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Store:  Family Games, Card Games
Theme:  Crime, Mystery
Genre:  Logic & Deduction
Format:  Card Games


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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-45 minutes 3-10

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Product Description

Can you solve the mystery?

A crime has been committed and you must solve it. Who did it, and when? How was it done, where, and why?

Just solving the crime is not enough. Unlike older games, players need more than cold logic to win. They need a clever strategy and good timing to outscore their opponents.

The 78 attractive cards are uniquely appealing, and the score pads lead inexperienced players to a quick understanding of the game.

Whether an intimate evening or a party, Alibi provides every person with a fun and challenging pastime.

Product Information

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.3 in 3 reviews

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"Clue: The Card Game" -- but Alibi's richer than Clue
April 24, 2001

Why? Because Alibi combines Clue's deductive aspect (what are the hidden cards?) WITH the elements that make Rummy and 'passing' card games so fun.

How do you play? Like Clue, you take a Suspect Card, a Weapon Card, a Place Card, and a Motive Card and put it in the box. Then all the other cards get passed out to each player. Obviously, what you have is not in the box, so you mark it off.

The twist is that every Suspect, every Weapon, every Place, and every Motive have three different 'aspects' (for example, there's a Cookie Carpenter at Morning card, a Cookie Carpenter at Noon card, and a Cookie Carpenter at Night card; a Gun-Pistol card, a Gun-Rifle card, and a Gun-Tommy Gun card). So when you get your cards, if you have three of a kind, you can 'meld' them and get points. You get points, but now the other players now know what else wasn't involved in the crime.

Play then goes like this: Everyone gets a turn. On your turn, you ask a question such as 'How many Poison cards have you seen (i.e. that you've marked off on your sheet)?' or 'How many Envy cards do you have?' Players must answer truthfully. Then after everybody's asked, everybody passes a card to the player on their left. After the second round, it's two cards, after three rounds, it's three, etc.

Melds are worth 6 on the first round, 4 on the second, and 3 every round thereafter. So do you want the points from the meld, or do you want to keep the other players in the dark? Tough decision.

When you think you know 4 of the details of the crime, such as Slim Slant, Poison, arsenic, Envy--then it might be best to say, "I'm going to make an accusation". Then, the game stops, and you have to write your guesses down on the scoresheet. You get a 7 point bonus for being the First Accuser.

Everybody else then writes their guesses down, but they don't have to make 4, they can make as many or as few as they want.

Then you check the cards in the box. For any guesses that are right, you get the indicated number of points. For any guesses that are wrong, you lose that number of points.

The trick is knowing when to end the 'investigation' and make the Accusation. Do you know enough? How informed are your guesses?

Alibi is probably the best deduction game I have, and I'm a fan of the genre. The Rummy and 'passing' card games features are delightful, and make for some tough decisions.

My only real beef is that the scoresheet is not very well-designed--it's tight and a bit cluttered. The icons definitely help, but a bigger scoresheet would be more serviceable.

The first run-through may be rocky, as you figure out how to manage the points; but repeated playings will let you see the cleverness of this deduction card game.

More Intrigue than Clue
March 15, 2000

We've had Alibi for a few years and enjoy playing it when we have an evening with a few friends. The card play--especially the passing of cards--lends an interesting strategy that isn't easy to figure out. Hold cards hoping for sets you can meld, or pass them because you want to keep your other cards secret? We enjoy the point play too--so that it isn't always the person who solved the crime who wins that game, and so you can play several games and carry the scores along. The only reason it's not a five-star game is because the point system is confusing and we have to relearn it each time the box comes off our shelf.

fun way to pass a family game night
February 12, 2000

We have just aquainted ourselves with this game. As a card game, the graphics are great, the directions are easy to understand, but the scoring can easily get complicated and confusing. It almost seems easier to forget the numbers, and just solve the who-done-it as you would in Clue. Passing the cards adds a dimension of strategy, but that can be influenced by how many melds you lay down on the table. We have not yet determined if laying down melds has a positive or negative effect from a strategy point of view. At any rate, it adds a new and enjoyable dimension to our game playing collection. It certainly requires a higher level of thinking than Clue, and we are looking forward to adding it to our 'travel game collection.'

Other Resources for Alibi:

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