In Scotland Yard, one of you takes on the role of Mr X, a criminal of some unspecified and hopefully non-violent sort. The rest of you are detectives trying to track down and catch the first player. If the game ends and Mr X is still at large, the solo player wins, although in our experience this doesn't happen very often.
The odd, asymmetric semi-cooperative structure of Scotland Yard is its first hook. The second is the clever way it hides information from most of the players. The detectives move their pieces across the board (a map of London) quite openly, paying for taxi, bus and Underground journeys from their limited budget; but Mr X moves about in secret, checking the board for the optimum route (wearing a cool visor to stop players from spotting where he's looking) and noting down his position each turn on a pad.
Scotland Yard is different every time but always tense. The moments when the net is closing in and escape seems impossible are exceptionally memorable.
Crossroads is a new series from Plaid Hat Games that tests a group of survivors' ability to work together and stay alive while facing crises and challenges from both outside and inside.
Dead of Winter is the first game in this series, designed by Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour. It puts 2-5 players together in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity are either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game.
Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means the players are working together toward one common victory condition--but for each individual player to achieve victory, they must also complete their personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that's fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or worst of all: vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group's goal but don't get walked all over by a loudmouth who's only looking out for their own interests!
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