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We're bringing back this classic board game of elusive suspects and audio deduction with modern play and upgraded components.
We're bringing back this classic board game of elusive suspects and audio deduction with modern play and upgraded components.
2,507 backers pledged $100,937 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Stop Thief! - The Classic 1979 Board Game Restored! project video thumbnail
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$100,937

2,507

 

 

Stop Thief! is a competitive board game of deduction and memory for 1-5 players, fun for families and advanced gamers alike. Originally designed by Dr. Robert Doyle and published by Parker Brothers in 1979, we've polished it up and are bringing it back for a modern audience. Whether you played the original Stop Thief as a child or were born long after it went out of print, you'll have a blast with this classic game restored by legendary designer Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy, SeaFall) and Justin D. Jacobson, president of Restoration Games.

 

In Stop Thief!, you and the other players are private investigators. A thief commits a crime somewhere in the city. However, you never see the thief on the board. Each turn, the thief makes a new sound, telling you what kind of space they moved to. By piecing the different sounds together and finding the right pattern on the board, you can figure out where the invisible interloper is and try to catch them. If you succeed, you collect the reward. If you collect enough money, you win the game.

One of the biggest updates we made to the game was where those sound clues come from. The original game came with a battery-operated electronic "crime scanner" with a fancy LED display and 8-bit sound. Though it was a technological wonder for its time, we've come a long way since then. In partnership with Hidden Achievement, we are developing a flexible smartphone app. This allows us to push out new content and offer multiple modes of play. It also offers different settings to suit each group's needs. For example, you can add icons that show the sound being played, so hearing-impaired players can join in the fun. Or you can adjust the difficulty level to make it fun for families and hardcore gamers alike. The app is free to download and will be available in all major app stores and compatible with most devices.

UPDATE: With the stretch goals we've already unlocked, you've got 3 difficulty levels to choose from, a classic mode that recreates the original sounds of the game, and cooperative, solo, and 1-vs-all play modes.

We replaced the roll-and-move mechanism with a deck of movement cards. Each player gets a unique deck, each with different movement values and special abilities. Will you be the crafty investigator who's always taking money from the others? Or the athletic one, who can vault through windows? Or maybe the grizzled veteran, who has contacts all over town?

Jimmy and Vivian play very differently
Jimmy and Vivian play very differently

We traded in the square grid on the old board for a neat point-to-point path system. This allowed us to pack more amazing art on the board, including a ton of Easter eggs.

Hmm, what are those games for sale at Swinnerton's?
Hmm, what are those games for sale at Swinnerton's?

We also added unique powers to the suspect cards. Some of these are in effect while the suspect is on the loose. Some are triggered when they are captured. These effects offer another layer of strategy and replayability.

And we're using quality mini-cards for money, because here at Restoration Games we say: NO PAPER MONEY!

If you want to learn more about how the game plays, you can...

 

 

For $29, you get the game. Simple, right? 

As a special thank you for backing, we are also going to give you two limited edition suspect promo cards absolutely free. Maybe you recognize these two shady characters:

We are only printing a limited batch of these promo cards, and they won't be released again.

EXTRA COPIES: By popular request, we've added a way to get extra copies with a single pledge. If you'd like to get multiple copies of the game, just increase your regular pledge by $29 plus an additional $3 per copy of the game to cover the additional weight, for a total of $32 additional pledge per game beyond the first to a maximum of 5 total copies (4 additional). For example, if you want to order a total of two games, just add $32 to your current pledge. We'll sort out the pledges in the post-campaign survey.

In addition to our primary tier, we've got two special pledge tiers.

AGENCY ORDER: We love local game stores and support them however we can. We recognize that crowdfunding and brick-and-mortar game stores don't always go hand-in-hand. Therefore, we are offering our retail partners a special tier only for them. This is not for internet-only sellers. Please note, we will ask for proof of standing before shipment (or you can confirm your eligibility by contacting us during the campaign), which can be as simple as a photo of your storefront. This tier comes with a carton of games at distribution pricing, including the 5th game free to use as you see fit, along with the promo cards. We will also give a promotional boost to those retailers joining the campaign. This includes a listing on the product page on our website, detailed mentions through our social media channels and in our e-newsletter so people can find you, and whatever else we can think of. We will also provide a physical promotional pack in the summer near the official release of the game. Heck, if we're ever in your neck of the woods, we'll pop in and sign some games or run some demos for you.

MOST WANTED: While we wanted to keep this campaign simple, we also wanted to do something special. Dr. Doyle has generously agreed to sign a few copies of the game, along with our Chief Restoration Officer, Rob Daviau. I can't think of a better symbol of what we are about than this game being signed by these two men, bridging nearly 40 years of game design. You may request a personalized epigram (within reason), or let them figure out something pithy to write.

Dr. Doyle was an honest-to-goodness rocket scientist. He left NASA to design electronic games and toys, like Code Name: Sector and Electronic Battleship. He is perhaps best known for the groundbreaking Merlin, one of the first handheld electronic game systems, which featured multiple games in one device, variable difficulty levels, and the ability to save games—all in 1979! (BTW, he also wrote the first desktop publishing software and helped invent podcasting.) His influence can be seen today in all the new games merging electronics and tabletop play. But one of his most beloved games is Stop Thief.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime item. There will only be 20 copies of these ever released, each one will be numbered and come with a notarized certificate of authenticity. Since we fully understand your reluctance to actually play with this artifact, we're even throwing in an extra copy of the game you can get to the table. Truly a piece of gaming history.

two legendary designers
two legendary designers

 

Part of our restoration process always involves upgrading components from the original game. Unlike other Kickstarters, we can't offer fancy components for stretch goals, because we're already doing it! Look at all these "stretch goals" we already put in the game:

  • Box upgrade to 2mm and with high gloss highlights
  • Board upgrade to 2mm
  • Card upgrade to 300gsm greycore
  • Two bonus thieves 
  • Two bonus investigators
  • Custom investigator meeples

But this campaign is much more than merely a preorder system. We believe in Stop Thief! so strongly that we are already exploring ideas for expansions and licensed versions of the game. We want to see if the passion we have for it is shared by you. So we do have a slate of stretch goals, but they're about giving you more game in the box and room to grow.

