Scotland Yard

Multiplayer:Yes, various types
Universal App:Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)
Purchase for iPhone:Use link below to purchase universal app
Purchase for iPad:
Scotland Yard
Price: $3.99
User rating:
GD Star Rating
Scotland Yard, 8.4 out of 10 based on 119 ratings

Some of you may remember some time last year there was a clone of this game making the rounds; eventually Ravensburger cottoned on and shut that catastrophe down. This however, is completely official.

If you’re new to the game, Scotland Yard was originally released in 1983, and nearly 30 years later you get to see the digital version of it.


The game revolves around modern-day London, where a mysterious Mister X has committed some unspecified crime. He is opposed by up to six bobbies (cops for you yanks), who attempt to trail and discover his whereabouts through a trail of discarded public transport tickets. Naturally, this begs the question of why a notorious criminal and the Metropolitan Police Force are using public transport to evade and pursue, but, and if I may misappropriate a quote from Tennyson, “ours is not to reason why”.

The trick to the game is that Mister X doesn’t have a piece on the board, at least not one visible by the police. Instead you must deduce his likely location by said trail of tickets; that is the police know (unless disguised as per below) what type of transport Mister X used for each turn. Additionally, at certain pre-set times, the current location of Mister X is revealed.

Fundamentally, each turn, whether you’re Mister X or a police officer, you must spend a ticket to travel. Both police and X have the options to use taxis, buses, or the metro train. Each have an inverse relationship to the amount of distance travelled to the number of tickets available to them. Mister X has additional types of tickets that allow him to travel without a trace, or by one of three boat trips.

Game wins for Mister X if he evades capture, and for the police if they either trap him or land on his spot.


In reviewing this game, it’s very easy to notice the amount of polish that has gone into its presentation, its user interface, and a really thorough tutorial. It has multiplayer optionality, with voice chat and text communications (Mutiplayer can be utilised through local, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and online/Game Center). So there is clearly a lot of love has gone into it.

I have to give a mixed opinion about this game. One the one hand, its presentation is very polished and for people who like the game it will undoubtedly be a boon. However, for people who aren’t exposed to the game previously it might be a bit of a miss. I find it hard not to compare it to Letters from Whitechapel, which is built around the same mechanic. However the latter game uses the same core game mechanic in a much more elegant and intelligent way. Of course such a comparison is disingenuous because Scotland Yard predates by three decades, and it’s like trying to compare early models of any technology with its decedents; that is, it’s easier to build a better mousetrap when you have thirty years of modelling to work off.


7/10: So what does this mean? If you’re new to games, or you’re looking for something that errs on the side of light, you will probably enjoy this game. However, if you want something that has a deeper strategy you may be found wanting.

There are 10 comments

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  1. Nick

    To Gamerboard: Detectives Chase is a clone of Scotland Yard that deserves to be pulled from the app store for being an obvious clone. Better is highly subjective, as it has next to none of the features Scotland Yard does.

    And the most important thing it fails at? It’s NOT Scotland Yard. It’s not the game I loved to play when I was younger. It doesn’t have any of the nostalgia. It’s an outright clone that the developer had no right in using.

    I’m really glad this got a good score. It falters in some places with slightly crappy AI, but excels in its extensive multiplayer options. And being universal is a massive boon, unlike Detectivr’s Chase which is iPhone only.

    Simply put, this is a simple, fun, quality family game that’s well over 30 years old. The fact that it still holds up and is still quite fun says something. Is it as timeless as Monopoly? Not for some, but it’s quirkiness is something I never thought I’d see on the app store.

    Who here is with me on wanting to see Stop Thief! Ported??? Anyone?

  2. Gameboard

    Yes my friend you are right detective chase is e clone is a illegal port but

    If I be original developer (Revensurger) i will try to make a better version with more features (mobile ver exclusive features) and not make again the same game! Maybe I will make an other game like Letters from whitechapel or a new version of scotland yard.

    * detective chase is only for IPad not iPhone and not universal as Scotland Yard

  3. Mave

    I think that the port is absolutely cool. I played the original board game when it came out here in Germany and I was really looking forward to it when Ravensburger announced the iPad version.

    Of course it doesn’t have the vintage look&feel but it’s still just fun.The computer AI could definitely improve but playing it online is a good workaround 😉

  4. Erufailon

    Gameboard: Why wouldn’t they make the same game? That’s the whole point that it’s scotland yard, not some clone. It’s the copycats that need to make a whole new game, not Ravensburger. So according to you we shouldn’t have a digital version of the original SY just because someone cloned it? If I were Ravensburger I’d have the clones removed and tell them to be happy I don’t sue.

  5. Gameboard

    I tell what i doing IF I were Ravensburger…

    I prefer an better Version of Scotland Yard and i believe customers choices. You proposed war with developers and fans of the game.

    Original delevoper has alwayes avandage agains clones customers know that.

  6. ChrisB

    I bought and installed the latest version of Scotland Yard on my iPad. It is unplayable. I have no clue what to do. Attempts at “Trial and error” have failed because I have no idea where to click or drag and I get no feedback. The tutorial crashes. The rules are displayed as black text on black and dark blue background and are unreadable, I do not get the white background box. Your screenshot above is actually the first time I have managed to read at least one page of the rules.
    I would advice everyone to stay away from this game until this is fixed, and if you have a playable version, do not update to the current one.

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