Scotland Yard Review

By , on May 23, 2012

Scotland Yard
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Slick visual update; lots of information readily available to use for keeping track of "Mr. X".
  • Voice and text chat for online multiplayer.
  • Quick and efficient tutorial gets you playing sooner.


  • No reconnect option for drop-outs on multiplayer.
  • Small text and buttons can be troublesome on both iPad and iPhone.
  • Weak AI; unable to replace human opponents.


Scotland Yard may be the bane of the younger siblings of the world, but it's still a fast and fun board game for all to enjoy if you can scrape up the players to offset the poor AI.

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I've made it abundantly clear in the past that I love board games. While video games are obviously a passion of mine, their roots are embedded deeply in the social past-time of gathering around a table and vying for supremacy via cards, dice, tokens or just your mind

Scotland Yard is almost 30 years old now and a true classic, but also one that may have left many a child frustrated by its obvious weaknesses as a board game, so how does it shape up as a video game?

The game supports between 2-6 players, with one player being dubbed "Mr. X" and the rest taking up the role of a series of Detectives. Your task is seemingly simple: Catch "Mr. X". However as with all games there's a twist - you can't see him on the board. What you can see, though, is the series of 'tickets' he has used to move around the city either via taxi, bus, or subway around the London cityscape. As Detectives you'll need to work together to decipher where "Mr. X" is in order to surround or capture him.

Thanks to a slick tutorial system explaining the basics and each of the major roles you'll be playing against AI opponents and friends alike via local pass and play, Wifi/Bluetooth, or over Game Center straight away. Online games also have the benefit of being able to use voice chat or text messages to coordinate your moves - a pivotal feature of out-witting "Mr. X". Unfortunately there are no secrets and "Mr. X" will be aware of these communiques

Sadly Scotland Yard doesn't come unscathed in its transition and features two rather damning problems.

First is the weak AI that can be easily out-maneuvered, making it a poor opponent if you're playing as Mr. X or expecting help as a fellow Detective.

Secondly, though the interface may be slick, the extremely small text and buttons can make it an eyestrain on the iPad, let alone on smaller iPhone screens. Thankfully an update is on the way to solve this issue.

Despite these problems, Scotland Yard remains a treat to play if you can scratch up two to five other people willing to play with you locally or online. It's far from a perfect transition to the touch screen, but it remains just as fun given the right circumstances.


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