Title: STOP THIEF!
Game Type: Deduction/reasoning.
Number of Players: 2-4
Complexity of Rules: Low
Time to Play: 30 minutes. Usually less
The Concept: [From the inside of the box:]
ELECTRONIC COPS AND ROBBERS. Featuring the ELECTRONIC CRIME SCANNER.
A crime is being committed…but where?
In the jewelry store? The bank? Where will the thief strike next? You and your opponents are licensed private detectives. The thief you’re after is computer controlled and completely invisible. But you can hear him! With your ELECTRONIC CRIME SCANNER you can eavesdrop on the thief whenever he moves on the board. You can hear him in the act of committing a crime. You hear him, too, as he opens a door, crosses a floor, breaks a window, runs on the street and escapes on the subway. Each sound you hear is a clue that will help you track him down. You’ll need all your skills of deduction and logic to follow the thief and corner him. Then you can call the police. With luck, the police will arrest the thief and cart him off to jail. Sometimes, though, he escapes from them. At other times, he’s just not where you think he is! If you can catch this thief, you’ll earn a large reward. If he gives you the slip, he’ll rob again…and again…and again…
Why I Like It: First of all — Wayback Machine! Our copy still has the original 1980 price sticker from the department store attached.
There are numbered squares on the game board. When it’s your turn you press the “C” (Clue) button on the controller and the Thief moves from square to square. Each movement is represented by a distinctive noise, such as a window breaking or a door opening. By process of elimination you attempt to figure out the Thief’s current location and send the cops to arrest him. We’ve always played it without the Sleuth Cards since they make the game too easy. (“Tips” given by the cards tell you exactly where the Thief is, and what’s the fun in that?) Without the Sleuth Cards it can really be a challenge to find the Thief.
I loved this game at the time and I still love it. It’s also nice that we really took care of it when we young and never stored a battery in the controller. Almost everything is near-immaculate.
BoardGameGeek page here.