Murder on the Orient Express - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery Game

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery Game (Ideal's Famous Mystery Classics Series)


This game takes place on the famous Orient Express. There are 12 spies on the train as well as the detectives Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. The players take turns moving the detectives and the spies around the train and keeping track of their movements. Every 8 turns (8 hours in the game) they check their notes and determine which spies have been killed. A spy is killed if it is ever a) alone in a compartment or corridor square for 1 or more hours, b) a second spy enters the compartment or corridor square and c) the spy is never in the same compartment or square as one of the detectives afterwards. Since the status of a spy is not determined until turn 8 (or 16 or 24) it is possible to move a spy which is already "dead". This spy cannot kill other spies even if it fulfills the conditions above. Since the status of a spy depends entirely on their movement it is important for the players to keep careful notes and to be able to defend their logic to the other players.


This is a very strange game. It is better described as a logic problem disguised as a game. It certainly requires a good deal of thought to play. The rule book is 14 pages in length; 6 pages of rules, 3 pages showing how to fill out the tracking forms and 5 pages giving an example of one eight turn play sequence. A deceptively complex game.

What is more mysterious about this game is its title. Look at the box cover. It clearly shows Murder on the Orient Express by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Of course, the novel Murder on the Orient Express was really written by Agatha Christie and had nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes.

This is only one of the games in Ideal's "Mystery Classics Series". The other three feature Doctor Fu Manchu, Ellery Queen and the real Agatha Christie title And Then There Were None.


Even more interesting are the figures for "Sherlock Holmes" and "Doctor Watson". It is obvious from a casual glance that they look nothing like Holmes and Watson. On closer inspection they are recognizable, but as Dr. No and Auric Goldfinger from the James Bond movies Dr. No and Goldfinger! I think the "mystery" of this game is deeper than it seems. As Holmes would say "The game's afoot!".

3 comments on Murder on the Orient Express:

Yuri at July 7, 2008 13:05 said:
Can anyone email me the rules on this game.


Lyon at September 1, 2008 11:56 said:
I played this game as a kid and loved it. Are the rules of the game available? Are there copies of this game available for purchase?

Louis Vuitton Outlet at April 18, 2014 23:46 said:
It's not unusual for a visiting head of state to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in London's Westminster Abbey -- but when it happens on Tuesday, the gesture will be anything but routine. This is history in the making.The commemoration by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will take place during the first state visit by an Irish leader to the United Kingdom. It follows on from Queen Elizabeth's trip to Dublin in May 2011, the first by a British monarch to the republic since it gained independence from London in 1921.The countries are close neighbors but have a long, contentious, often violent history which has left thousands dead, among them Lord Mountbatten, a relative of the Queen who was killed by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb in 1979. The very fact that the British and the Irish once fought with each other under the same flag is still very difficult for many Irish Republicans to stomach.But the relationship between the two countries has gradually normalized since the peace process of the 1990s. That will be formally acknowledged when Higgins pays his respects at the tomb of an unknown British soldier who died during World War One when Ireland was under British rule.Diplomats from both countries are stressing the significance of the five-day trip. Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to London, has said that Dublin is "now willing to look at the facts of history" rather than shying away from them.Meanwhile a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson has said that the visit is about acknowledging the past but also "demonstrating that the relationship is moving on and looking to the future." The spokesperson stressed that both state visits are "pivotal moments in our shared history." The Queen's trip nearly three years ago included a visit to Croke Park, a Dublin sports stadium where 14 people were killed by British forces in 1920 during the war of independence. She also spoke in Gaelic during a dinner in Dublin to audible gasps in the room; and visited Northern Ireland in June 2012, when she shook hands with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, now the province's deputy first minister.These were all highly symbolic moments that politicians couldn't create to the same effect -- and Buckingham Palace is well aware of that. A palace spokesperson said last month that the Queen herself has become a symbol of the warming relationship between the two countries.

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