Friday, March 9, 2012

Thief -- Game

This is possibly the most fun group game I've ever played. My uncle's family introduced it to us several years ago, and we decided to play it at Kylen's birthday party. It takes lots of 'splainin' but is actually quite simple.

First, designate a responsible person to be the Leader, preferably an adult. This individual will make sure everything flows smoothly but will not be able to play. Borrow enough cards from a deck to give each player one. Choose cards such that all but one are alike in some respect. For example, with 10 players you could choose nine green UNO cards and one yellow. The Leader mixes them face down and gives each player one. They look at their card, taking care not to reveal it. The Leader then collects the cards and sets them aside until the next game. The Leader should either look at the cards as he hands them out or as he collects them so as to know who got the "different" card.

The lights are now turned out. Ideally, you want the house to be pitch black: ALL lights off (including outside lights if possible), blinds closed to shut out moonlight, etc. Make sure all paths are clear of obstacles. The Leader begins a loud countdown. 15 seconds worked well for us. All players quickly and silently scatter throughout the house. The more rooms and areas, the better.

Whoever got the "different" card is the Thief. Once the countdown is up, the Thief begins looking for people to take out. He does this by tapping them. The moment you are tapped, you are out and must lie down right there, remaining quiet and still until the game is over.

If a player thinks he knows who the Thief is, he shouts, "I know who the Thief is!" Another player must immediately back him up, shouting, "I do too!" If no one backs him up within a few seconds, the game continues as before. However, if someone does back him up, the Leader shouts out, "Everyone freeze!" All players freeze while the Leader has the first person who called out whisper in his ear who he thinks the Thief is. Next, the second person whispers in the Leader's ear. If their guesses do not agree or if they are wrong, they are immediately out and game continues as before with the leader shouting, "Continue playing!" However, if they agree and are correct, the game is over. They won. If the Thief is able to get all the other players out before being identified, the Thief wins.

One of the strategies for playing this game is for players who aren't the Thief to pretend to be. They can follow each other, etc. But they can't go so far as to actually tap anyone. After a few rounds, you can mix things up by changing the number of thieves. You simply replace one or more of the green cards with yellow. You can announce that from here on, there could be more than one thief. You can announce how many thieves there are at the beginning of each round, if desired. If one Thief taps another Thief, the one who is tapped can pretend to be out and get back up later. Or he can simply whisper, "I'm a Thief too!" For multiple Thieves, the game continues until all Thieves have been identified. Each time one is caught, he is out and must sit down in that spot quietly the rest of the game just like those who have been tapped.

A very cool trick the Leader can play on everyone is to make everyone a Thief without telling. It's hilarious!

The original name for this game was Murderer. I felt the whole concept seemed too scary/morbid for kids, so we renamed it Thief. Since it was a black light/glow-in-the-dark party, we came up with the idea of the players being robots. They all carried a glow stick which was their "power source." The Thief was going around "stealing" their power sources by tapping players with his own light stick. (The kids still kept their light sticks though.) The kids absolutely LOVED this game, and several adults got in on it as well. In fact, they enjoyed it so much, we played a few additional rounds at the end of the party. Highly recommended!


katrina said...

I have never heard of this game and am always looking for new ones! We will have to try it out! btw, LOVED your V-day post. You are so creative. Did you get my email a few weeks back?? Hope you are doing well. I am thinking of you a lot today!

Farrah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Farrah said...

Thank you, Katrina! And thank you for your comment! Those help me keep motivated to continue blogging. :-)

The last e-mail I could find was us exchanging Christmas addresses. I do remember you asking about our homeschool. I am working on a post about that! :-)

katrina said...

hmm..ok well I sent you a LO----NG one with a ton of ?'s. I am quite sure it borders on annoying....I will re-send it :) super excited to read your hs post!

Farrah said...

I still didn't get it. Hmm . . . did you send it to the address that begins, "weworshipjesus"?