Game Description: Destination X is a different kind of game experience: One player takes the moderator role as a spy on the run, while the remaining players are detectives who must cooperate and use their deductive skills and geographical knowledge to track down the spy and identify their secret destination. Success depends on discussion and reasoning rather than on recall of facts and details. The game can easily be scaled to provide challenge to players of any age or skill level, from young pupils to advanced geography buffs. For this reason the game works just as well in game nights as in educational settings.
At the beginning of each round, six destination cards are placed face up on the table. The spy secretly chooses one of the destinations, and flips to the chosen country's page in the handbook. Each detective is given three informant cards, and in turn each detective must play an informant to get information about the spy's secret destination. The spy must find the relevant information in the handbook and answer truthfully. The informants may provide information on various aspects such as population, industry, religion, history, economy, and so on. After a detective has played an informant, the detective must also eliminate one of the destinations on the table.
At any time, the detectives can decide to guess on the spy's destination. If they guess correctly, the detectives win the round; otherwise the spy wins. The spy also wins if the detectives run out of informant cards, so the detectives must manage their resources well and not spend too much time or else the spy will manage to get away. The first side to win three rounds wins the game.
Players learn about geography, economy and demography related to all countries of the world. Rather than focusing on specific facts about individual countries, the game does over time provide players with a more general knowledge and overview of regions.
As a spy, do not pick your country randomly. Keep track of what informants the detectives have available, and try to pick a destination that the detectives might have a hard time separating from the others.
In 2017 a small study was conducted on the use of Destination X in education. Here are some translated quotations from participating pupils:
"It was important that we all were active together. Maybe some of us knew something that could help us guess better... When you only read and cram you only get a small view.. Here (in Destination X) you get a broader overview."
"We watched the table and used knowledge we had from before as a base. We have learnt about the colonization of America in a social studies. So I knew that Spain had colnies in South America. (...) And therefore I thought that perhaps they spoke Spanish in Uruguay."
"Very engaging. Was unsure about the answers, so we really had to use our brains."
"It's different. You learn more than by reading in a book. You learn everything at the same time: currency, geography and so on."