Outfoxed

“A wily fox has stolen Mrs. Plumpert’s pot pie, and is high-tailing it to the foxhole! Work together as a team of detectives, gathering clues and eliminating possible suspects. Figure out who is the guilty fox before it escapes.”

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Outfoxed is a cooperative game for children aged 5 and up from respected U.S. publisher Gamewright. Players work together to gather clues, which they then use to rule out (or rule in!) suspects.

The suspect cards are arrayed face-down around the outside of the game board, with two cards chosen at random to be turned face-up. Each suspect is wearing a number of items that will help the detectives eliminate (or identify) him or her.  The 16 Thief cards are then shuffled, and one is inserted into the Clue Decoder. The rest of the Thief cards are returned to the box (since you only need one Thief!)

The Fox pawn (representing the Thief) starts on the start space (marked with a fox icon) on the edge of the board, then each player puts a Detective Hat marker in the centre of the board. If the fox makes it all the way across the board before the detectives have figured out who the Thief is, then the game has won. If, however, they can identify the Thief before he can complete the trip, then they have won!

On their turns, players decide whether they will search for clues or reveal suspects (they can’t do both on a single turn). If they are searching for clues, they roll the three special dice, trying to get all three to show footprints (re-rolls are okay). Counting up the footprints shown on the top faces of the dice, the player may then move up to that many spaces horizontally or vertically on the board. If they can land on a paw print space, they may draw the top Clue card and pop it into the front of the Clue Decoder. They then slide open the Clue Decoder, which will indicate whether the Clue in question is worn by the Thief: a red spot means yes, while a green spot means that no, the item on the Clue is not worn by the Thief.

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The face-up suspects may be eliminated, and must be replaced by a player choosing to reveal suspects. This is also done by rolling the dice, only in this case the player is trying to roll eyes on all three dice so that two more suspect cards can be turned over. Sometimes suspect cards can be eliminated right away, thanks to clues previously solved. 

When players are pretty sure that they know who the guilty party is, they can decide to name the thief. The thief card is then revealed from the Clue Decoder, and if it matches — the players have won! If, however, the identity of the Thief does not match the suspect named, then the fox has escaped!

Outfoxed is a great first deductive-reasoning game. The players quickly learn that discussion, memory skills, and collaboration serve them best to win the game. No reading skills are required, apart from the names of the suspects.

  • ages 5 and up
  • 2 to 4 players
  • 15 minutes
© Karin Belanger 2016