The aim of Scotland Yard is to win.
Winning is achieved by being the player who plays Mr. X and not getting caught, or by being the player who players a detective and Mr. X gets caught.
This collaborative board game takes place in central London where Mr. X is pursued to 2-5 detectives.
The board depicts a map of London with the roads, bus lanes, underground and boat routes marked out. There are 198 colour-coded stops:
-White = Taxi (all stops are taxi stops and only move one stop)
– Blue = Bus (only some stops are bus stops and move a few stops at a time)
– Red = Underground (only a handful of stops are bus stops and move large distances)
– Dotted line = boat (only Mr. X may use this method of transport)
Players are each given a number of taxi, bus and underground tickets (the number is determined by the number of players). Players may only move their playing piece if they have the corresponding ticket for the stop where their piece is.
The Mr. X’s player also get four bonus tickets, a location pad, a pen and a visor. Two of the tickets are mystery tickets allowing Mr. X to move but doesn’t divulge the method of transportation – including boat rides. Two of the tickets are x2 and allows Mr. X to make two moves during their turn.
The location pad and pen is important because Mr. X spends most of the time with the playing piece not on the board, leaving the poor detectives only a series of clues as to their whereabouts. Each turn, Mr. X writes the target location on their pad and then covers the number with the respective ticket. The detectives only know the method of transport, in this case. Every now and then, Mr. X is forced to reveal their location for 1 turn, before going back into hiding.
The visor is worn by the player and is designed to conceal the eyes from the other players, so the player cannot inadvertently give away Mr. X’s position by looking too intently at a particular section of the map.
Starting with Mr. X, players take turns moving their playing pieces from stop to stop along the legal routes by paying travel tickes. Mr. X pays his onto the location pad so the detectives can keep track of the methods of transportation used. The detectives pay their limited tickets to Mr. X for his use later on so must use them conservatively to make sure significant moves can still be played later on.
The game ends when Mr. X is caught or the detectives have used all their legal moves.