What is Soho!?


Soho! is a game of skill and judgement for 2-6 players of all ages inspired by the two things for which this small, historic patch of London is famous around the globe: its pubs, and its one-way system.

Each player is the editor of a small literary magazine. Before the next issue can be printed, six pieces of rashly commissioned copy need to be retrieved from a somewhat motley bunch of recalcitrant writers:

Travel blogger and author of Leicester: City of Crisps Toby D’Azure.
Girl-about-town and sparkly-heeled chick-lit tyro Sophie Blush.
Postmodern goremeister and connoisseur of noir Justin Slick.
Aga-endorsing barbour-clad romantic novelist Lavinia Snowe.
Former Para turned lad-mag agony uncle David “Dave” Green.
Otherworldly and oddly androgynous sci-fi bod CT Vermillion.

All are published authors but, on account of not being published as often as they feel they should be, will still take freelance work wherever they can get it, and aren’t too fussed about style or topic: in fact, all insist that being able to turn in stuff “outside their normal comfort zone” stops them getting stuck in a generic rut and keeps them fresh and edgy; the alternative suggestion – that they have no shame and will do anything for a free lunch and a small sub to get them through till next Friday – is, they say, just insulting nonsense. On this, they are all agreed; on everything else, they are united only in their mutual contempt, jealousy, and suspicion. They are, in a word, writers.

And, being writers, all six are currently holed up in six Soho pubs, cadging free drinks, chatting up people half their age (but with, oddly, twice their looks), and complaining vociferously about their agents, about dumbing down in the publishing industry, and about how they didn’t want that Eastenders gig anyway as it would have compromised their artistic integrity and also possibly involved buying a TV licence.

The noble editors’ thankless task is to contact all six writers and extricate their beer/sauvignon-stained prose from whichever unwholesome pocket or handbag it’s been stuffed in. The first to do so scores a small moral victory or, to borrow a phrase from Monopoly, wins.

To get from one pub to the next the editors can walk, hail a cab, or grab a Boris Bike. Taxis are fast, but much of Soho is alleyways or paved, and it’s not easy finding somewhere to pull up. Bikes are nippy, but what about those cobbles on Broadwick Street? – ouch! And, of course, this is Soho, where the streets are narrow and the inexplicable commonplace…

To find out what you get in the box (including photos of the various playing pieces and a copy of the rules to study before committing yourself), or to recreate the worst hangover ever by having images of 46 Soho pubs flash before your helpless eyes while your head fills with nonsensical babble (to see what’s on the playing cards, in other words), click on the links below.