Fugitive is a quick two-player card game from designer Tim Fowers, well-known for his games Paperback and Burgle Bros. This new game is streamlined and simple, yet it still manages to be challenging and, more importantly, fun. It plays in about 10-15 minutes.
One player takes the role of the fugitive, the other is the marshall.
Gameplay is asynchronous, with the fugitive trying to escape and the marshall tracking him down in an attempt to capture him. Either role presents some tension and difficult choices, and both are fun to play.
The basic game uses just 43 cards, with the fugitive trying to secretly place down cards(hideouts) to get from 0 to 42 before the marshall guesses all of his hideouts.
Though the fugitive can only increase the numbers he plays by up to three, he can alter this by choosing to play additional cards to either 'sprint' a farther distance, or bluff, making the marshall think he sprinted when he really hasn't.
Each turn, a card is drawn and the fugitive can play cards face down or simply pass, waiting for better cards to be drawn.
The marshall also draws each turn, each time narrowing the fugitives possibilities and increasing their knowledge of where he is not. If the marshall reveals all of the hideouts before the fugitive plays the 42 card, she wins.
If not, the fugitive has escaped and is the winner.
The rules allow for a last ditch effort by the marshall if she is far behind when the fugitive plays the last card. Also, there is a deck of event cards that can be added to shake things up a bit and add some variability and replayability.
All in all, I find this little game to be quite enjoyable. The simplicity of the gameplay makes it easy to teach, but the elegance of it makes it a challenge for both players. The excellent artwork on the cards, depicting a city-spanning chase, is fun and a nice bonus. I recommend it!