Back in the old days being a pretend detective involved a whole heap of logic, chin-rubbing and amusingly condescending behaviour. From Sherlock Holmes and Kojak to Columbo and Dangermouse, the fine art of super-sleuthing was all about toying with your adversaries and using your noodle to suss out suspects. Then along came morose old Morse and tetchy Tennison to put their forensic mockers on the highly rewarding business of deduction.
But don't despair, because if you've ever fancied yourself as a bit of a pretend detective, help is now at hand. In fact, help has always been at hand; it's just that you might have forgotten how entertaining Guess Who? - the classic 'race to guess the mystery face' game - really is. So allow us to refresh your memory. Guess Who? is another retro masterpiece from those gaming maestros, MB, and, as Sherlock Holmes might say, its appeal is quite elementary.
Two players each start with a tray of 'face cards' depicting various individuals, all of whom have different features. Some have rosy cheeks, some have hats, beards or moustaches; some are male, some are female. The players must try to deduce the identity of their opponent's chosen mystery person by asking 'yes' or 'no' questions to narrow down the possibilities. Through a process of elimination (flipping down the faces that don't fit), the identity of the mystery person should slowly become evident. Players alternate turns until one player makes a guess. If you guess correctly - or your opponent guesses incorrectly - you win. It's a bit like a cross between 20 Questions, a police identity parade and Cluedo.
We find interrogating opponents rather than just questioning them adds to the fun: 'So sir, you're telling us your bloke's got bushy eyebrows, a flowery hat and a great big nose...is that what you're telling us?' Okay, so it's not exactly Prime Suspect, but Guess Who? is guaranteed to keep you occupied for hours, no matter how old you are. As Sherlock himself once said: 'The faculty of deduction is certainly contagious.'