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Who Stole Ed's Pants?
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Store:  Card Games, Strategy Games
Edition:  Who Stole Ed's Pants?
Theme:  Humorous
Format:  Card Games

Who Stole Ed's Pants?

1st edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Jim Doherty

Manufacturer(s): Eight Foot Llama

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Product Description

Never one to clamor for attention, Ed was happy to ignore the embarrassing theft of his pants and just climb into bed.

But today, he awakens to find that word of the crime is all over town, and everyone is eager to point fingers. Rumors are flying. Wild accusations are made at the drop of a hat. And the police will arrest anyone just to quell the uproar.

You need to make sure the mobs don't come after you. Better yet, plant some evidence on your friends and drop hints as to their less-than-stellar character. Anything goes, because in all the excitement, no one has even bothered to ask Ed the details of the crime. If you can keep your own record clean, you might even become the hero for turning in the thief of Ed's pants!

But you'll need supporters to back you up. Fortunately, there's plenty of townsfolk who owe you favors and government officials who need allies. Plus, the circus is in town. Choose your friends wisely, because the wrong acquaintances can make you a target for others....

Product Awards

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Jim Doherty

  • Manufacturer(s): Eight Foot Llama

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 3 - 4

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 275 grams


  • 95 full color playing cards
  • 4 laminated player mats
  • 14 glass gaming stones
  • rules sheet

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 7 reviews

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Got Pants?
July 23, 2002

This is a nice card game of framing your playmates. Everyone is a suspect in stealing the pants and you want the change your alibis and other's alibis so you can change the facts of the case to your advantage and plant evidence on other players to incriminate them. Easy to learn. Has 2 different ways to play. 3 player free for all or 4 player with 2 teams of 2. Both are enjoyable and a lot of fun.

Deceptively Strategic
July 01, 2002

The farcical subject matter belies the wide range of play choices that make Who Stole Ed's Pants? a significantly more complex game then it would appear.

Basically there are three card types: Evidence, Facts and Witnesses. Evidence and Facts are broken down further into Who, What and Where categories. All seven of these card types are distinguishable from the backs of the cards. This makes it so that you can tell the basic composition of the other players hands. It also allows you to see the type of Evidence or Fact card that is available for draw from the corresponding draw pile (there is an individual draw pile for each of the three basic card types) and you are allowed to choose which draw pile to replenish from (and affect the end of a hand since the hand ends when any draw pile is exhausted).

An example of the complexity of play: The primary focus is on playing as many evidence cards on the other players as possible, but your ability to do this is based upon witness cards that you are dealt at the beginning of the game, one in each category: who, what and where. Your witness in the category of the evidence card you wish to play must be considered 'more credible' than the target's. Witness are ranked 1 to 6 in 6 different categories and the categories are assigned relative credibility randomly at the start of the game (such that a rank 6 in the law enforcer category could be outranked by a rank 1 in the circus performers category if the circus performer witness category is 'more credible' than the law enforcers categeory). If your witness is not credible enough in relation to your target's then you can play a witness card from your hand to 1) change your witness, as long as the new card's rank is lower than or equal to your current card's (but presumably of a higher category) , 2) change your opponent's witness, as long as the new card's rank is higher than or equal to their current card's (but presumably of a lower category) or 3) play a witness card that allows you to shift the order of that category up or down in credibility (based upon the rank of the card).

The complexity of play makes it somewhat difficult to teach to non-gamers/children, and makes it somewhat daunting for these people to play against a more experienced, strategic player. The luck inherent in a card game and the potential to be ganged up on can somewhat level the playing field but the off the wall subject matter may lead people to believe this game is more simple than it is.

In the long run, however, the game is fun to play and has enough play options that every person is actively participating.

by Peggy
Ed's pants - More fun than a barrel of pantless monkeys!
February 28, 2002

This is a deceptive little game. It seems silly, at first glance. But it's got layers of strategy and gets more complex with each playing. The two team game (4 player) is a different animal than the 3 player free-for-all. New players may stick to planting evidence and changing facts. Experienced players will find new challenges and fun in playing with the witness credibility scale.

A fun little game, and well worth picking up.

by Rob
Extremely dynamic frame your friends card game.
December 23, 2002

The first thing I have to say is that I had to read the instructions several times and then try to explain what I read to the other players which took up more time than I would have cared... but...

Once we got through our first few rounds, the mechanics of the game popped into place and it was soon apparant how beautifully dynamic this game truly is.

Once players are comfortable with the numerious options (change the facts, upgrade the reliability of your witness, plant evidence on your opponents, etc.) gameplay is rather quick. I would estimate that the average length of a typical game is 20-40 minutes.

