MicroMacro Crime City puts a thrilling twist on a classic childhood game


Alysse Calabio

The cover of the board game box which has a mini preview of the game

I have never been the person with the best memory of things. Suppose you asked me what I had for dinner the night before. It would take me a moment to recollect; that, in part, probably plays a role in why I struggle to remember details of my childhood. Despite this, there is one moment that I can remember almost vividly: reading through the I Spy books. So, when my dad brought home a board game reminiscent of I Spy, I knew it would instantly become my new favorite game.

Hearing the name of the game alone—MicroMacro Crime City—had intrigued me from the beginning. How could something related to a topic as harrowing as crime be integrated into the relaxing game of I Spy?

Looking at the cover, my brother and I quickly comprehended how. All over the front of the box was a map of the city. A profusion of pictures of humanoid creatures committing crimes, among other everyday tasks, were scattered throughout the city. Fascinated by the city scene in front of us, we hadn’t noticed the small sticker in the upper right corner. There, the first challenge presented itself to us.

We had to solve the murder of the burger vendor.

The sounds of our joyous exclamations of finding yet another clue permeated every room in our house.

Instantly, my brother and I searched for the scene of the burger vendor’s death. From there, we swiftly caught on to the premise of the board game: look where the offense happened and backtrack the victim’s path to discover the truth and motive behind the murder. While it only took my brother and me about five minutes to solve the murder on the cover, it was not without sounds of boisterous laughter and emphatic exclamations as one of us found something related to the scene.

The setup of Crime City was relatively simple. Two sets of cards—the case cards and the clue cards—are organized together based on the symbols in the corner. All that was left to do from there was to choose a case to solve and follow the clues to retrace the victim’s path to solve the crime. 

Having finished Crime City’s preview in about five minutes, I was worried that the entirety of the game would be as straightforward as the preview. I thought the game would be entertaining regardless; however, it would be a transient game. Once my family learned how to read the cards, the idea that Crime City was an expeditious board game was negated. The instructions stated that the number of stars on the case cards reflected the level of difficulty. If one wanted to solve a case with an added challenge and therefore more time-consuming, they could choose a case card with more stars.

Together, my family and I were able to complete about four crime scenes. It felt like we had only been playing for 10 minutes when we had truly ended up playing for an hour. The sounds of our joyous exclamations of finding yet another clue permeated every room in our house.

As lively as this game was, there was only one downside: once you finished a case, you couldn’t play it again. Just as it was with I Spy, once you find an object, you can’t search for it a second time because you already know where it is. However, I found that this game was enjoyable enough for me to overlook Crime City’s one fault.

MicroMacro Crime City puts a fun spin on the classic game of I Spy that everyone has grown to love. Just like I Spy, Crime City has seeped into the hearts of all who play it, creating unforgettable moments of amusement.

Though I may no longer play games of I Spy, I know assuredly that I will be playing one game: MicroMacro Crime City.