By Michael A. Hawker
I’ve used The Game Crafter to prototype a number of games over the years. I really enjoy designing games, and I have a lot of fun in the process. It’s my hobby though, so investing time is always a precious resource. It takes a lot of effort to really add that last bit of polish on a game especially between editing, testing, balancing, and making sure everything still works. When it does work though, it’s a big sigh of relief and a huge accomplishment.
Originally, I started this particular project for the Mystery Challenge; I set out to think about the idea of the classic game of Memory/Concentration. Memory hasn’t changed much over the years, but I thought there must be a way to make it a bit more strategic (over just having a good memory). That led me down an interesting path, but without much glue holding it together. As I thought more about the Mystery theme of the challenge, Afoot was born!
Afoot is a two to four player mystery memory game that can be played in 20-30 minutes. In addition, it adds strategic components to the traditional game of Memory as well as the deductive reasoning and logic of solving a murder mystery from Clue (without having to run around a mansion). The pace of play is quick and keeps everyone engaged as paying attention at all times is important while you try to solve the mystery and earn points.
The main twist from a traditional game of Memory is that players interact with the board and can swap clues from the board (image above) with ones kept hidden in their hand (image below). Every match they make will give them a few points and an additional benefit. And by tracking what information they’ve been seeing – they can deduce the mystery at the end of the game for extra points.
I’m currently working on a deluxe edition of Afoot as well with its own custom screens and support for at least another player. I hope to have it with me at PAX Dev and Prime this year, so if you want to try it out just track me down or check twitter: @MikewareXGR. And if you’ll be at PAX Dev, be sure to check out my talk on video game use in education: You Have Died of Dysentery: Games in Education Are Still Alive.