Outfoxed is a cooperative deduction game: the players work together to find out which fox stole the pie!
At the start of the game the pie is already stolen, and without looking, you choose one Thief card and insert it into the plastic clue decoder: the identity of the thief is now hidden. The culprit is making his or her escape down a path, back to their foxhole, while the players need to work out which is the guilty fox from a list of 16 suspects. Two are revealed at the start of the game, and on your turn you can either reveal suspects or look for clues. If you’re hoping to reveal suspects, you roll the three dice up to three times, aiming for three eye symbols. Succeed, and you can flip two suspect cards over. Fail, and the fox moves toward their den!
If you look for clues, you roll the dice hoping to get paw symbols instead. Succeed, and you may move your counter the amount of paw symbols shown on the dice around the board – potentially uncovering a clue. Fail, and the fox moves!
If you make it to a clue spot when looking for clues, you take the top clue from the clues pile and put it in the clue decoder: this will reveal something about the perpetrator: are they wearing a flower, carrying a bag or maybe an umbrella? And so on. Each clue has an item of clothing or accessory on it, so in revealing they are wearing a scarf, for instance, helps you eliminate all the revealed suspects who don’t wear a scarf. Revealed clues are then left face-down, so it’s up to the players to remember what they know about the clues as the game continues.
Outfoxed finishes either when the players have eliminated everyone but the suspect (or feel confident enough to have a guess) – in which case they win (unless of course they guessed wrong!) or when the fox makes it back to the hole, in which case the players lose. You can make the fox as speedy as you like to make the game a bit harder for yourselves!
I don’t see hardened gamers hunched around a game of Outfoxed, but as a game for young children, or adults to play with their young children, it’s hard to better. The randomness of the dice isn’t purely arbitrary – failed rolls mean the fox moves, which hastens the end of the game and brings increasing pressure to solve the crime. And it’s not a game where adults can figure anything out ahead of the kids – you genuinely will be figuring out the mystery together. It’s far more interesting than Ludo-type roll-and-move games; in Outfoxed the players are learning about deduction and utilizing memory skills as well. My kids love it and I really enjoy playing it with them. Older gamers might prefer the weightier Mystery of the Abbey.
There's no Take That at all - players work as a team.
Minimal: choices are straightforward and you're only waiting a few moments for your turn.
Almost none: you have a choice of revealing suspects or searching for clues: after that, it's dice-rolling and collective deduction.
There are 16 possible thieves in every game, and the dice also guarantee randomness. Very replayable also due to being rather zippy - done and dusted in about 15 minutes!