The board gaming community over on Instagram is a pretty magical place! One of the weekly highlights is Mechanisms Monday, created by @Jim.Gamer. Each week, one board game enthusiast selects a game mechanism, and the broader community takes that baton and shares their favourite games that sit under that umbrella. This week, Hidden Movement games was the topic of choice, selected by @boardgamerdad!
We’re a few days late to the party, but we posted this same question to our writing team – what are your favourite Hidden Movement games?
Here are the responses…
I have been a huge fan of Fury of Dracula since the ’80s. I have played every edition, as well as owning first ed, 2nd ed, and the current app. This game keeps getting better and better. I also love Jaws from Ravensberger & Prospero Hall. My favourite film was turned into a game with one of my favourite mechanics.
A game that I played in my youth and still play today is Scotland Yard. I used to love being Mr X, plotting a path to elude the detectives, using a carefully timed double movement or black ticket to hide my strategy. As a detective, I put myself in the shoes of the criminal on the lam and tried to think what I would do in their situation. It can be hard to track down a competent Mr X. It feels like they have the advantage, but I find it a fun sort of challenge and so satisfying when you nab him. I’ve played and enjoyed a number of hidden movement games over the years, Fury of Dracula, Letters From Whitechapel, but I’ll always come back to the simple London map, three modes of transportation, and an incredibly fun game of cat and mouse.
Wilson & Shep is a new children’s game from Blue Orange that nails the heart of hidden movement games, and delivers it in an accessible way. There is literally a wolf in sheep’s clothing in this game (Wilson is his name), with one player is trying to keep that wolf hidden, while the other player is handling the shepherd pup (Shep) and attempting to find their sneaky rival. It’s billed as a “hide and sneak” game, which I absolutely love!
One of my favourite hidden movement games from recent (and not so recent) times is Stop Thief (pictured up top). While I have enjoyed some of the other faves listed here (Letters From Whitechapel especially), they often feel stressful or rushed or just frustratingly difficult. Stop Thief leaves me feeling much more like I’ve had fun as well as feeling satisfied if I manage to win. I love that it’s not a roll & move, but you get around by playing movement cards – it feels like you have more control over the gameplay – and there’s fun thematic stuff like hopping out of building windows to race after your suspect, or grabbing a subway to get somewhere fast. The app’s interplay gives it a nice touch, too – getting tips is a great feature and not having to have someone play against the rest of the players is a big positive of this game for me, with the app taking care of that. The art style and graphic design are fun with a hat tip to the original game and plenty of easter eggs for eagle-eyed detectives (Russ from For Chits & Giggles features some here and here). You can read David’s great thoughts on his fondness for the original and the restored version here.
When I think about my favourite mechanics, hidden movement never springs to mind. My main memories around hidden movement games are from games like Fury of Dracula and Scotland Yard. These are good games, but something about the 1 player versus many just doesn’t really land with me. I think of hidden movement and generally feel a little unfulfilled.
And then I remember Captain Sonar or Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space and get excited. These games absolutely nail what I want out of a hidden movement game. It is fast paced, it is tense, and no matter which team I am on I have people I can celebrate (or mourn) the outcome of the game with! I don’t know if they are mechanically that different from their predecessors, but they feel totally different and unique to me. If you are a group of 4, 6, 7, or 8, I will highly recommend taking a look at Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space.
Mechanically it is quite simple: the humans want to navigate the world and get to the escape pods. The aliens want to catch the humans. The big twist is that humans will navigate through dangerous spaces that will sometimes make them announce their location, and sometimes let them announce any location of their choice, but will never make them reveal whether they are saying where they are or not. It makes for exciting gameplay that is full of surprises. Oh, I’m jazzed about playing it again just THINKING about it.
What is YOUR favourite hidden movement game? Let us know in response to this article, either here on the site, or through your favourite social media platform!