A wiley pie pilferer is on the loose and the chickens are hot on its tail in Outfoxed!, a super co-operative deduction game by Gamewright and Coiledspring Games!
*Co-operative* Action Selection * Deduction * Rasoning* Logic * Memory * Family * Race * Race * Card Drafting*
Oh no! Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has disappeared! But have no fear as some slick chicks are on the case!
Outfoxed! is a co-operative game where you’re hunting for clues and trying to eliminate suspects from your enquiries! But, there’s a wiley fox hot on your tailfeathers so you’ve got to sniff out the correct pie pilferer before he reaches the end of the path!
It’s a Set Up!
Around the board, you put the 16 foxy suspect cards face down before flipping over 2 random cards face up so that you start the game knowing the identity of at least two suspects. Then you’ll insert one thief card into the plastic clue decoder. During the game, you’ll be using the decoder to deduce which of the suspects is the one with their paws around the pie! Each player also chooses a little be-hatted chicken and places it in the centre of the board. The fiendish fox starts at the beginning of the path!
On your turn in Outfoxed!, you decide if you are going to search for clues or reveal suspects. Whichever you do, you must roll the three dice and get the correct matching symbol on each one (eyes for reveal and paw prints for search). If your first roll is a bit of a mixed bag, you can re-roll those you’re not happy with up to three times!
- Search for Clues – here, you move your chicken the number of squares equal to the number of paw prints. If you land on a clue square, you can claim a clue token and put in into the slot at the front of the clue decoder. Each clue shows a possible feature of the thief e.g. glasses, umbrella, necklace etc. If the notch missing out of the token goes red, you know the thief’s identity will include that attribute. If it’s green, that feature is safe from suspicion so you can discard any face up suspect card that shows it. You’ll need to remember whether each clue is shared by the thief or not as you’ll be analysing more suspects during the game.
- Reveal Suspects – once you have a few clues, it’s time to start thinking about revealing and dismissing suspects. Here, you flip over two suspect cards. If either of them shows any of the features you know the thief doesn’t have, they can be removed from the game immediately. If they do, keep them around the board for now!
At any time, a player can accuse a suspect of being the thief. Beware, however. If they’re wrong, the game ends and the wiley fox wins! Similarly, if the fox reaches the end of the path before the thief has been framed, that cheeky chap wins.
But, if you have been smart in searching and downright clever in deducing such that you have one suspect left and it matches the card inside the Clue Decoder, you are the slickest, sleuthiest group of chicks in the coop!
This is such a lovely game. The co-operative mechanism works really well because, although you take individual turns, everyone can help decide whether it’s the right time to search or reveal. Having more than one chicken on the board also means you can all target different clue squares and collect the available information as efficiently as possible.
The Clue Decoder is also a great design in how it identifies whether an attribute is part of the thief’s identity or not without giving away any other hints. And guaranteed that the youngest will volunteer to operate it every time.
A great thing about Outfoxed! is that that the decision space isn’t overwhelming. The decision each turn is either search or reveal, and that’s perfect for the target audience. Both options have consequences – memory with clue searching and deduction, logic, and elimination with revealing suspects. But they are manageable and mean that young gamers can follow and control a complete turn which is great for agency and confidence building. Outfoxed makes @minimeepleuk feel smart and I am wholly on board with anything that builds up the self-belief held by our next generation.
We love playing Outfoxed! as a family. To up the ante as @minimeepleuk gets older (and wiser!) , we are increasing the number of squares the fox moves each time we fail to roll a matching set of dice. But you could also easily reduce/increase the number of dice rolls, or dispense with having to make a decision at all until the dice rolls are done for even younger or less experienced players. And none of these modifications will affect the spirit of the rules or the game experience. And this versatility and accessibility are more reasons why Outfoxed deserves a top spot in the children’s games in the #favouritefoefunlearninglibrary.
When I introduced Outfoxed! to my son’s board gaming group at school, the children varied in ages from 4 – 9yrs and the dynamic was magical. The game was the ideal duration to compliment their attention spans with the older ones helping the youngest to decide where best to move to and remembering which clues had been solved. And everybody experiencing pure joy when they revealed the thief and won!
The artwork is also utterly delightful. From the little hats on the chicken meeples (chickles?) to the illustrations on the cards, Outfoxed! is as much of a joy to behold as it is to play.
Please note that a copy of this game was kindly provided by the publishers for review. I am not paid for my comments, however, and all opinions are my own]. I am also not affiliated to or sponsored by any retail store.