Billabong Boardgamers

Scotland Yard

Publisher: Ravensburger
Players: 2-6
Reproduced here with kind permission from Funagain Games.

The hunt is on

Scotland Yard is one of those Fox-and-Geese games, where one powerful player (Mr X) takes on several less powerful ones (the detectives). In this case, the advantage Mr X has over his pursuers is that his position on the map of London isn't always known to the detectives. Therefore the detectives have to use logic about the modes of transport Mr X is seen using to deduce his position. If the detectives manage to nab Mr X before the end of the game, the responsible detective is the winner, otherwise Mr X escapes! There is also a resource-management aspect for the detectives, who only have a fixed number of rides available before they are unable to move any more.

While the rules of the game say that each detective player should control one detective, the game works quite well for two or three players if each detective player controls more than one piece on the board each (one player always controls Mr X). Four detectives seem to be about the right amount, which can easily be changed to balance players' differing skills.

Scotland Yard has just the right amount of suspense for the detectives, who start out not having the faintest idea of Mr X's location, but slowly get more of an idea as the game progresses. Mr X's job is seemingly easier but he can be pushed into a corner by cooperating detectives, which can end the game for him. This is an enjoyable game that really does feel like a battle of wits.

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