Loved the book? Try the game! Just print the image below, cut out the cards and play. Use thick paper so the cards aren’t transparent—or stick them to regular playing cards.
Age 12+, 2-4 players
You are undercover FBI agents, competing to identify killers and their motives.
Shuffle the suspect cards and put one face down in the centre of the table. This is the killer.
Shuffle the motive cards and put one face down next to it. This is the killer’s motive.
Shuffle all the remaining cards together. Deal them out so as each player has the same number of cards. (If a card is left over, discard it, face up.) Put the list of suspects and motives where everyone can see it.
How to play with 3 or 4 players
The player who most recently won a round of anything (including this game) goes first.
On your turn, ask any other player for a card that isn’t in your hand. If they have it, they will slide it across the table to you, face down. If they don’t, they will give you a card of their choice instead. Add the new card to your hand. Do not reveal to any other players which card you have been given.
If you’re not ready to make a prediction, this is the end of your turn. The player to your left goes next.
If you think you have identified the killer and their motive, announce your prediction about both. Then check the two face-down cards (don’t show the other players). If you’re right, you get a point. All cards are shuffled and dealt out again for the next round.
If you’re wrong about either of your predictions, you are eliminated from this round. Put your hand face up on the table, but do not reveal the killer and their motive to the other players. You resume play when another player successfully identifies the killer and their motive (at which point all the cards will be shuffled and dealt out again).
The first player to reach three points wins the game.
How to play with 2 players
Each player starts with only two cards. The rest of the cards (except for the killer and their motive) are in a pile, face down.
Decide who’s going first. On each turn, ask the other player for a card you don’t have. If they have it, they must give it to you. If not, they give you another card of their choice. If you’re ready to make a prediction, say so. If not, pick up another card from the face-down pile and add it to your hand. (If you went first and this is your first turn, skip this step.) It’s now the other player’s turn.
If you make a prediction and it’s right, you’ve won the round. If you’re wrong, the other player has won. It’s now the other player’s turn to go first. The first player to reach three points wins the game.
Big thanks to Toby at Paihia Bookshop in New Zealand and his D&D friends for playtesting. Thanks also to Sean Fenemore and Steve Dee for their suggestions.
If you enjoyed the game…
Why not read the book? Hideout by Jack Heath is a new thriller featuring Timothy “Hangman” Blake, an undercover FBI consultant trapped at a house full of psychopaths—and secretly plotting to eat them all. The audiobook is read by Christopher Ragland.