Joining the slew of movie-based board games based on recent arthouse flicks, ‘90s Disney animations, ‘80s cult favourites and multi-billion-dollar franchises is… a Rear Window board game, inspired by the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller from 1954.
In a shock twist worthy of the director himself, the influential murder-mystery starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly will be turned into a co-op board game for three to five players by publisher Funko Games and Prospero Hall, the design collective that has previously adapted movies including Jaws, Fast & Furious and The Shining, as well as the upcoming Jurassic World - which Chase recently had the chance to play in person - for the tabletop.
Imaginatively titled Rear Window Game, the upcoming board game appears to play like a cinematic spin on cooperative deduction hit Mysterium. One player takes on the role of The Director - the GM-like screen shows Hitchcock himself - silently providing clues to the rest of the group who must work out whether a murder took place and, if it did, who committed the crime.
The clues take the form of a spread of cards on the board, representing the apartment windows that Stewart’s L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries peers into through his camera lens. It’s up to the players - replacing Jeffries, Kelly’s Lisa Carol Fremont, Det. Lt. Tom Doyle and Stella McGaffery - to decode the inhabitants’ relationships with each other, symbolised by tiles that feature phrases such as “arguing with”, “looking for romance with” and, of course, “MURDER!”
Meanwhile, the Director player assigns their own combination of people and relations on a clapperboard behind their screen. Some characters may have more direct links to other people on the board, while others will just take on roles such as “The Animal Lover” or “The Heartbroken”, distracting the players from the true culprit.
While a Rear Window board game may come as an unexpected announcement, it’s actually not the first time that Hitchcock has been turned into cardboard. A board game based on the director’s TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Why, was released in 1958, which saw players racing to capture the ghosts of historical figures such as Napoleon and Cleopatra, along with a weapon and motive card. Yes, really.
Rear Window Game will be released this summer, costing $34.99.