4th Grade Confidential

4th Grade Confidential
3-5 Players - 15 minutes
Development Period: October 2015-February 2016
Status: Ready to Publish
Designed for: 18 Card MicroGame Contest [2015]

Danger lurks in the halls of Northfield Elementary.  The schoolyard is no place for the meek.  Only one man can protect the innocent children from bullies, cheaters, and thieves.  But unfortunately, Principal Jones is usually too tied up with PTA meetings, in-service days, and keeping his office chair warm.  That leaves Adin Simon, private eye, gumshoe, and sleuth to clean up after the fact.  Fourth grade may not be safe, but with a bit of grit and determination, he'll solve your case and bring your culprit to justice... Or get wedgied trying.

4th Grade Confidential is a microgame of deduction, bluffing, and cunning. The game is based on my friend Neal Simon's comic book project called Fourth Grade Confidential, starring his kids and their friends (including my kids). The premise is that a 4th grader named Adin is a private eye at his school, working to solve the great mysteries of elementary school, like who stole his sister's stuffed pink bunny.

In 4th Grade Confidential, one player is the Sleuth while 2-4 other players are the Characters. Each round the Sleuth is trying to solve a different mystery. The Sleuth has six Sleuth Cards and the other 12 cards are dealt evenly to the Characters. The Sleuth has six turns to try to figure out which Character has the Target Item for that round by calling out various attributes and seeing who has items with matching attributes. Through careful deduction and use of actions, the Sleuth and Characters all try to be the player to end up with the Target Item.

The game can be played in a single quick round, or in a longer game with each player taking the role of the Sleuth.

PnP Files:
Full Art Cards w/ 2 Rule Cards: Support me on Patron!
Full Rules: http://georgejaros.com/Files/4th-Grade-Confidential-Game-Rules.pdf

10/7/2015 - Made a few changes to the rules.  No card changes.
10/15/2015 - Added Full Art PDF files.  Also updated the Low Art cards so they all have images now.  No rule changes.
10/27/2015 - Made a few very minor adjustments to the rules (the Sleuth now can take up to 6 turns and scoring was adjusted a tiny bit).  I also added three alternate item cards that can be swapped out for their counterparts.  These have a new action that needs to be tested.
11/3/2015 - Added nicer rules to the Full Art cards to match the card designs, fixed a couple of typos in the main rules file, and added links to be able to purchase 4th Grade Confidential via Drive Thru Cards!
11/10/2015 - Found a typo in the charts that show the distribution of attributes.  Super Soaker should be 'Unbroken'.  It's an easy fix and doesn't require reprinting cards, just rules and the reference card if you want, but the files have been updated.  Also, 4th Grade Confidential is officially a game on BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/187655/4th-grade-confidential
2/26/2016 - It's been a while, but I added one small addition to the rules.  Now, when the Sleuth turns over a Character's item card, if the Character was telling the truth (i.e. the card matches a called attribute) the Character has the option of either taking the action on their item card OR letting the Sleuth take the action on the Sleuth card.  The Sleuth card is not revealed unless and until the Character chooses the Sleuth action.

The Sleuth: Each round a new player will take on the role of the Sleuth.  The Sleuth will be questioning the Characters and following up clues.  If the Sleuth catches Characters lying about the items they have he'll get to perform additional actions to help him narrow down where the Target Item is.

The Characters: All other players are Characters in the current mystery.  One Character will have the Target Item that the Sleuth is looking for.  As the Sleuth questions Characters, they will begin to reveal items they have to prove their innocence, or to throw the Sleuth off the track.  Can you be cunning enough to keep the Target Item hidden from the Sleuth?  Are you going to help the Sleuth figure out who is the Culprit?  Maybe you're just out for yourself.  Characters get to take actions if they reveal items the Sleuth is looking for, without giving up the Target Item.  But if they are caught lying the Sleuth gets extra actions to help him find the Culprit.

The round ends when the Sleuth runs out of Actions or when he finds the Target Item.  Scoring can be totaled for each round and then scores totaled after everyone has had a chance to be the Sleuth an equal number of times.

Also, be sure to check out the Fourth Grade Confidential comic book, available through Drive Through Comics, here!  A clever, family-friendly "noir" story, Fourth Grade Confidential is the first comic book ever written and illustrated by a lawyer and his ten-year-old son.
Full Art Card Fronts
Full Art Card Backs

1 comment:

  1. This is a GREAT micro card game. My wife and I playtested the game with a friend and had a blast. It was simple to learn, fast play times and a nice flow. If anyone is looking for a fun little deduction game this is a keeper. It slightly reminds me of "Clue" meets the 4th grade and put on cards. I give this one a solid 9 out of 10 for the beautiful comic style art, easy gameplay and fun replay value. Need a few minutes to fill waiting for the other members of your game group to show up? This is a good one for that as well :)