Sunday, September 23, 2018

13) Scotland Yard

Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at the Cafe that you may want to check out. Maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!

With so many games out there, you can start to group them in categories of games that have a similar feel. That’s why when a game has a really neat mechanic, it stands out (until they get copied as well...)! Every time I think about Scotland Yard, it makes me smile. Not because I’ve played it many times or have good memories of it, but because the game strikes fear in every player, a fear that lasts the entire time.

Let me explain. Do you remember those 1v3 mini games in Mario Party? One player had to outplay or outsmart the other three using whatever powers at their disposal. I feel like this game is very similar. In Scotland Yard, “Mr. X” has to sneak around a map of Scotland and avoid getting caught by 2-5 detectives. And when I say sneak around, I mean in a ghost sort of way (obviously ghosts are the best at sneaking)! Mr. X’s pawn (that shows his location) is not actually placed on the board. Instead, he writes down on a notepad that only he can see and then covers it with the coloured ticket he used to travel. 

And they get to wear this awesome visor

So the only clues the detectives have to go on are Mr. X’s method of transportation and the spot he was on just a few turns ago! Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yup, on certain turns, Mr. X has to show what spot he just traveled to, before disappearing again! Are you catching onto where the fear comes from? Mr. X, while being invisible to everyone, slowly finds himself with very few paths to run to and with that next spot reveal coming up, is there any way out of this? On the flip side, the detectives are constantly second-guessing their instincts. What if he slipped past us? Should I go on the aggressive to push him in a corner or will that open a hole for him to slither out of? This on top of their ever-dwindling pile of taxi, bus, and train tickets as the turns pass. Each move you do costs a ticket and while the train and bus paths let you travel further, you have less of them!

I REALLY like the look of these pawns
Scotland Yard does a great job at keeping both sides engaged the whole time! And when that game finishes? The inevitable cry of “WHERE WERE YOU” or “I HAD NOWHERE TO GO” lights up the room with conversation. And THAT is something that board games create that I just don’t find in other hobbies. It’s where my passion comes from. Games being the spark that gets people talking, even amongst strangers. If you’re interested, you can ask me, and I’ll get more in-depth of what I mean. I’m always up for sharing why board games matter to me : )

Come check out the cafe at 12644 137 Ave, Edmonton! You can ask me about a certain game that you’ve always wanted to learn and we can work through it together. Don't be a stranger!

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