Good evening … Have you got your curtains closed? No? Somebody could be watching you right now. For what purpose? Well, only they will know. Maybe they have just finished watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window or have finished playing the new board game of the same name from Funko Games. Close those curtains and carry on reading.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock was a film director well-known for his suspenseful films marked by a macabre sense of humour and a bleak view of the human condition. He was known as The Master of Suspense and he directed over fifty films over six decades, many now regarded as classics; The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Notorious, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window among many.
Rear Window is a one such classic, a voyeuristic thriller. After breaking his leg during a photoshoot, photojournalist L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies is forced to spend a humid summer recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment without much to do. The wheelchair-bound Jeff whiles away his time observing his neighbours from his apartment window, bestowing them with nicknames and growing familiar with their daily routines. However, his society girlfriend Lisa is exasperated and then alarmed when Jeff becomes obsessed with the notion that Lars Thorwald, who lives in the apartment opposite, has murdered his wife…
If you like classic thrillers, murder and suspense, Rear Window is a great film … and now for thriller loving fans it is also a board game for 3-5 players, aged 13 and over with a playing time of around 40 minutes. It is a game based on the film, but has a murder been committed … or not?
In the box:
- Director Screen
- Watcher Screen
- Day Boards (x4)
- Solution Board
- Watcher Placards (x4)
- Window Cards (x70)
- Tiles (x102)
- Tokens (x45)
- Token Tray
- Trunk Box
- Wooden Cubes (x4)
- Players’ Guide Booklet
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window board game is a thrilling game of deduction, suspicion and observation where there may or may not have been a murder. It is a fully co-operative game where all players work together, or a game of the director against the watchers. The game has two sets of players: The Director (1 player) and The Watchers (2-4 players).
There are a lot of cardboard pieces in this game. On first opening of the box, the game tray will need setting up. This involves punching out lots of tokens from the cardboard punchboards and grouping identical ones together. These then go into the slots on the game tray. This obviously only needs to be done once and the game tray has a lid that goes over the top to stop the tokens falling out when the game is packed away.
When setting up the game to play you will need quite a bit of space, preferably a large table that players can sit at opposite ends of. First decide which player is going to be The Director, the rest of the players are then The Watchers. Place the Watcher and Director screens at opposite ends of the table in front of the relevant players. Place the four Days Boards (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4) between the screens with the text facing the Watchers. The Day 1 board should be face up and the other 3 days face down. Give the solution board to the Director who places it behind their screen so the Watchers can’t see it. Place the four Watcher placards face up next to the day boards along with the Pointer token and Investigate token. The Watchers take both Murder tokens and four of each resident tokens from the game tray. The Director shuffles the Window cards and places them face down nearby. The Director takes one of each Resident tokens, three Cut tokens and the four small wooden cubes from the tray. The Director also takes the trunk from the box and opens it, placing it nearby.
As play commences, you gather clues and hints from what you see in the windows and have to try and deduce what is going on.
Overall, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is an excellent strategy game that I think is perfect for older teenagers and adults to play. It has suspense, mystery and complexity and is excellent fun trying to figure the clues and trying to deduce if there has been a murder or not and trying to work out what is on the Director’s solution board – the Watcher’s need to figure out who is in what apartment, what they are doing and has a murder been committed or not. The Director is either helping or hindering the Watchers and might be covering up a murder!
The game is played over ‘4 days’ looking through different scenes to try and spot patterns and clues.
The game is well thought out and you don’t have to have seen the film for it to make sense (although it is a good film and is worth a watch). The components are cardboard and mostly good quality – I thought the trunk could have been made from stiffer card stock. I loved the tray for the attribute tokens as the cards can be left in it, the lid placed on and stored neatly in the box. It has all been designed very well.
It is an excellent game of deduction, one that encourages discussion and cooperation among the players. If you like mysteries and like games where you have to use your brain, logic and deduction, then I can highly recommend Funko Games Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. It is fun entertainment, excellent for getting everyone involved and chatting and the game time of around 40 minutes is just about right. I loved the idea of not knowing if a murder has been committed or not.
A fun game that always has a different outcome and can be played again and again. It won’t appeal to everyone but went down very well with us.