MW Game Night Ideas: Scotland Yard Board Game

mw game night ideas scotland yard board game

Scotland Yard Board Game (1985)

I have played lots of board games with my brothers and sisters growing up, and with my kids as they were growing up, and today whenever time allows.  I also collect them.  My collection is in the thousands with many dating back to the 1800’s. Since I love so many games, it’s really difficult for me to say which is my favorite, but Scotland Yard would have to be at the top of the list.

It’s a cooperative style game with a race to catch a fleeing criminal before time runs out!  OR… if you are the person to ‘play the criminal’ (Mister X), it’s a race to escape capture before all other players catch you!  FUN, no matter which ‘part’ you play!

Scotland Yard was first published in 1983 by Ravensburger, and then later, in 1985, by Milton Bradley.  The game is available yet today, and because of its cooperative nature of game play, it is a great game for a family made up of different ages to play.  Older players can help younger players plan and strategize, which eases the overwhelming competitiveness games can sometimes induce.   Unless you’re Mister X, you work as a team.  Let me explain more.

scotland yard game board and pieces mw game night ideas

Scotland Yard game board and pieces (1985)

The game’s ‘story’ begins with a criminal, called Mister X, who is on the loose through the streets of London.  The city’s finest detectives are on a mission to track him down and capture him.

So with this theme, one player acts as Mister X and works alone.  His goal is to escape from all the other players by secretly moving across the board.  The other players are Scotland Yard’s trained professionals, all working together to take him down!

This is done by the following game play.

At the onset of play, each player chooses a numbered card which matches a number on the board.  This is the player’s initial position on the ‘streets of London’.  Detectives place their pieces on this initial space.  Mister X DOES NOT.  He secretly records his initial starting place in his Travel Log.

The board is comprised of colored pathways between the numbered spaces.  Each path correlates to a method of travel: Taxi, Bus, or Underground.  Detectives are provided a limited supply of ‘fare tickets’ to use in order to move their game pieces along these pathways.

Since the Detectives’ goal is to deduce where Mister X is, and capture him, they work together on how best to travel along these pathways to corner this criminal and take him out!

However, Mister X’s goal is to escape capture.  Mister X has an unlimited supply of ‘fare tickets’; plus! even a few extra tricks to help him dodge detectives.

There are 13 rounds to the game.  Mister X moves first by secretly recording his movement in his Travel Log.  The only item he reveals to Detectives is his method of travel.  Did his piece move by Taxi, Bus, or Underground (or boat)?  Because numbered locations do not always allow movement by all methods of travel, Mister X’s position can be narrowed down and realized by observant and wise Detectives.

To further assist Detectives, and demonstrate just how clever and sly he can be, Mister X reveals his exact location to all players on the 3rd, 8th, and 13th round, to only quickly disappear again though.

AND! Mister X does hold in his bag of tricks, a few ‘Black Tickets’ to which his method of movement during a turn is not revealed!  These are often used after he reveals his location, and helps him confuse Scotland Yard.  Can’t make it too easy for them!

Tracking Mister X, or being Mister X, offers a suspenseful game night of family and/or friend fun!

Mister X wins the game if he can avoid capture for the full 13 rounds.

Detectives all win the game if they can deduce where Mister X is, and can move to capture him by landing on the same space Mister X is on, by using the ‘fare tickets’ allowed to them.

The game is like Hide and Seek, Tag, Spy, Cops and Robbers, Clue, so many games wrapped all up in one powerful board game!

No wonder it is an award winning game and one of the favorites to play!


Play a game today!



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1 Response

  1. JC1117 says:

    Looks like ANOTHER fun game, Jenny.

    It would be fun to play it…in character…as Terry Suave. 🙂

    Thanks again, Jenny.

    Now to resume Operation Minty Hippo…

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