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Fugitive by Fowers Games Review

Theme and What is it?

In this two-player cops & robbers type game, one player is the Fugitive, on the run from the law, and the other is the Marshal, bound and determined to track down the criminal in all his various hideouts.

Gameplay Mechanics

There is one deck of cards in this game, labeled with numbers 00 to 42 and also with either one or two sets of footprints. The Fugitive is dealt a hand of cards and the Marshal is given a dry-erase marker and board with the numbers 1 to 42 listed. Remaining cards are separated into three tiers of numbers (0 to 14, 15 to 28, 29 to 41), shuffled, and placed face-down on a board that indicates the range of numbers each stack represents.

Though the first turn for both Fugitive and Marshal are slightly different, the general flow of the game has the Fugitive drawing one card and placing one, two, or three cards, followed by the Marshal drawing one card and guessing a number (representing a hideout) that the Fugitive has placed.

The Fugitive is trying to make it to hideout number 42 in order to win the game. The Marshal is trying to identify all hideouts (numbers) that are played. In order to assist him in his search, the card the Marshal draws can be used to cross out certain hideout numbers to make the deduction process a little easier.

So how does the Fugitive play his cards? Each turn, he is allowed to play one hideout card face down that can be a number up to 3 greater than the previous number he played.

To spice things up a bit, those footprints I mentioned? Each card can be used either as a hideout OR as a “Sprint”, where the Fugitive is allowed to move faster than normal. Some cards have one set of footprints and some have two. The Fugitive is allowed to use up to two cards totaling up to 3 sets of footprints. Each set of footprints allows him to place a hideout that is one higher than the number he’d normally be allowed.

After the Fugitive plays his card(s), the Marshal draws a card and tries to guess either singly or in series, the number(s) on the hideouts played. If he guesses correctly, the Fugitive turns that card face up. Once all the cards are face up, the Marshal wins. If the Fugitive gets to 42 before the Marshal guesses them all, he wins… Unless the Marshal has only correctly guessed numbers under 30. Then, the Manhunt begins! I won’t spoil all the surprises for you, but suffice it to say that the game keeps you on your toes.

Initial Impressions

I was curious about this game. The cops and robbers theme appealed to me, and I wondered how they were going to make a numerical deduction game out of it. I’m not really a numbers person, so I was a bit hesitant, but once I got the rules down, I felt much more confident.

Game Build Quality

I love the way the box opens on a paper hinge. It feels like opening a treasure chest and immediately puts me in the zone. The cards themselves are fairly standard playing cards, and the cardboard mat used to identify the stacks of numbered hideouts is nice and sturdy. The box is pretty small, making it easy to transport for trips, gaming sessions at a friend’s place, or fast entertainment at a coffee shop.

Artistic Direction

The art features a cartoon/comic book style art that really catches the eye. The lines are bold and the colors are really quite striking. I love that the fugitive is dressed in a James Bond style tux and the Marshal is a female agent in a smart brown trench coat. As the hideouts — and the game — progress, the pictures on the hideouts tell a story of their own, which is always fun to reveal as the Marshal guesses the correct hideout numbers.

Fun Factor

I’m not really into deduction type games, and I found this frustrating at first as I stumbled through, trying to find a strategy to get some cards revealed. Once we got about halfway through the game, I started to find my stride and relax and enjoy myself.

Age Range & Weight

You don’t need to be able to read to play the game, just recognize numbers up to 42. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend playing with small children, as the strategy involved can be frustrating. I probably wouldn’t even play with my nine-year-old, but he has a low frustration tolerance. It would be a great game for couples looking for a little after-dinner entertainment.

Conclusions

I love the box that the game comes in, complete with its magnetic clasp. I love that it’s a neat, small package and I love discovering another great two-player game for my husband and me to enjoy. Fowers Games has really put out a quality product here, and I can’t wait to see what they come out with next!