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  • Writer's pictureJared Neal

Outfoxed - A Very Catchy Game



Retail Price: $20

Player Count: 2-4 (best at any count)

Age Range: 5+ (3+ in our experience)

Play Time: 20 mins. (consistent with our experience)

Complexity: 2 out of 10 (consistent with our experience)

Mechanisms: Cooperative Game, Deduction, Dice Rolling, Grid Movement, Memory

Designer: Shanon Lyon, Marisa Pena, Colt Tipton-Johnson

Artist: Mélanie Grandgirard

Publisher: Gamewright


Educational Value:

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Problem Solving

  • Spatial Reasoning

  • Deductive Reasoning

  • Memorization

Flavor Text:


“Mrs. Plumpert's prized pot pie has gone missing, and now it's a chicken chase to crack the case!”


Overview:


Outfoxed is a game of deduction, where you are rolling dice to either reveal more suspects, or obtain clues to narrow down the suspects you have. If you are able to guess the thief before Mr. Fox is able to traverse his path on the board you win, but if you can’t then the thief escapes.


Setup:

  • Place the player board in the middle of the playing area

  • A detective hat for each player is placed in the center of the board

  • The fox piece is placed on the fox icon at the top of the board

  • The suspect cards are shuffled, and then placed around the board face down, choosing two to turn face up.

  • The thief cards are shuffled, and one is drawn at random and placed in the clue decoder without looking at it

  • The clue tiles are shuffled and placed face down next to the board

Gameplay:


Starting with the youngest player, on your turn you must declare whether you will try to:

  • Move towards a clue location

  • Reveal two suspects

Then you must roll the three dice, up to thre times, trying to get:

  • All paws, if you want to move

  • All eyes, if you want to reveal

You may re-roll any die that doesn’t meet your required selection, up to two additional times.


One side of the die has 2 paws on it, and so if you are trying to move, you may move through non-diagonal adjacent spaces up to the total number of paws you rolled. In order to reveal a clue, you must move to a space with a paw on it. Once you reach one of these spaces, you take a clue tile, place it on the clue decoder, and slide it open to reveal if it matches. If the space revealed is green, then the thief has the characteristic on the tile, if it is white they do not. Any revealed suspects who don’t have the characteristic on a matching clue tile, should then be placed back in the box since you know they aren’t guilty. The clue tile is then placed on the board in the paw location, and players must remember whether it was a match or not for all future suspects.


If you don’t successfully roll all three dice to take your action, then Mr. Fox moves 3 spaces down his path towards the exit. If Mr. Fox is able to travel all the way down his path across the board, then you lose the game. If you are able to eliminate all suspects but 1, then you win, or at any time you and the other players feel you have revealed enough clues to be sure who the suspect is, you may guess. If you guess and are right, you win, but if you are wrong you lose.


You can also move Mr. Fox 4 or 5 spaces each time, or roll the dice and move him according to how many paws he gets, in order to mix up the complexity a little bit. Also, if the kids are struggling to remember if clues were a match or not, you can only leave the matching clues on the board, and place the non-matching ones back in the box.


Luck/Strategy:


There is a high amount of luck in this game, because you are rolling dice each turn to determine if you get to take the action you want. With that said, the ability to re-roll up to two times, has made it so that the amount of fox movements in each game is relatively consistent. The paw symbols are not exactly equal distances apart, so there is some strategy in which ones of those you try to go for first. You also discover pretty quickly, that if you are revealing clues, but don’t yet have hardly any suspects revealed, it doesn’t do you much good.


Artwork:


The artwork on the box, board, and suspect cards in this game is absolutely adorable, and makes you feel like perhaps you are in a scene from Fantastic Mr. Fox.


Theme:


There isn’t much thematic integration of the mechanisms in this game, but having to move around town on the board in order to collect clues, feels like what a detective would have to do.


Replayability/Fun Factor:


There are 16 different foxes, so there is quite a bit of replayability in this game. If you played it over and over again over a short period of time, kids will start to pick up on which clues match which foxes. This could be a problem, because then they may well know who the thief is, even if that suspect card hasn’t yet been revealed. My kids and I have a blast every time we play this game, and usually at least one of us kind of cheers for the fox thief, because they are so cute.


Conclusion/Audience:


We really enjoy this game, and it has struck a really good balance of being simple enough for younger kids to play, but still being challenging enough to pull in slightly older kids. I think kids past elementary age are probably going to get bored quickly with this game, but it is definitely playable by any elementary age kids, and in our experience with preschool age kids as well.


+ Simple but fun

+ Quick to play

+ Cute theme


- Could memorize suspects after a while


Final Score:


Jared - 7

Abigail - 7


Other Games You Might Like:


Dinosaur Tea Party, Guess Who, Hoot! Owl! Hoot!


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