Full disclosure: A review copy of MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House was provided by Pegasus Spiele.
I’ve been trying a new writing system where I play about an hour of video games and then I write for three hours or so, and that seems to largely be working. It means that I’ve been doing a lot of review writing, at this point, so look forward to those reviews dropping over the next few days / weeks / months. Trying to get the new year off to a good start before I get caught up in the whirlwind of work and personal travel and moving. More on those fronts later, I suppose. For now, let’s dig into another game! This week we’ve got the sequel to MicroMacro: Crime City: MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House! Let’s see what’s going on there.
In MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House, you’re back in Crime City with a brand-new set of cases to solve! Since you did such a good job last time, they’ve asked you to sort out an entirely new part of town. Now, there are new cases, new culprits, and all kinds of impressive new crimes! From kidnapping to illegal cat disposal to just absolutely ruining a football match, you’ll have to keep your wits about you and look closely at the map to see where these criminals are, where they’re going, and what their plans are. Thankfully, MicroMacro’s whole schtick is that you can see what’s happening in the past, present, and future all at once by tracing suspects, victims, and other folks in town through the city. You’ll have to really keep a keen eye if you want to solve every mystery. Are you up to the challenge again?
Overall: 9.25 / 10
Overall, I think MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House is even better than than the base MicroMacro game! I’ve been really enjoying this series; exploring a city, looking for clues, and trying to solve a mystery is a ton of fun. The MicroMacro series is generally appealing on that front. You’ve got a tiny city full of tiny people and you’re trying to Where’s Waldo your way to solving a crime. Its specific quirk is that temporally, everything in the city is kind of happening at once. This lets you trace a character’s path forwards or backwards, using that to figure out where they’ve been, what their plans are, and sometimes how they met with an untimely end. I think that’s pretty entertaining, and I additionally appreciate the care given to marking how family-friendly some scenarios are. Younger players will enjoy the discoverable play (to the point that I think a MicroMacro Kids could be a pretty successful spin-off series), but some families may find some of the content of the cases less appropriate for younger gamers. Worth checking out before you show it to your first-graders, I suppose.
In Full House, specifically, I think there weren’t a ton of changes made; like some other games I’ve reviewed recently, it seems to be a call towards “more stuff”. This means that, largely, if you were a fan of the original game and wanted more stuff, well, here it is. I don’t think there are things in here that will change your mind on the series as a whole. For me, since I already loved the base game, that’s a feature, not a bug, but I think players who struggled with the original game will still struggle, here. For instance, they still haven’t figured out a way to make the game easier to see beyond the tiny magnifying glass (which leaves the game still inaccessible for some players), and the map is, of course, still enormous, which can be restrictive on your play area. They did seem to have fewer cases with my somewhat maligned “create a list of locations where a person did X or Y thing”, as I remember fewer of them in Full House (and I didn’t like them in the base game, so, I feel like I’d remember if there were more). Instead, the final case gives us a very cool divide-and-conquer case, which I really appreciated. This was used somewhat sparingly in the original game, and I’m glad that they’ve expanded on it, here. There are also story connections back to the original game, which are sometimes subtle and sometimes less so (depending on how much you like certain characters).
This is all to say that I think MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House does its job well, which is to just be more of what MicroMacro already is, to some degree. If you like that, you will find that the marginal improvements and streamlining of this game add to the experience, and the new plots, continuations of old plots, and other side stories add a bit more depth to the hustle and bustle of Crime City (did you know they have a local sports team, for instance?). If you were unimpressed by the MicroMacro series, this game isn’t going to meaningfully change your mind. That said, I fall very firmly into the former camp; I find MicroMacro: Crime City charming (largely despite its subject matter) and certainly engaging, so another game in the series is a welcome addition to my collection. I’d probably still recommend starting with the base game, not because this is more complex, but because I think the continuations of threads from the original are fun to spot, so starting with the original is a good time. Full House is a worthy successor, though, so if you’re looking to solve some more tiny crimes, you’ve got an eagle eye for violence, or you just enjoy a Where’s Waldo with consequences, I’d definitely recommend trying out a game of MicroMacro: Crime City – Full House!
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