Name, Creator, Platform: Spyfall from netgames.io by Alexandr Ushan
Target Audience: This game seems best for people aged 6+ and in groups of 3 or more
Formal Elements: There are 3 or more players engaged in unilateral competition. Everybody but one person is a spy. Everyone who is not a spy gets a location that only the spy does not know. When the game officially starts, people take turn asking each other questions. As a non-spy, your objective is to figure out who the spy is by asking questions that determine if a player knows the location or not. As a spy, your objective is to try to blend in as much as possible. The game ends once the time is up and a voting period determines who wins. This is a zero-sum game because either the spy wins or everybody else wins.
Similar Games: Werewolf is a similar game in that it has a two groups: a bigger “good” group and a smaller “bad” group where the people in the “good” group are trying to figure out who is in the “bad” group through verbal communication.
Fun: The type of fun intended is fellowship where there is a lot of interaction between people. There is also an element of challenge, where people must figure-out how to best play their role. Overall, though, I don’t think this game is too much fun. It’s just a very simple game so that the amount of fellowship and challenge I experienced was small. Through asking the right questions, it was easy to figure out who the spy was pretty immediately, and there was no point in continuing after the first 30 seconds. Perhaps it’s better suited for people who are much younger.
Success and Fails: I played in person with 2 friends. Since I wasn’t the spy and had a very unique location, we were able to figure out who the spy was immediately because they answered one of the first few questions wrong. I suppose that’s considered a success, but not really because it was just too easy.
Things you would change: I feel that more layers or complexity need to be added to this game. Perhaps, using Werewolf as an example, there can be more types of roles (ex. roles in the murky area between “spy” and “not-spy” so that the game can become more complicated)