Spy Games – 24 Countdown

Every so often I’ll be highlighting some of the spy games I’ve picked up from various second hand stores over the years. I haven’t played most of these yet, as finding willing spy game participants can be tricky, but I’m hoping to road test some of these as the kids get older.

Initially set to premiere the month after September 11th, 2001 and rescheduled for a week later, 24 was an unlikely hit for the FOX network. Were American audiences ready to watch a soapy spy show revolving around terrorist attacks? With the odd format of each episode being a hour of one day?

To the surprise of almost everyone, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” The Kiefer Sutherland vehicle had viewers on the edge of their seats throughout late 2001 and early 2002. It’s buzz grew even bigger between the first and second season after they shocked everyone with a surprising twist in the last few minutes of the season finale.

Game manufacturers tend to follow hits and as a result we’ve seen a few 24-themed games. Today I’m looking at 24 Countdown.

Here’s the description listed on BoardGameGeek.com

The players are dealt eight cards. During this initial deal, one player is assigned the role of terrorist. There are twenty-four rounds of gameplay. Each round tells the players which suit must be played in order to win the trick. The Jack Bauer Card is wild and wins any trick. A player who wins a trick must either draw and keep two cards or draw and follow the instructions from the top card of the Action Deck.

The terrorist wins the game by not being eliminated and having the most points or by eliminating all the other players. Any other player can win by eliminating the terrorist or by having the most points.

It’s connection to the show seems pretty dubious and the description makes it sound like a terrorist themed version of Pinocle. If this has tickled your interest you can typically find a copy at your fine local thrift store.

Have you ever played 24 Countdown? Please leave a comment!

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