Manhunt - The Electric Computer Detective Game


The Electric Computer Detective Game

Milton Bradley - 1972
3 - 4 Players; Ages 8 - Adult


In Manhunt the players are police detectives attempting to determine who committed a crime. To do this, they must travel around the board to collect clues about the criminal. They then feed these clues into the crime computer in order to narrow down the list of suspects. The first player to correctly identify the culprit is the winner.

At the start of the game, the players decide which type of crime they will investigate; either murder, robbery or swindle. They then select a "Scanner Card" from the list and place it into the "Clue Scanner". The card and scanner will be used to reveal the specific clues pertaining to the crime.

Movement around the board is performed using the "crime computer". A lever on the computer is held down causing dials to spin. When the lever is released, the dials stop. The dial is now pointing to the number of spaces the detective is allowed to move.

Detectives must first move to the "Scene of the Crime" and thereafter may move to either the "Crime Lab", the "Stake Out" or interview a "Witness". When they do so, they take the "Probe" and insert it into the corresponding row on the Crime Scanner.

There are four holes in each row. Under one of the holes is a corresponding hole in the Scanner Card. The Probe will show nothing in the hole corresponding to the one in the Card and a red dot in the other three holes.

The player then looks up the result of the readout in the "Detective Handbook". For example, the first Scene of the Crime row for Robbery corresponds to "Bank Robbery", "Jewel Theft", "Safe Cracked" and "Burglary". If the third hole in the scanner showed nothing on the probe then the player knows the Robbery was a Safe Crack.

As the player visits each of the eight locations on the board (two for each of the locations) they gain additional information about the crime. They can then look up the suspect profiles in the Detective Handbook to use the information to narrow down the list of possible culprits. To continue the example above, for Robbery the suspect "Ida Hoe" is a Bank Robber, Jewel Thief and Safe Cracker but "Luke Sharp" is a Bank Robber, Jewel Thief and Burglar. Since this robbery is a safe crack, Luke Sharp can be eliminated as a suspect.

When a player thinks they have determined who the culprit is they turn the Scanner Card over and read the correct suspect's name off the back of the card. If they are correct they are the winner. If they are incorrect they are eliminated from the game and play continues until the culprit is determined.


Manhunt is a very interesting game. It is a logic problem, though a fairly simple one as the answer will always be revealed through a process of elimination. The mechanics of the game, with the Crime Computer, Clue Scanner and Probe, Clue Cards, Readout Books and Detective Handbooks is actually more complex than the game itself. The use of the Crime Computer to determine movement is interesting but the results are fairly easy to influence by flipping the activation switch correctly.

Still, the game has a very interesting flavor and the steps the players have to go through actually correspond to those that a detective investigating a real crime would perform. While too easy for many people it would be quite good for younger players.

14 comments on Manhunt:

Monica at April 26, 2014 21:48 said:
I have two of these original games and I believe they're complete and working. Let me know if you're interested and how much incl shipping. I'm in 54016 but will be relocating to Denver soon.
Kate. at January 7, 2014 22:30 said:
My eight year old son got this from my husband for Christmas. We finally got to play it tonight...what a GREAT game!
BobbyBuntrock at October 15, 2013 13:19 said:
Hello Ricardo. I played a game very similar to this about 1961-64. I'm intrigued by something you said, 'illustrations of hardcore felons in watercolor painted illustrations'. The faces of the criminals is the only surefire way I'd know if this is the same game. Would you please post a few examples? Thanks. -Bob
doreen at June 17, 2013 02:49 said:
i found this game today in a second hand shop it does not have the board with it but maybe someone has a spare board or could use this lot as parts still has the wee cars .anyone interested in my one ..
Ricardo at March 13, 2013 07:44 said:
I played this as a child with my friend Mickey. He and I solved crimes of the likes of Dina Mite and Nan Seewater until daybreak. It was a challenge back then! But so much fun. I found the game on Ebay - no other place has it because of it being out of print. I still love those illustrations of hardcore felons in watercolor painted illustrations. How young everyone, players, illustrators of game board rule books, criminal justice circa 1972, and the people who thought a woman named 'Dina Mite' was a danger to society was back then. With great affection, Ricardo.
Sheila at January 14, 2013 10:16 said:
I have this game .I have the complete game looks as if never played.The box has some indent,and a little discolor.The inside perfect.Has all pieces and instructions.Willing to sell make me an offer at
Matt at November 6, 2011 15:34 said:
I just got this game from my grandmas house. It looks really cool. but there are no instructions for it. :/
Phillip at September 18, 2011 21:42 said:
I was born in 1964, have a bother & 2 sisters, all older. We had this game. Must have been in the late 60's or early 70's. Had a lot of fun playing this game tho. I'd like to find it somewhere to buy. Great game.
Kerri at March 28, 2011 21:41 said:
My story is the same as Linda's--loved the game as a kid--hoped to find it again someday, but no luck!
Linda at March 9, 2011 04:16 said:
Recently a friend on facebook asked what everyone's fav game was as a kid. My answer was this game, which prompted me to google it. In the past, i've looked in stores for it, hoping to find it and get it for the fam so my kids could enjoy and experience something from my past, but I never found it. I wonder if it can be bought online?
Jim at January 18, 2011 20:13 said:
Our version came without instructions so I made up the rules. We mailed away to get a copy of the instructions and I was very close! I remember that vividly, and I remember it was a fun game.
Richard Decker at September 20, 2008 20:33 said:
I'm actually looking for a MANHUNT board game that was around in late 50's/early 60's. Had a map of the United States as the board. Basic premise was players were given crimes to solve and had to take the clues and travel to different cities to get the next clue. If you went to the wrong city you had to try again. Have been unable to locate this game after years of searching. If you have any suggestions let me know. Your site is the closest I've come to the game, just wrong generation.
from Richard Decker at
Steve at April 5, 2008 22:54 said:
WOW- I had this when i was a teen and it was a great game!
Kevin at January 8, 2008 17:14 said:
Sounds very similar to a game I own called Stop Thief! Any idea if the two games are related?

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