Stop Thief is a family game of logical deduction for 2-4 players (1-5 players with various play modes). An invisible suspect commits a crime. Only the sounds they make will give them away. Listen to the clues and figure out where they are hiding. Play cards from your unique deck to mover around the board, sneak through a window, or even get a private tip. Once you have the suspect pinned down, swoop in and make the arrest.
Stop Thief was designed by Dr. Robert Doyle and published by Parker Brothers in 1979. Dr. Doyle was an honest-to-goodness rocket scientist. He left NASA to design electronic games and toys, like Code Name: Sector and Electronic Battleship. He is perhaps best known for the groundbreaking Merlin, one of the first handheld electronic game systems, which featured multiple games in one device, variable difficulty levels, and the ability to save games-all in 1979! His influence can be seen today in the recent spate of games merging electronics and tabletop play. But the most fun of all his designs remains Stop Thief.
The obvious first step in our restoration was taking the electronic device and turning it into an app. Doing that allows us to get better sound quality and a more dynamic platform for different modes of play. Next step was ditching the roll and move mechanic and, in general, stripping out some of the luck and adding in a healthy dose of strategy. By replacing the dice for decks of movement cards, it also let us make the decks asymmetrical, which increases the fun and replayability. We also added game effects to the suspect cards to further spice things up. Finally, we gave the whole thing a fresh coat of paint with more current art and design.
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