Soho! consists of a giant board (60cm x 74cm) made of plasticated paper (so it doesn’t tear and can be wiped down) that rolls up into a postal tube, plus two packs of playing cards, a multitude of playing pieces and three multi-sided dice, all of which fit into a small cardboard box which will be posted separately. To be blunt, it’s a bit DIY. But the cards and the board look lovely, and how else will you get the chance to play with a 20-sided dice without pretending to be an orc or styling yourself Wolfknob the Gnomeslayer? Originally, we packed it all into a single square postal tube, but that didn’t really work, so now, as I say, the various elements are posted separately, which is a complete disaster on the postage front, especially since Royal Mail changed their pricing structure, which is why p&p is included – seriously, if I told you how much it costs to post, you’d need a lie down. Basically, if you’re used to Monopoly and Cluedo, you might be a bit surprised, that’s all I’m saying. Please also note that, for storage reasons, each set is assembled by hand, so it may sometimes take a few days. More info about the game itself below…
A board game for 2-6 players inspired by the two things for which Soho is known 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 my 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 with half their years but 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 bike from a docking station. 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…
Please note that, because of when it was made, Soho! treats former London mayors Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson as lovable figures of fun. We now regret this utterly, obviously. Sorry.