New York City edition of Scotland Yard
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Mister X, already familiar to many of Ravenburger's friends from the game Scotland Yard, is now up to no good in New York. He has already been sighted several times in Manhattan, and the NYPD has tasked its best team of detectives with apprehending him.
One of the players is "Mister X." Mister X moves without being seen, and he has to try to avoid his persecutors and not be discovered until the end of the game. If he manages this, he wins the game.
The other players are all detectives. They try to surround Mister X and move onto the field on which he is hiding. If they manage this, the detectives win the game.
Players: 3 - 6
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 1,390 grams
Average Rating: 2.7 in 3 reviews
Ravensburger's 1999 sequel to the classic Scotland Yard (a 1983 Spiel des Jahres winner) is a well-made game of deduction, teamwork, and ruthless hunting. N.Y. Chase is mostly similar in execution to Scotland Yard, but there are some notable changes in the rules and powers of the detectives.
Mr. X, who led Scotland Yard's top detectives on a wild hunt through the streets of London so many years ago, has resurfaced in present-day New York City, and again he's on the run from the law. This time it's the NYPD's top gumshoes on the chase, and the battleground is, of course, Manhattan.
As in Scotland Yard, one person plays as Mr. X, desperately fleeing through the city streets, and the others team up as the detectives, trying to sniff him out. Mr. X moves in secret, however he must reveal his location on the board every fifth move (starting on move 3). Both Mr. X and the detectives have a limited amount of tickets to use to get around the city, whether they be taxi tickets, subway passes, or bus tickets. However, the detectives can also use a helicopter up to three times during the game, which allows them to go from their position to anywhere in the city in essentially two moves. Also, detectives can now employ roadblocks to limit Mr. X's choices of escape.
As in the original game, Mr. X must reveal what mode of transportation he's taking each move by turning in the appropriate ticket. While the detectives do not specifically know where he is going, knowing how Mr. X is traveling can sometimes greatly narrow down the potential destinations of the madcap villain. However, Mr. X can use his 'black tickets', which conceal not only where he's going, but how he's getting there. By using these tickets, Mr. X can even take a boat down the Hudson or East Rivers.
Ultimately, the edge generally sides with the detectives. The roadblocks and helicopters ensure a close, tight, suspenseful chase, and it becomes increasingly difficult for Mr. X to escape as the game plays on. However, there is a certain thrill to playing as Mr. X, and if you can pull off an escape after the 24 moves of play, then you've won a very intense battle. The detectives have to work together and think very logically about what options Mr. X has, and where he could be based on the clues of the tickets he's using. At the same time, Mr. X has to be quick, sly, and has to occasionally defy logic in order to save himself.
N.Y. Chase is a real nail-biter, just like its predecessor. For a fast-moving, ruthless game of hunter and hunted, this sequel to Scotland Yard is right up your alley.
Scotland Yard was a great game. I suppose the success of all the various City-Monopoly versions led the Ravensburger company to try their hand at a Scotland Yard remake in New York (an easy sell in American and German markets!). Unfortunately, some interesting new ideas just aren't enough to make up for the unsuccessful relocation of the game.
The long, narrow form of Manhattan just doesn't work as well as the more spread-out city of London. For example, it is almost impossible for Mr. X to escape from areas like the tip of the island, especially once the subway is blocked. Furthermore, the subways in the N.Y. version are somehow just not as useful as they were in London, again especially for Mr. X. They just don't seem to be where you need them to be.
The new ideas are intriguing but all center around giving the police more of an advantage. The police now have three separate helicopter rides, which allow them to bring one detective, in two turns, to any place on the board. This is very useful after Mr. X has revealed himself, and because it takes two turns it doesn't make play too difficult for Mr. X. It really helps in those instances where one detective is essentially out of the action. Also new are the police roadblocks. Each detective can put a roadblock on a space that s/he has just left, preventing Mr. X from moving to that space. The police have up to three roadblocks at their disposal and these can be moved and removed throughout the game. Unlike the helicopter rides, the roadblocks make the game much more difficult for Mr. X. The detectives need merely to visit and block three subway stations and flight via the subway is essentially closed off for Mr. X. If they're around Mr. X, they need only drag the roadblocks around behind them, always leaving one on the space they just left and he's pretty much cornered. It's like having twice as many detectives! For some reason Ravensburger has also further limited the number of fare tickets that Mr. X gets. When we play, we eliminate the roadblocks and allow Mr. X unlimited tickets.
Conclusion: this game is lots of fun if you're one of the police, but being Mr. X in N.Y Chase is just frustrating! I would recommend using some of the new ideas to even out play with a strong Mr. X in the old Scotland Yard version.
Mr. X is 'invisible' during the entire game with the exception of 4 brief rounds when the chasing detectives can get a glimps of him. Mr. X can, without any trouble, step on the same square as a detective without getting caught. (Two detectives can not stand on the same square). Even if Mr. X was fully visible during the whole game it would still be hard to catch him because of the stupid rules.
This is probably one of the worst games I have ever played.. Pretty fun to play Mr. X though...
// Jonas Eriksson