My daughter got the game Outfoxed published by Gamewright for a present, and she loves it. What surprised me is that I like it as well. Don’t get me wrong, this is a game for kids, and it doesn’t really offer up a meaningful challenge. However, there is a good variety of play, and it teaches kids some important board gaming skills. I won’t be playing it with my crew, but it is what I will be asking my daughter to get out of the closet if she wants to play a game.
The rules are simple. You roll dice and try to get clues and suspect cards to find who has stolen a chicken pot pie before the thief escapes. There are three dice. Each with a 50/50 chance of having a paw/paws or an eye. You need all three dice to have either the paw/paws icon to move your token to get clues, or all three to have the eye icon to flip over a suspect card. You get to re-roll dice that do not match two extra times, so three rolls total. If you don’t match all three dice, the fox moves three spaces. If the fox gets to the end before you figure out who did it, the players lose. To check the clues, at the beginning of the game a thief card was randomly selected and then put in a plastic case. The clues fit in an insert and then you can see if the fox in question is wearing or has the item in the clue. Find all three clues, or narrow down the suspects to one, and the players win.
So essentially it is a modern take on Clue Jr., but the push your luck element with the dice, and the deduction of whether a suspect is the thief help this game feel more “gamey” and less an exercise of seeing who can roll or spin or flip the highest numbers. Which are what most kids games amount to. Plus, the plastic case for the clues and the thief cards just feel good. It is fun to put in a clue and then slide open the little panel. It is a thrill when you get one that matches, but it is still fun when it doesn’t, so you can eliminate a bunch of suspects. Like I said, there is not a lot of thinking going on here, but for a kids game this level of gameplay feels like a breath of fresh air, and that is not even the best part! Check out this insert:
Oh man! That is a good insert. Everything fits in its place and doesn’t move around, and it is so well laid out my five year old can set it up and put it away by herself! Look, this game is under $20 US on Amazon right now, and it has an insert that puts games that cost three times as much to shame. I still don’t get why this can’t be the standard for board game manufactures. I know they say it is expensive, but a lot of games can’t even be bothered to include enough plastic bags let alone inserts. Let’s just say it is a pet peeve of mine that games force me to do arts and crafts to put them away.
All that being said, Outfoxed is a great game for kids. It is much better than the standard roll and move games or dexterity games they usually get. It is reasonably priced, and it may have won insert of the year (for whatever year it came out). If you have kids that like to play board games, and you don’t think you can handle another game of Life, give Outfoxed a try. You will be glad you did.