Of course this is all controlled by the players themselves as ending the game is a matter of exhausting any of 3 different piles of cards.

Lots of variety and a dominating theme of backstabbing and treachery make this one of the top games in my 'screw-your-buddy' category of games.

Please help me get my pants back
December 08, 2002

I have had it with people stealing my pants. I know one of you did it and I am going to lock you away... or perhaps I did it for the insurance money.

Who Stole Ed's pants is an amusing game of incriminating your 'friends' to protect yourself. At first glance it may seem to be a light hearted good time game. However, when this game is coupled with a few scheming friends it becomes very strategic.

The game consists of several types of cards score mats and glass counters, which was a surprise as the packaging is very small. The cards are high quality with some interesting artwork.

With most games of this nature, the level of fun depends on whom you are playing with. If people sit back and don't really take part, it becomes little fun. If you friends are the type that would actually steal your pants and all deny it. You will have an excellent time.

A one-hour condensation of Die Macher?
July 08, 2002

I played this game for the first time this past holiday weekend, and I watched parts of two other games. It's a difficult game to describe.

The title of the game may suggest that it's a game of deduction, like Clue or Sleuth, but it's not. Instead, it's assumed that the guilty person is the person the police arrest---your job is to make sure that person is someone else and not you! You want to make sure the evidence associated with you matches the facts of the case less closely than the evidence associated with the other players.

Of course, there are two ways to accomplish this goal. Either you pile more evidence up on the others, or (going straight to the heart of the matter) you simply change the facts of the case. Unfortunately, these strategies require that your own supporters are credible in the eyes of the detectives and that the supporters of your opponents are not credible. This means it can be valuable to change your supporters---or your opponents' supporters---or the opinion of the detectives about the relative credibility of these various supporters.

I'll make a crazy observation: this game feels quite a bit like Die Macher to me. It feels a lot more like Die Macher than any one-hour card game has any right to feel. Of course it's lighter (what else would you expect?) Some of the earlier reviews on this site refer to its complexity, and it truly is a fairly complex game. But if you are a fan of Die Macher, I particularly recommend that you give this game a try.

As you play, it seems there are a zillion things to keep track of: the evidence on you and your opponents, the facts of the case, your own supporters, your opponents' supporters (not only Circus Performers versus People On The Street but 1's versus 6's, all in three different categories, When, Where and Who,) the ranking of the various groups, how many turns are left in the round, and so forth. Even worse is the feeling that as you work to put a credible Circus Performer in as your own supporter in place of that untrustworthy Person On The Street, your opponent may pull a switch and downgrade the credibility of the Circus Performers as a group. How can you keep it all straight?

In addition to its other attractive characteristics, this game works very well as a three-player game (probably better than as a four-player game.) There aren't too many good three-player games, so it's a valuable feature.

Fun concept, not fun game
June 13, 2002

The reviews and descriptions all sounded like this was going to be a lot of fun. It comes in a surprisingly small box and at first glance appears to be a simple card game.

But there are seven, count 'em, seven different types of cards, player score mats, and colored stones all in that little tiny box. The setup seems overly complicated and, unfortunately, some of the rules are vague. The cards are so small that they are difficult to shuffle well.

And the gameplay goes very slow.

Much of the time, we seemed to have cards in our hand that were all useless and had no effect on the game. There's nothing worse than players not having anything fun to do.

So we agonized over what card to play. When we did decide on a play, it was more of a blind choice than any strategic move ('Eeny, meeny...'). We wondered when it was going to get fun.

The theme and the descriptions on the cards are humorous but there was nothing humorous about the long, dull, overly complex game. This one's probably never going to see the light again at our house.

Jim Doherty
November 18, 2001

Despite its light theme, WSEP is very much a strategy game. Players are trying to frame each other for the theft of Ed's pants while keeping their own apparent guilt at a minimum. In a 4-person game, players will win or lose along with their partner, while in a 3-person game it is everyone for themselves.

The crime is described by three categories: When it happened, Where it happened, and Who the thief resembled. Players plant evidence on each other in each of these categories. In addition, they can change the focus of the police investigation so that certain evidence cards are the most damaging. The idea of course is to keep the police more interested in your opponents than yourself.

These actions can only be taken, however, if your own supporters have sufficient credibility. Each player has three witnesses on their team, one per crime category. The credibility of these witnesses can be altered, or the witnesses themselves replaced, through card play.

As such, players have a lot of options in advancing their position, but they may only perform one action per turn. After two scoring rounds, the guiltiest player is arrested for the theft, while the most innocent player claims victory for identifying the thief.

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