The app is already in development. We showed it off a bit during our Kickstarter Live stream. With the stretch goals we've already reached, we've added a lot of new, fun playtime to the same box. A host of difficulty levels lets you play with kids or casual gamers or your hardcore game group. Team up to catch the thief--or you become the thief and try to outsmart your friends. Or play a quick game by yourself on a quiet weekend. All for one $29 pledge.

Our final stretch goal, "Full Customization", will update the app with a host of sliders and toggles that you control how the thief behaves. How often will they move through a window, how likely are they to wait in the same space, etc., etc. So let's keep pushing ahead!

We've been playtesting this game for months now, more than a hundred sessions, and have gotten a lot of great feedback. Here are what some others are saying about the game.

 - Excellent preview by Roy Cannaday of Epic Gaming Night.

- Jason Levine, The Dice Tower, when we told him we were bringing back Stop Thief.

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- Jason Levine after playing the new intermediate level.

- Tony McRee, Rolling Dice & Taking Names

- Sam Dominguez, playtester

- James Curnalia, playtester

- Adam Krier, playtester

Asdruval Cifuentes of the Retro Boardgame Corner was so jazzed about Stop Thief! he put together a shot-for-shot remake of this old Stop Thief commercial:

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The greatest thing you can do for us (other than backing, natch) is spreading the word about this campaign so we can bring as many people on board as possible. Here are three things you can do right now to help:

1) Unleash the the full power of your social media awesomeness with the hashtag #StopThief and point people to this project page. Tag us in your posts so we can amplify. Even a few tweets, snaps, or posts can make a huge difference.

2) Get the Hotness going over at Board Game Geek. If you're registered for the site, every time you visit the game's BGG page, it helps. While you're there, post something in the forums, click that little heart to become a fan of the page, or add the game to your wishlist. BGGers are the movers and shakers of the gaming world, but someone has to show them where to move and what to shake. That's you!

3) Believe it or not, nothing beats word of mouth. Ask your friends that are, ahem, of a certain age if they remember Stop Thief If they say yes, point them over here for a heaping helping of nostalgia. If they say no, point them over here and let them know it's a really cool old game being brought back. (See what I did there?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have worked hard to minimize shipping costs for our backers around the world. We are lining up special fulfillment partners in key locations just for this Kickstarter. This allows us to ship the games from within the destination's region, reducing customs fees and VAT.

Because we don't have to worry about add-ons or after-the-fact shipping charges, we've elected to use Kickstarter's native survey software.

When you click on a reward tier on the top right of this page, it will automatically add in the shipping charges for your location according to the table below. That's it. No hidden charges or after-the-fact fees.

In short, we've designed this Kickstarter to be as simple and transparent as possible, which should result in a better experience for our backers.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we cannot ship to Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan.

Restoration Games was founded by Justin D. Jacobson and Rob Daviau on a shared love of all those great board games they played when they were kids. We knew there were a lot of great treasures hidden beneath the sands of time. But when we announced our plans and posted a survey for other people to tell us what they wanted to see, we knew we had found lightning in a bottle. The response was overwhelming.

We are dedicated to restoring these games to their rightful glory, bringing the fun to those with fond memories, and publishing great games for demanding gamers. We are also committed to serving the gaming community as a whole. This means actively working on inclusivity and accessibility. It also means a commitment to giving.

We hope you will join us and become a member of the Restoration family and get yourself a great game too. Please take just a few clicks, visit our website at restorationgames.com and enter your name and email address in the subscribe box on the right side of the page. While you're there, feel free to let us know about that game you remember -- yeah, that one -- that you'd love to see come back.

Risks and challenges

While Rob and I both have a lot of experience in designing, developing, and publishing games, this is our first publication through Restoration Games (along with Downforce and Indulgence, which we are not Kickstarting). This means that, in addition to developing the game, we also have to set up an infrastructure for fulfillment, to make sure your game gets to you quickly and efficiently. We've done just that. However, as with most game projects, there are events beyond our control that might arise, such as issues with manufacturing or shipping. We will do our best to address these challenges should they occur. We have also minimized these risks by keeping this campaign simple and ensuring that the design is complete before launch.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Private Tip

    Thank you for backing. You'll get updates throughout the campaign--updates so good you won't be able to resist upping your pledge.

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    Investigator's License

    Get a full copy of the game and enjoy the designer suspect promo pack on us.

    Includes:
    • Stop Thief! game
    • Daviau & Jacobson promo suspect cards
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    Pledge $89 or more About $89

    Agency Order

    For our brick & mortar retail partners, a full carton of games. You pay distribution prices for 4 games and get the 5th game free to use as a demo copy, event swag, or whatever. And we throw in 5 copies of the designer suspect promo packs. SHIPPING INCLUDED

    Includes:
    • 5x Stop Thief! game
    • 5x Daviau & Jacobson promo suspect cards
    • Promotional Boost
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Most Wanted

    A numbered, limited edition copy of the game personally signed by the game's original inventor, Dr. Robert Doyle, and legendary designer, Rob Daviau. We'll throw in another copy of the game you won't mind playing with.

    Includes:
    • Stop Thief! game signed by Dr. Robert Doyle and Rob Daviau
    • Stop Thief! game
    • Daviau & Jacobson promo suspect cards
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Funding period

- (28 days)