01 May 2020
A game which now doesn't require you to explain to the younger audience what a floppy disc is.
The 2018 party game Decrypto put players in the shoes of spies trying to pass messages to their teammates using coded communication. Based around clever allusions and word association, it earned praise not just for its gameplay but for its production, with artwork inspired by 1960s technology – giant floppy discs! – and cards which revealed hidden information when slotted into semi-transparent holders.
Now its designer has returned with an expansion, catapulting players into a new era of high-tech espionage. Introducing the storage medium of the future: LaserDisc!
Thee new add-on doesn’t mess much with the base game’s formula. It still sees players divide into teams with a set of secret codeword-bearing cards mounted in front of them in slots numbered one to four. Each round still revolves around spymasters giving opaque hints to guide their teammates towards combinations of cards.
Now, though, you’ll have a new restriction to work around. On each turn you’ll draw a card dictating a category like “a book title,” “an animal” or “something found in a bathroom.” At least one hint on each round has to be related to the subject on the card, making life a little harder for the clue-giver. There’s also a new sudden-death victory condition where teams can earn chances to guess some of their opponents’ codeword cards.
Neither is a bad addition to the game, but LaserDrive doesn’t really change very much. It tinkers at the edges rather than introducing anything strikingly new, and you have to ask whether that makes it worth spending your money on.
Decrypto’s base game was so tight, tense and clever that it’s difficult to build on its minimalist frame. LaserDrive makes some tweaks, but it doesn’t particularly improve on the original offering.
PLAY IT? NO
Designer: Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance
Artist: Fabien Fulchiron, NILS, Manuel Sanchez
Time: 15-45 minutes
Players: 3-8 players
This review originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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