Black Sonata: Strange Shadows

Black Sonata: Strange Shadows

The second expansion (and reprint) for Black Sonata, the award-winning solo game of hidden movement and deduction

61,051 USD
of 3,000 USD Goal

For more than four centuries scholars have argued over the identity of the mysterious Dark Lady of William Shakespeare’s sonnets. In Black Sonata, you will find yourself in Shakespeare’s London, circa 1600, in pursuit of the shadowy Lady. Can you finally solve English literature’s greatest mystery? Or will the Dark Lady elude you too?

Black Sonata: Strange Shadows includes several expansions that may
be added to the base game. These should work separately or in
various combinations, including with the earlier Fair Youth
expansions. The new content includes:

  • The Darkest Ladies - Unlike those in the base game or Fair Youth expansion, this alternative set of Dark Lady cards has no suits, and you must deduce the Dark Lady’s symbols in their correct order. Features more card-flipping hole-peeking antics.
  • Indirections - This expansion adds two different types of stealth cards to be mixed into your deck. Cards with compass symbols show what compass direction the Dark Lady travelled from her last location, while others show the potential colour of her current location.
  • Blazonry - The Dark Lady is hiding behind the shield of her heraldic blazon. To access her you must first deduce the symbols of her blazon using special fog cards.
  • The Ferryman - The ferry is the quickest way to get around London, allowing you to travel from any riverside location (marked with the boat icon) to any other riverside location in one turn, possibly heading off the Dark Lady as she flees. But this comes at a cost – the ferryman protects the Dark Lady, preventing you from searching for her at any riverside location. In addition, you must collect the location cards in a specific order.
  • Cat and Mouse - This is an asymmetric two-player game of cat and mouse, where one player is the Dark Lady and the other is the Historian trying to track and unmask her.
  • Tarry cards - This small expansion allows you to temporarily pause the Dark Lady’s flight, potentially letting you catch up to her, but you must pay a later cost...
  • Extra fog cards - Four additional fog cards are provided, each with a beneficial effect. You may use these to: (a) Increase the size of the fog deck to allow more searches in a game – especially if including the harder Dark Ladies from either expansion, as these may require more clues to solve; (b) Replace detrimental fog cards in the base deck to make it more appealing (but still risky) to use fog cards that arise; or (c) Randomly replace fog cards from the base deck to increase the variety of fog card actions.

How to Play the Base Game

At the beginning of the game you'll randomly select one of the 11 Dark Lady cards to be the target of your pursuit. You'll also set up the stealth deck by arranging the cards according to the sequence chosen for the game. There are 8 sequences on the cards, along with 20 included in the rulebook. Each can be arranged in normal or reverse order, meaning their are 56 different paths included in the box! 

Throughout the game the Dark Lady will maneuver through London with you hot on her trail. Once you think you've tracked her to your exact location you can conduct a search. Using a location key, you'll peek through the keyhole to see if she is revealed.   

If you catch her, you'll reveal a Clue card which provides details on the Dark Lady's characteristics.  Deduction is key in puzzling out the traits of your target. 

Each Clue revealed will get you closer to unmasking the Dark Lady.  If you can successfully catch & confront her you will win fame, respect, and the game. But if you fail, she'll slip quietly from the pages of history once more... 

How to Play Strange Shadows

What's in the Strange Shadows Expansion?

What's in The Fair Youth Expansion?

What's in the Base Game Box?


Strange Shadows Expansion

 The Fair Youth Expansion

 Black Sonata Base Game


Note: All options will be available in the pledge manager after the campaign ends so if you're looking for all 3 items or any combination we've got you covered! :)

Reviews & Playthroughs

Strange Shadows

The Fair Youth Expansion

Plus more on the expansion's BoardGameGeek entry!

Black Sonata

Plus more on the base game's BoardGameGeek entry!


Shipping and any applicable taxes/VAT will be charged after the campaign is completed through a pledge manager. Our current estimates are:

  • Strange Shadows:  $5 Worldwide
  • The Fair Youth:  $5 Worldwide
  • Black Sonata Base Game:  $9 Worldwide
  • These prices are estimates but are subject to change. We don't expect any major changes between the campaign and pledge manager but if there are we will let you know.
  • For ALL BACKERS pledges will be shipped from China either directly to you or through a local partner. This allows us to offer affordable shipping to everyone across the globe.
  • We take advantage of Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) for customers in the EU, so any orders less than €150 will ship with no additional VAT or customs charges.
  • Any add-ons available in the pledge manager after the campaign will provide specific details regarding their shipping. Some items may not be available in certain areas and could incur additional costs from VAT/customs fees so be aware when making your order.
  • We are going to try a new method for us when it comes to shipping where everything is calculated by weight rather than SKU, so the specific rates depending on the mix and match of items you purchase could shift. You'll be able to verify final costs before checking out in the pledge manager.


It would be an honor to have Black Sonata, The Fair Youth Expansion and the Strange Shadows Expansion on the shelves of retail stores! Please email us at We’ll get back to you shortly to hammer out the details.


For our backers who are interested in other language versions of the game, we are partnering with other companies on both Black Sonata and the expansions. However, we no longer will have them as options in the pledge manager. The challenges of pledge manager set up combined with the bookkeeping associated have made it trickier than we want. However, you will be able to make orders/preorders from our partners below. Please reach out to them for more information.

For other publishers, if you have licensing/localization inquiries please contact Michael Raftopoulos at

If more localization options become available during or after the campaign we'll be sure to let everyone know!

Meet the Team

By day, John Kean is a mild mannered ecologist working to save the world from damaging bugs and diseases. By night he mostly sleeps. And in between he enjoys playing games, making music, juggling, mountaineering, trashy crime fiction and long walks on the beach with his family. Sometimes all at once. He doesn't like Brussels sprouts, but pretends to in front of his children.

Dustin has been playing board & card games since he was beating his family at Pitch back in junior high. He's a highly trained Microsoft Office Engineer. He was also able to trick his wife, Christa, into marrying him and their 3 kids are too cute for their own good.

In the daytime Michael is a Software developer but at night he’s a gamer. He first started playing video games when his parents got him his very own NES for Christmas, and the rest was history. Some of his best memories as a kid was playing Chrono Trigger and Earthbound. The thing Michael looks at the most in a game is a theme that’s rich and well integrated into the mechanics. When he’s not gaming, Michael enjoys spending time at his home in the mountains, as well as kayaking and hiking with his family.

Alan is a software engineer during his day job, that translates into a fascination with game mechanics and the algorithms that power his favorite board games. He has been a life long video gamer and fell in love with the board game renaissance 10 years ago. He enjoys many different board game genres, and a good mechanic above all is his focus.

Brett wasn't born loving board games like the rest of these nerds, but came to realize an affinity at a much older and saltier age. His appreciation for boardgames was born from a long history of video gaming. He may not be able to tell you the difference between an area-impulse euro and a modular board deck builder, but he brings a unique, somewhat outsider perspective to Side Room Games.

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Pledge Levels
Explore the Shadows
Explore the Shadows

A copy of the Strange Shadows expansion

* Shipping will be charged after the campaign - see shipping section for full details

Pledge $15

Estimated Delivery: Dec 2024

Continue the Pursuit
Continue the Pursuit

A copy of The Fair Youth (first) expansion

* Shipping will be charged after the campaign - see shipping section for full details

Pledge $15

Estimated Delivery: Dec 2024

New Historian
New Historian

A copy of Black Sonata

* Shipping will be charged after the campaign - see shipping section for full details

Pledge $25

Estimated Delivery: Dec 2024

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