Critical Play: Competitive Analysis

Our team is working on a murder mystery card game where each player would play a character and need to give an alibi to prove their innocence. They also are able to use their special ability to find clues about the murder. One challenge we had with our game was the role-playing alibis portion did not contribute to solving the murder mystery. So I thought we can find inspiration to change up the game mechanics. Coup is similar to our overall theme of deceiving other players and using deductive reasoning to find out the murderer. Each character also had its own special abilities.

The theme of Coup is bluffing and deception. Coup has a turn-based mechanic where each player chooses an action to take based on their character. The possible actions are based on how many coins a player has. There are two types of actions General Actions and Character Actions. The character actions are dependent on what character cards the player has. However, they can pretend to have a card they don’t have. They can be challenged by other players, and if they lied one of their cards gets assassinated. 

The fun of the game is similar to its theme: bluffing and deceiving. The game can change in seconds depending on the actions each player takes. Personally, the game is appealing because it is different on each play and the outcome is very unpredictable. In addition, it is not a game that can be navigated purely based on luck but also skill. 

I also think the game background is very unique. The game takes place in a dystopian future where multinational CEOs take over the government where the majority of the people have to live in poverty. This leads to the goal of the game: exile other players until there is one man left standing. In addition, the rules of the game are very straightforward but there could be so many variations based on the choice the players make. This made me realize when game mechanisms are thought out well even a simple game can bring so much fun.

One thing about the game that I would change is the number of cards each player starts with. I am curious to see how the game would play out if players start with 3 cards each instead of 2. I predict that it would make the game longer but it would also make bluffing easier making the game more challenging.

The game is super interesting to me because the dynamic of the same can change based on the players’ playing style and habits. Some more aggressive players would like to take the risk and pretend to have cards they don’t have. On the other hand, some people like to play it safe and only use the abilities of the cards they actually have. Overall this game helped me to think of new ways to approach my Project 1 game.

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