Spyfall review

Score : 6

Can be fun with the right group

Questions can be repetitive from game to game

If the spy is picked on early they doesn't have much chance

Everyone was looking at me curiously. I could sense that my cover as a spy was blown so I had seconds left before discovery. Time to panic guess the location. From listening in to the previous answers, it sounded like they were somewhere inside. They were clearly having fun (in the main) and had been drinking. Perhaps they were at the restaurant? Or was it the casino? Or corporate party. Time to pick one and hope...

In spyfall, one player will play a spy, while everyone else will be dealt a location card (the same location for all) with a specific role detailed on that card. For example, within the restaurant, you could be a waiter, a chef or a guest. The spy wins if he can deduce the location, whereas the other players have to root out the spy.

The starting player gets to pick another player and ask them a question. After replying, that player then asks another player and so forth. The answer needs to be specific enough to let everyone realise that you know the location and aren't the spy, but vague enough that the spy can't work out where you are.

At any point the spy can reveal himself and have one guess at the location for their shot to win. If a player accuses someone of being the spy, it is put to the vote. Should everyone else unanimously agree, then the accused reveals their card, and loses if they were indeed the spy, otherwise the spy wins. If the players do not unanimously agree to accuse, then the game continues.

After eight minutes, if the game is still going then there is a debate, the dealer makes an accusation, and this continues in turn until everyone agrees, or it goes round the table without agreement at which point the spy wins.

At its best, Spyfall can be amusing. Especially if all players get in the spirit and role play their character, giving interesting answers to the questions and telling a story. However, all too often the questions will be boring and repetitive, along the lines of "did you pay to get in?" and the answers non committal "I didn't but others may".

The biggest flaw in the game is that the locations are shown in one double page within the rule book. This is fine when everyone has played enough to know all the locations, but otherwise everyone has to pretend to look at it every turn to avoid it being obvious when the spy looks at it. This could so easily have been solved if the back of the player cards had the locations on them.

Played occasionally and with the right people, Spyfall can be quite fun and a good ice-breaker. However, there are much better party games out there in our opinion and this can be quite dull at times. We do know lots of people however who absolutely love this game, so if you think it might be for you then we would recommend giving it a try and ignoring our opinion! There is also a sequel which adds different locations and allows more players, including two spy options.

Publisher: Cryptozoic / Hobby World

By: Alexandr Ushan

Number of players: 3-8

 

Play Time: 30-45 mins

RRP: £22.99

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