01 February 2016
I spy with my little eye, someone at the zoo? No, the night club! The space station? Where ARE WE?!
Cryptozoic Entertainment | Social deduction | £19.99 | 2-8 players | 15 minutes | www.cryptozoic.com
Your ears ringing, your head pounding, you gradually wake up. The last thing you remember is the concussion grenade exploding next to you, and now you're in a dark room, handcuffed to a metal desk. What was your last mission? What was your cover story this time? Why can't you remember? Were you infiltrating a Military Base, or was it assassinating an Ambassador? Or was it just a surveillance gig at a Night club? You calm your breathing and listen to the voices down the hall.
“How did you get to work today, Bob?” shouts an angry voice.
“Well, er, you see, I don't work there, but I, erm, I caught the bus, I always catch the bus,” comes the nervous reply. A door swings open, a light blinds you. “So... tell us, did you bring a packed lunch, or were you planning to eat at the
Some social deduction games require lots of set up. The explanation of roles can leave players confused, and sometimes even the gameplay can leave new players asking “was that the game?”
All you have do in Spyfall is question your friends to find out who the spy is, quicker than anyone else, and quicker than the spy, who is trying to figure out what location you're all at.
You pose a question to a friend, they answer, and then they ask someone else a question. Round and round the table it goes. No approving missions, no complicated powers, no player elimination, just gloriously stupid questions, and fabulously ridiculous answers.
It's amazing how hard it is just to ask a question. Is it too vague? Is it too specific? Could the spy guess where you are too soon? How long have you taken to come up with a question, are you wasting time? And it's stressful playing as a spy, never knowing where you are, praying that your answer, or your next
question won't give your game away.
But unlike other games of this style, once the round is done, the allegiances are reset for the next one. It's unlikely you'll be the Spy two rounds in a row. So now you're on the hunt for the Spy, casting your net of questions wide and vague to start, but then more targeted and deadly as the timer moves on, waiting for the right time to accuse the right player as the spy, ahead of everyone else!
Spyfall is the foundation for all your future lies and deceit! It's a brilliant and simple game that will help you grow your pool of possible Werewolves, and Minions of Mordred, in a way that other social games have failed to bring them into the fold.
Spyfall is simple, clever and very funny. It's a game so easy to teach, and learn, it makes me wonder why it's taken so many long for party games to get this accessible. There are rules for how long the game lasts, and how to score each round to determine a winner, but you're not going to use them, it's just too fun for that.
This article originally appeared in issue 2 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.
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