Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Alfred Hitchcock Game

Kerry Hammond has been playing games again. She's going to tell us all about it. 

Most of my friends and family love to read, and a large percentage of them are lovers of the mystery genre. I find that many mystery lovers don’t stop with simply reading the books. We watch crime shows on TV, wander to the mystery and suspense section of the library’s DVD collection, and walk around wearing Crime Scene scarves. We’re basically hard core mystery lovers, and my personal interest in mysteries even extends to board games. 

I’ve always liked playing board games, and I own a lot of the classics like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. On game night, though, I am more likely to grab for Clue or 221B Baker Street before any other. I think I would go as far as to call myself a collector of mystery based board games, and I thought that I would write a series of blog posts on this subject, in order to share some of the wonderful games I own with the Mystery Playground audience.

The most recent addition to my collection was a garage sale find. It’s a mint condition Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Game “Why,” manufactured in 1958 by Milton Bradley Company. The game is for ages 12 to adult and can be played by 2 to 4 players. The box explains that this is “a fascinating game that requires real thinking, planning and memory.”

The Premise: An old house is haunted by the ghosts of six people who took shelter there long ago after a masquerade ball. They were never seen again, but have haunted the house ever since. And this is “Why” Alfred Hitchcock has invited players to assemble and try to solve the Mystery of “Why” the ghosts are haunting the house. The ghosts are: Daniel Boone, Pocahontas, Napoleon, Nero, Cleopatra and Henry VIII. 

The Object: To move your playing piece through the house collecting clues, or cards. These clues are in the form of pieces of either a ghost or the weapon that killed them (Ax, Poison, Rope or Gun). Each ghost or weapon needs 4 cards put together to complete the image. Players have an alternate way to win the game, however. They can choose instead to collect the 6 cards that when put together create the famous Alfred Hitchcock silhouette. 

The Play: Players roll the dice and move their playing piece (you can choose from: Charlie Clam, Dick Crazy, Shylock Bones, and Sergeant Monday) throughout the house and collect cards.  Players may also challenge other players in order to steal their cards. When items are discarded into the “lawn” outside the house, it’s helpful to have excelled in the game of Memory as a child. Cards are shown to all players before being placed on the lawn, and are picked up later by other players…but only if they remember exactly where the card they can be found. 

This game was a lot of fun to play and a wonderful addition to my collection.