Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window Review

3-5 Players | Age 13+ | 40 Minutes Playing Time

Rear Window

Good evening … before you continue reading, close your curtains or blinds. Why? Well, somebody might be watching you through the window. For what reason, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe they have just finished watching Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Rear Window and trying to work out if there has been something nefarious going on. Whilst we haven’t been peering through your windows to see what you are up to, we have been playing the Rear Window mystery game for our family game night, with the blinds closed of course!

The phrase “Good evening” is closely associated with Sir Alfred Hitchcock, an English film director and producer well-known for his suspenseful films marked by a macabre sense of humour and a bleak view of the human condition. Known as The Master of Suspense, he directed over fifty films over six decades, many now regarded as classics including The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Notorious, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window.

Rear Window is a one such classic, a voyeuristic mystery thriller that is considered by many to be one of Hitchcock’s best. It first hit our screens in 1954 (nearly 70 years ago)! The plot of this classic film is that after breaking his leg during a photoshoot, photojournalist L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies (James Stewart) is forced to spend a humid summer recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment without much to do. The wheelchair-bound Jeff whiles away his time observing his neighbours from his apartment window, bestowing them with nicknames and growing familiar with their daily routines. However, his society girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) is exasperated and then alarmed when Jeff becomes obsessed with the notion that Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who lives in the apartment opposite, has murdered his wife…

If you like classic thrillers, murder mystery and suspense, Rear Window is a great film. But now, Rear Window is having a resurgence in the form of a new game from Prospero Hall and Funko Games. Rear Window, the mystery thriller game, is a game for 3-5 players, aged 13 and upwards with a playing time of around 40 minutes. It is a game based on the classic Hitchcock film, but has a murder been committed … or not?

In the box:

  • Director Screen
  • Watcher Screen
  • Day Boards (x4)
  • Solution Board
  • Watcher Placards (x4)
  • Window Cards (x70)
  • Tiles (x102)
  • Tokens (x45)
  • Token Tray
  • Trunk Box
  • Wooden Cubes (x4)
  • Players’ Guide Booklet

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, the game, is a thrilling game of mystery, suspicion, observation, and deduction. But has a murder occurred or not? This is a fully co-operative game where all players must work together, or a game of the director against the watchers. The game has two sets of players: The Director (1 player) and The Watchers (2-4 players).

On first opening of the box, you will notice that there are a lot of cardboard pieces in this game. Initially, there are some things to do before you can even begin to think about playing. The game tray will need setting up. This involves punching out lots of tokens from the cardboard punchboards and grouping identical ones together. These then go into the slots on the game tray. This only needs to be completed once as it will then already be done for any games played. The game tray has a lid that goes over the top to stop the tokens falling out when the game is packed away.

With the game tray assembled, you need to find some space to play on – preferably a large table where The Watchers can sit at the opposite end from The Director.

Before play can begin, there is an important decision to be made – who is going to be The Director? Once this is decided, the remaining players become the The Watchers.

Now setting up the game. Place the Watcher and Director screens at opposite ends of the table in front of the relevant players. Place the four Days Boards (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4) between the screens with the text facing the Watchers. The Day 1 board should be face up and the other 3 days face down. Give the solution board to the Director who places it behind their screen so the Watchers can’t see it. Place the four Watcher placards face up next to the day boards along with the Pointer token and Investigate token. The Watchers take both Murder tokens and four of each resident tokens from the game tray. The Director shuffles the Window cards and places them face down nearby. The Director takes one of each Resident tokens, three Cut tokens and the four small wooden cubes from the tray. The Director also takes the trunk from the box and opens it, placing it nearby.

Now play can begin, and for the next 40 minutes or so players must try to gather clues and try to work out what is on The Director’s solution board? Has a murder been committed … or not?

Interesting Gameplay Features:

  • Compelling gameplay that brings the movie to life using cooperative deduction and decision-making.
  • The players are unaware if a murder happened until they start noticing suspicious signs from their neighbours.
  • Beautiful illustrations and design transports players to the era of 1950s murder mysteries.
  • An eye-catching package that features Hollywood legends Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart.
  • The recognition of Alfred Hitchcock and his history of suspenseful filmmaking immediately sets the tone for gameplay.

Overall, we have enjoyed playing Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, although the adults enjoyed it much more than the kids. We think that it is an excellent strategy game packed with thrilling mystery and suspense, perfect for older teenagers and adults to play – very different from the usual family-friendly games that we are used to playing. It has suspense, mystery and a complexity that makes it fun, challenging and entertaining for players that like to think their way through a game rather than just moving around a board. The Watchers must try to figure the clues and deduce if there has been a murder or not and match their answers to Director’s solution board – the Watcher’s need to decipher who is in what apartment, what they are doing and has a murder been committed or not. The Director can either be helping or hindering the Watchers and might even be covering up a murder!

The game is played over ‘4 days’ looking through different scenes and players must try and spot patterns and clues to gather their evidence to decide on the answers.

We think that this is a well thought out game. Based on a classic film that a lot of players may or may not have heard of, never mind seen, but you don’t have to have seen the film for it to make sense (although it is a good film and is worth a watch if you like classic mystery thrillers). The components are cardboard and mostly good quality – we thought that the trunk could have been made from stiffer card stock to make it more durable. We loved the game tray for the attribute tokens and the cards can be left in it, the lid placed on and stored neatly in the box ready to be played with easily again. It has all been designed very well.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is an excellent game of deduction. A cooperative game where players must work together. It encourages discussion, cooperation and decision making among the players. If you like mysteries and like games where you must use your brain, logic, reasoning and deduction, then we can highly recommend this game. It is fun entertainment, excellent for getting everyone involved and chatting and the game time of around 40 minutes is just about right. We loved the idea of not knowing if a murder has been committed or not before the game starts and that you must try and work it all out.

We think that is a fun and enjoyable game, probably better suited for older teens and adults with an analytical mind. Each time the game is played it always has a different outcome, so it can be played again and again. It won’t appeal to everyone as you do have to think about and consider carefully what is happening within the game, but it went down very well with us.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £30

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are our own. This review uses an affiliate link which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.


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