1313 Dead End Drive is still one of my favorite board games

13 Dead End Drive is a murder-themed board game originally released by Milton Bradley in 1993. It was followed in 2002 by a spinoff, 1313 Dead End Drive. Currently, Winning Moves Games USA publishes the game in the USA.

The story behind the game involves the death of a wealthy old woman triggering a feud over her will. The players utilize traps located on the game board, which represents a mansion, to kill characters controlled by other players in order to claim the estate for themselves.

At the start of gameplay, players are dealt “Character cards” which correspond to matching pawns on the board. Since there are 12 characters, it is often the case that players control more than one character. However, which player controls which character is not revealed. Along with the character cards, there are also Portrait Cards, which determine who the current favorite for the inheritance is, and Trap Cards, which are used to spring traps and knock off other players.

During each turn, a player rolls two dice and moves two pawns, one pawn for each die. It is legal for players to move a pawn that is not theirs in order to bring it closer to or onto a Trap Space. All pawns must be moved off the red chair spaces before any pawns can be moved a second time or onto a trap space. If a pawn is moved onto a trap space by exact roll only, the player must have the corresponding trap card in his or her possession in order to spring the trap. Springing traps is not mandatory, however. After that, play proceeds on to the next player. A pawn can not pass through or land on the same space as another pawn during the same turn.


During the game, a Portrait Card is displayed in the picture frame above the fireplace. That character is now the current favorite to inherit the fortune. At that moment, for all intents and purposes, that character is now marked for death and must try to escape the mansion before he or she is either knocked off or the portrait changes (see “Special Spaces and Rules” below).

Also, during the game, a Detective is waiting outside, slowly advancing toward the front door. His arrival signifies the reading of the will and the announcement of the winner. The Detective can only move one space at a time, and only when a Detective Card (hidden inside the Trap Card pile) is drawn. There are 13 steps to the front door. If the Detective makes it to the front door before all other characters have been eliminated, the game is over.

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