Criminal Minds Unknown Subject Game Review

Editor's Rating


Editor's Review

When you play Criminal Minds Unknown Subject, you’ve got to think like a criminal to catch one. Using your detective skills and table talk with other players, you’ll uncover the killer or killers hidden in the group. And if you’re the Unknown Subject, or Unsub, you’ve got to try to get away with murder or escape.

You can play this game with five to eight players, and the number of players determines how many FBI Agents, eyewitnesses, and Unsubs there will be. Do not share your identity with any of the other players. If you’re an FBI agent, you get to play as one of the five characters from the Criminal Minds TV show: Dr. Spencer Reid, Jennifer Jareau, Derek Morgan, David Rossi, and Penelope Garcia. Each player gets to secretly take a Special Authorization Tile that they can use at any point during the game to alter the game in their favor. For instance, stop someone from playing a card, swap cards, and take over as Interim Unit Chief. For that last one, you get to take the Chief Badge from whoever currently has it. All the square cards get shuffled together, and each player draws five. 

Players then take turns placing two cards on the board at a time: one card face up in the top section and one card face down in the bottom. Then, draw two new cards so that you always have five in your hand. There’s some strategy in terms of where you want to play cards. If you’re an agent, you’ll want to play face up cards in one of the five specialty sections because if a section gets filled, that protects that agent from being kidnapped by the Unsub. You could also play a Murder card or Exit Strategy card face up in those areas, but people would probably start to suspect you as the Unsub. To avoid being accused, play any cards you don’t want other players knowing about in the bottom crime scene area.

Once everyone has played their cards, the Chief collects and shuffles the cards from the crime scene area, reveals them, and places them in the appropriate board locations. The Chief decides how to play Evidence cards, which can help him investigate another player’s cards or stop a Murder card from being played, for example. These cards can only be used once, and then they get discarded.

If there’s a Murder card, the game stops for a discussion of who might be the killer. Players vote on who they think the Unsub is, and whoever receives the most votes must reveal their character identity card. Obviously, if the Unsub is revealed, the game ends with a win for the agents and eyewitness. But if an agent is revealed, that character is protected if they have all four cards in their specialty section or they’re kidnapped if they don’t. The player can rejoin the game once all four card spots have been filled. If the Eyewitness is revealed, that player is out for the rest of the game, and remaining players must remove one card from each specialty section equal to the number of agents in the game. If the current Chief is revealed, that role moves on to the next player. 

So how does the game end? The agents and eyewitness win when at least one Unsub is revealed. The Unsub wins if they murder three or more people (three Murder cards placed) without being detected or if they place all four Exit Strategy cards to escape.

Price Check


Should I get it?

Even though this game only has four pages of instructions, there’s a lot to take in with the different identities, card types, and strategy. If you’re a fan of Criminal Minds, you’ll like playing as a favorite character from the show. And if you like murder mystery games, then you’ll enjoy taking on different roles and trying to solve the crime. The only downside to this game is that you need a lot of players to play it, so it’s really suited more for parties as opposed to family game night.


Play as a favorite TV character

Requires strategy

Fun murder mystery-style game


Requires a lot of players

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