 84 intel cards, seven districts and instructions.
This game takes at least five to ten minutes to set up by placing the tiles and districts. You do need a lot of table space to place your items and this is best to play on a table rather than on the carpet. This helps prevent the tiles from moving around too much.
To set up, the starting tile is placed in the middle where everyone starts and the obstacle tiles are placed on the sides of this. Then place your districts around it. The districts and intel cards take the form of beautiful hexagonal illustrations. Take 10 intel cards and place them in front of the intelligence officers.
Players select one of their members to be the intelligence officer and he/she covers their map card with a screen and a tracking marker in their team’s colour. The map shows the spaces where your team will find clues and the spaces where police officers are lurking to arrest you for getting in the way. Landing on these spaces means the team will receive an X police token and if you get three, the team loses the round. When you first start playing, it is best to choose the map cards numbered 1 to 6 as they are easier to play with.
The game is played asymmetrically where each intelligence officer tries to guide their own team around the board, and the detectives try to understand their intelligence officer’s clues in a fast-paced race to victory. We preferred to take it in turns to make sure no one cheats and to give each of us more time to consider each of the beautiful illustrations! To win the game, you have to be the first team to win two rounds. In each round, a team must find three different pieces of evidence by moving their detective figure on the board and then deliver them to the client.
We found this game quite hard as sometimes it’s difficult to make a strong connection from the selection of 10 to match the location. Quite often, one person’s idea of similarity is not the same as someone else’s. They were so many times we failed to get to the right location! It is not easy to read each other’s mind!
Nevertheless, the gameplay will always be different because the six double-sided districts (seven to choose from) are placed randomly at the start and there are 40 different maps to play with.
This game is challenging, fun and modern. It is a great game to play with families or friends of four or more. It is available to buy from good toy retailers, online and Amazon.
Disclosure: We are members of Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. We have included an Amazon affiliate link to the product. If you click on this and buy, we may earn a small commission.