Monday 1 April 2019

Shadows Amsterdam Family Game Review Age 10+ Sent by Asmodee

Shadows Amsterdam is a really different game for 2-8 players aged 10+. Players split into 2 opposing teams and each team takes the role of a detective agency trying to solve a crime first. Play is 'real-time' and a two team race to the finish. We've been sent a copy to review and I particularly love this one, even though a lot of the time your results come from pure guesswork rather than skill or intuition!

The game is housed in a gorgeous sturdy, small scale box and almost everything is made from stiff paper or card, so it's very earth-friendly. You can see from the box that illustration is a huge part of this game and all of the images are gorgeous.

You'll only need 5 minutes to press out a handful of parts before first play, after that set up takes 5 minutes each time.

Inside the box are:
7 double-sided 'Districts'
Starting Tile
3 Obstacle Tiles (which can't be travelled over)
84 Intel Cards
6 Evidence Tokens (with stand up bases)
2 Police Tracks (to log how many times each team have encountered the Police)
5 Police Tokens
2 Screens (1 for each Intelligence Officer)
40 Map Cards
2 Tracking Markers
2 Detective Figures

Both teams pick a player to take the role of Intelligence Officer. They have a mini map, which only they can see, which 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. The Intelligence Officers are really critical to gameplay and have to be alert at all times.

Districts and intel cards take the form of beautiful hexagonal illustrations. They're really varied, but you can often spot slight similarities between them. The aim of the game is to spot intel cards similar to parts of the district you want your player to travel to, and give the cards as clues, or 'intelligence'. Often your idea of a similarity is not the same as someone else's!

Gameplay is ALWAYS different because the 5 double-sided districts are placed randomly at the start and there are 40 different maps for the teams to play with (both Intelligence Officers use a map with the same number each game).

Because gameplay is real-time and competitive, as soon as you are set up and ready to go, Intelligence Officers immediately begin picking from the 8 shown Intel Cards on the table. Every time one is used it's replaced. Pass 1, 2 or 3 cards each time and the players must move the corresponding numbers of spaces. Your players may often move the Detective to a space you didn't intend. If your Detective(s) bump into 3 Police Officers then they are out, but if they collect 3 clues then they only have to return to safety on a Client Space (a space with a green tick on your map) in order to win the round.

Each game with 3 rounds takes around half an hour, depending on how fast the players move. Once you know exactly where you are attempting to lead your detective then it can get pretty fast paced and much quicker if people are really competitive. It's easier once you know how each other's mind works too. Clue card 'Intel Cards' are looked at differently by different players, so clues which are obvious to one may not work for another. There's a lot of intuition and personality involved.

Shadows Amsterdam is suitable for the whole family aged around 10+ and is an all-round favourite here, including with my 9 year old son. Sent by Asmodee for us to review for the Blogger Boardgame Club and available to buy now, priced around £25 from all good game stockists, including independent shops and online at Amazon.

Here's a handy Amazon affiliate* link:

We were sent our copy of Shadows: Amsterdam for review. *Amazon links are affiliate, which means I earn a few pence each time you buy through my link, but you don't pay any extra. It helps keep my more popular independent reviews free. 


  1. I like the sound of this game - the graphics on the cards are detailed and very colourful... perfect for young, budding detectives! :) Sim xx

    1. They really are beautiful and have loads of detail. A great one for any young Sherlocks! :)

  2. Wonderful information, Kudos.


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