Critical Play 1: Spyfall

  1. Spyfall is created by Alexandr Ushan. It is originally a card game published by Hobby World but I played on the browser through
  2. Target audience: 13+
  3. Notable elements: 3-8 players. Each round, players try to figure out who the spy is. Everyone who is not a spy is assigned the same location and the spy does not have a location. Players cannot reveal the shared location but are allowed to ask relevant questions to guess which location the player is in (or not). The spy will try to blend in and pretend they are in the same location as everyone else without knowing where the actual location is. There are 5 minutes for players to ask questions. Afterwards, players decide on who to vote for and the spy is revealed. The fact that there is a timer means that the game moves quickly. Players are constantly doubting each other and trying to point fingers at other players while ensuring they are not suspected themselves.
  4. This game is similar to games like Mafia which involve a single enemy player vs. normal players. The players do not know each other’s identity so there is room for misleading information and sabotage. I think this is more fun since players have some information to go off (the location) and have a list of possible locations to reference and ask questions about. There is room for more creativity as opposed to Mafia, which I find boring.
  5. The game was super fun and I thought our group size (5) was perfect. I think it was harder for people to guess the spy in Spyfall vs. a game like Mafia because of the room for creativity.
  6. Will kept forgetting which location we were given so each round it was clear to us he was not the spy. It was pretty funny.
  7. I think with a larger group maybe having two spies would be interesting. Also, sometimes depending on the question it can be easy to guess the type of location it is, and it can be easy for non-spies to make it obvious they aren’t a spy by giving a very specific answer. There could be a way to control the responses of non-spies so they don’t reveal too much.

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