From tile laying to deck building, lots of fun game mechanics are involved in classic tabletop experiences. Hidden movement is a truly unique gameplay mechanic in the world of board games, as it adds a lot of tension to the experience in a significant way. In a hidden movement game, you won’t know exactly where someone is on the board. Instead, you must use your deduction skills to narrow down their possible location before it’s too late.
Many classic board games have explored this exciting game mechanic, adding their own unique twist to the concept. There are hidden movement games about Dracula, aliens, and even nuns. If you haven’t tried this genre of board games, here’s a great selection of games you should try first.
8/8 Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard is an excellent choice for newcomers to the hobby. He’s quick to pick up and it’s a fun experience in both roles. One of you will take on the role of Mr. X, and you’ll even get a hat to make sure no one can see where he’s looking on the board. You must use various modes of transportation to move around the city, and you win the game if you can survive multiple rounds without getting caught.
The rest of you will play as the detectives. He sees all the means of transportation that Mr. X uses, but he doesn’t know exactly where they are. Since there are only a limited number of transportation tokens Mr. X can use and the routes he can take, he can try to slowly corner the mastermind. Scotland Yard is at its best when the group closes in on Mr. X – just one wrong move from either side can win or lose the game.
7/8 nuns on the run
In a Scotland Yard reversal, Nuns On The Run has one player chasing everyone else. The game takes place in a large abbey with many corridors and rooms to hide. It’s after curfew, but the nuns can’t wait to sneak out and grab their favorite things, like cookies. As a novice nun, she will try to find her secret object of desire and return to her room undetected. If you play as the abbess, you are instead listening for footsteps and patrolling the grounds.
Most Nuns On The Run games will last an hour or less. It’s incredibly satisfying to catch your friends before it’s too late, and it’s even more satisfying when you’re a newbie barely avoiding detection. It’s a silly theme but it creates some fantastic moments.
6/8 Whitechapel Letters
In Letters From Whitechapel, you and your friends will try to stop Jack the Ripper before he claims five new victims. Jack’s movements are hidden, but clues are always left. Both parties have many tricks up their sleeves to try to fool each other. There are potential lure victims, intense chase sequences, and more to add a lot of excitement to the game. Everyone feels they have a real chance to win, as Jack and the detectives try to outsmart each other at all times.
Letters From Whitechapel is deeper than Nuns On The Run and Scotland Yard, with a playing time of around 90 minutes. It feels like a real cat and mouse chase and it gets more intense with each passing night. Will Jack the Ripper get away with it or will they face justice? It depends on you.
5/8 Dracula’s Fury
Fury Of Dracula pits the terrifying Dracula against a group of vampire hunters. Most of you will work cooperatively together while Dracula is alone. The hunters must uncover Dracula’s location across Europe before his influence becomes unstoppable.
During the day, hunters can take actions to help prepare to defeat Dracula. In the dead of night, Dracula moves, sets traps, and leaves a trail of clues. Unlike other hidden movement games, finding Dracula does not end the game. A deadly fight breaks out, ensuring a climactic ending. Everything about this game makes it feel like an epic adventure.
4/8 spectrum operations
Specter Ops is about a secret agent trying to infiltrate a highly secure sci-fi facility. They must try to reach their objectives and escape without being killed by a group of deadly hunters. Line of sight is a big part of this game. If you come across a hunter, then you reveal your last seen location on the board. Luckily, you have a few different abilities to help you sneak around again, like holograms and adrenaline boosts. Hunters also have unique abilities, such as long-range sniping and even a vehicle to speed around the map.
Specter Ops is great with two players and more. In a two player game, one of you will have to face two hunters instead of one. Specter Ops is a fun and light-hearted hide-and-seek experience with unique powers and simple mechanics to contend with.
3/8 MGMT Mind
In Mind MGMT, rogue secret agents with psychic abilities try to stop a corrupt company from recruiting more people for their dastardly plans. One of you will play as the recruiter, secretly sneaking around without backing down, trying to avoid detection for enough turns. Agents have many skills at their disposal to know where the recruiter has been previously. The game feels like a real puzzle, with a lot of mind games involved on both sides of the hunt.
Mind MGMT is undoubtedly on the more complex side of the hidden movement genre, but it’s an exciting experience from start to finish once you understand the rules. The art is also amazing, created by the artist of the game’s comic counterpart.
2/8 Escape from aliens in outer space
Escape From The Aliens In Outer Space is about… well… escaping from aliens in outer space. Half of you will be human, trying to escape in one of the few escape pods that works before anyone else. The other half is playing as aliens, tracking down and killing the humans, turning them into more aliens to invade the spaceship.
Escape From The Aliens In Outer Space combines both hidden movement and hidden roles. It’s an incredibly unique game where everyone is invisible. They each have their own copy of the map and track its movements in secret. Not only do you need to find out where everyone is, but you also need to determine if they are on your side or not. There is a lot of confusion, which adds to the hilarity of this game. The game is perfect for large groups as everyone runs around in the dark, not knowing who they can trust.
1/8 Captain Sonar
Captain Sonar is a tense, real-time version of Battleship. Two rival submarines are racing around a map, trying to pinpoint each other’s location, ready their torpedoes, and fire. The first submarine to be destroyed loses. You never know exactly where the rival sub is, as they are constantly moving. One of your team will be listening to the opposing team’s discussions, trying to piece together where they might be.
In Captain Sonar, everyone has a vital role to play. He may be keeping the sub from breaking down, tracking the other team, or deciding where to go next. It’s a hectic experience that will have everyone on the edge of their seat. There is also a four player turn based version called Sonar. Sonar is a friendly and less daunting variant to introduce to your kids. No matter which version you try, it’s an unforgettable hidden moves game that everyone should experience.
NEXT: Amazing Animal-Themed Board Games