Batman: Everybody Lies Review

24 September 2022
A bit of a cape-er

Crime is rife in Gotham city, a new gang is on the rise and I guess Batman is busy. Under the guidance of Commissioner Gordon it’s up to you to save the day where the corrupt system has failed. Batman: Everybody Lies is a coop investigation game that features a short introductory case and three main cases for you to solve (I played everything in about eight hours). Players will be asked a question at the start of each case and they must then pursue leads to deduce the answer. Each lead pursued is a card that offers a short written scene from the point of view of one of the playable characters. Leads will also give access to various computer files (a phone, tablet, or laptop is required) and comic book panels to set the scene. The fewer leads you need to correctly solve the case, the better your score.

The mysteries are engaging and feature multiple threads for you to unravel, working out which are the red herrings and which will lead you closer to cracking the case. The small side plots layered within each mystery do a great job at making Gotham feel alive. You’re rewarded for paying attention as background details and characters from one mystery might show up in the next. The cognitive sparks as you recognise something from a previous case goes a long way to making you feel like a hard-boiled detective. It’s a shame then that the game only has three full cases but the evolving story across the cases isn’t something I’ve seen done in other investigation games.

How much do I need to know about Batman I hear you ask? Not much. The game doesn’t hinge any of its logical leaps on deep bat lore. A passing familiarity with the caped crusader is enough to get you by. While Batman might be on the cover, the real star of the game is Gotham city and the glorious noir-ish nonsense it’s home to. There’s a melodrama to Everybody Lies that keeps things light and fun in a way that feels refreshing after some of the drier moments in the many Holmesian games of this genre.

The game’s stories are a joy if you approach them in the right mindset (prep those silly voices), however the actual mechanics feel a bit wonky. There’s an economy of ‘investigation tokens’ to keep track of, that can be spent on accessing certain leads. The system feels a bit arbitrary and fiddly in places so much so I’d almost suggest ignoring it altogether.

Every character is given a personal goal that the game suggests you might want to keep hidden. From a thematic perspective, that makes sense. Four people thrown together in a corrupt city, working outside the system, each with their own agenda, would understandably be wary of each other. However, it’s a co-op game and you’re better off sharing everything. The rich world and personal goals encourage you to read as many leads as possible yet you’re pushed to reach a conclusion, placing fun at odds with efficiency.

With each lead, there’s a chance it contains bonus info for a certain character who can spend investigation tokens to access it. If you’re rushing to solve the case with as few leads as possible, your character might never find their specific bonus discovery.

Finally, the token that marks your location is a blimp, suggesting that this is the team’s mode of transport. This is never mentioned once in the game, though it does seem like a crucial part of the mental picture one builds as each scene is read aloud.

If you put aside the wonky mechanics and gather a friend or two for a few hours of silly voices and conspiracy diagrams then there’s some real fun to be had here.



Investigation games aren’t for everyone, but the popular theme, lively story and low difficulty make this a great introduction.

Pick up your own copy here

Content continues after advertisements

Try this if you liked Consulting Detective…

While you don’t get to compare types of tobacco ash, you’re in for a more energetic experience that leads you down fewer dead ends than the Baker Street classic.

Find your own copy here

Designer: Weronika Spyra & Ignacy Trzewiczek

Publisher: Portal Games

Time: 2-3 hours

Ages: 14+

Price: £40

What’s in the box?

  • 4 Lead decks (85 cards total)
  • Scene deck (31 cards)
  • Personal Goal deck (27 cards)
  • 4 Episode Introduction Envelopes
  • Map of Gotham City
  • Investigation token
  • Location token
  • Game board
  • 8 Location tiles
  • 4 Character tiles
  • 3 Access tokens
  • 4 Character tokens
  • 10 Evidence tokens

Looking for more?

The front cover of Tabletop Gaming Magazine

This review came from Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.

Get your magazine here

Read More... 

The box art for ARCS by Cole Wehrle

If you want to read more about one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, check out our interview with Cole Wehrle on ARCS! A new game from the designer of Root and Oath, and we've got all you need to know.

To infinity and beyond


Join us in person

The logo of Tabletop Gaming Live 2022

We can't wait for Tabletop Gaming Live 2022! An epic weekend in Manchester full of board games, card games, roleplaying games, wargames and more, with amazing exhibitors, great games, and an opportunity to game together in person.

See you there!

Treat Yourself! 

Tabletop Gaming Game Store Contains Power Rangers Heroes of the Grid

Have you visited our game store? We have everything from mystery boxes, to games and accessories – including the above Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid, with a great discount! Head over to find your new favourite game.

Visit the Game Store


Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products


No comments