We love playing sitting around the table of an evening to play games: board games, tabletop games and card games – it doesn’t matter what type, we just love spending the time together, enjoying each other’s company whilst having fun and lots of laughter along the way. Board games are an excellent way to spend some quality family time together, a great way of interacting with each other. We have an ever-expanding collection of board games to choose from and we all have our favourite games, they are all quite different from each other, and the favourite game of the 12-year-old at the moment is a game that is actually nearly 40 years old – Scotland Yard – The Hunt for Mister X.
Scotland Yard (the Ravensburger version) is a co-operative / deduction board game where all but one player has to work together as a team to hunt and capture the elusive criminal (and final player) Mister X. The premise of the game is that the mastermind criminal, known only as Mister X, is on the run in London, travelling around the city by various modes of transport (bus, taxi, underground tube trains and the occasional ferry) and a team of detectives must work together to locate his trail, track and apprehend him – can everybody work together to find the elusive mastermind criminal?
It is a family game for 3-6 players, suitable for ages 8 years and up with an average playing time of 45 minutes.
The box contains:
- 1 game board (map of Central London)
- 6 playing pieces
- 29 start cards
- 130 transportation tickets (57 taxi, 45 bus, 23 underground & 5 black tickets)
- 3 double-move tickets
- 5 detective ticket boards
- 1 travel log with paper insert for Mister X
- 1 visor for Mister X
- 2 rings for the police
- 2 instruction booklets (standard game play and beginner)
There are two ways to play – beginner and standard, the main difference being that beginner mode plays up to 13 rounds whilst the standard mode plays up to 24 rounds. Setting up this game is very simple, although be prepared for the children fighting over who wants to Mister X! Depending on what mode you play determines how many tickets to travel around the board each player receives. We played the game in the standard mode, so after deciding who was going to be the villainous Mister X and who were going to be the detectives:
Mister X receives: 1 transparent playing piece, Mister X visor, travel log with paper insert, a pencil (not supplied with the game), 5 black tickets and 2 double-move tickets.
Detectives receive: 1 coloured playing piece with corresponding ticket board, 4 underground tickets, 8 bus tickets and 11 taxi tickets.
Once the detectives and Mister X have received everything they need to play, the remaining travel tickets are placed next to the playing board. If there are less than four detectives playing, help is required from the police. As we were playing with 3 detectives we had an 1 extra member of the police force (if there are only 2 detectives playing then 2 extra members of the police force are used). Each extra member of the police force is one of the remaining coloured playing pieces with a cardboard ring placed on it (the ring symbolizes free fare for all modes of transport, this playing piece requires no tickets to travel around the board).
To start playing, the start cards are separated (D or X) and shuffled and placed face down on the table. Each detective and extra police force member picks ups a D card and places their playing piece on the corresponding station on the board. Mister X picks up an X card and looks at the card without revealing the card (wearing the visor should help disguise where the Mister X player is looking on the board so that the location is not revealed). Mister X does not place their playing on the board.
Mister X starts by using one of their travel cards and writing the number of the location travelled to on the travel log, concealing the location with the travel card. Detectives then have to try and deduce where Mister X by using their travel cards to move around locations on the board. If a detective lands on the same location as Mister X or the detectives box in Mister X so that he is unable to move any further then the detectives win. If Mister X evades capture for 13 or 24 rounds (depending if you are playing in beginner or standard mode), Mister X wins. To aid the detectives in their hunt, Mister X must surface (place their playing piece on the board) on moves 3, 8, 13, 18 and 24, disappearing again on the next move.
Overall, this is a fun game where teamwork and good communication skills are essential as well as logic, reasoning and deduction – a great way to exercise your mind whilst having to co-operate with your fellow players. Teamwork is an essential part of game. The thrill of the chase adds the excitement.
It is a slower-paced game, there is no fast-paced action and it is definitely a thinking and logical deduction game – a game where you do have to be planning ahead to work out your strategy to avoid capture / capture Mister X.
Whilst trying to constantly deduce and guess where Mister X is and the next best possible moves, it is a game that keeps you engaged and involved, even when it is not your turn as you are always watching the board working out possible escape routes. All players really do have to be paying attention and be aware of the moves made and possible future movements.
A very competitive game where the battle to outwit the detectives from Scotland Yard or Mister X becomes exciting with game play lasting from 10 minutes (if Mister X is really unlucky) to 45 minutes. Teamwork, good communication and engaging with your fellow players is a must. It has gone down well in our house, more so with the kids, as cries of let’s play again are always heard from one or both of them.