First Critical Play

Spyfall by Alexandr Ushan, Published by Hobby World

Target audience: Adults who are getting to know each other since it requires some strategy about asking questions and knowledge of various locations

Formal elements of the game:

4 – 12 players

Round timer of 6 to 10 minutes

Assignment of roles (spy and non-spy) and potential locations

Players ask each other questions about the location to try and find the spy

The game concludes when 1) the spy is found, 2) the spy correctly knows the

           location, or 3) the round timer runs out.

The primary resources are time and information, as we can see from the   conclusion conditions.

Points are awarded at the end of each round, with the person who has the most points at the end of the entire game being the winner.

Similar games:

Among Us, Mafia, A Fake Artist Goes to New York

Spyfall includes a lot more discussion than other games in the genre, since it makes up all of the gameplay. I personally don’t enjoy this genre of game since being the outsider is not a fun role to play but not playing it ruins the game so having more discussion makes it more stressful in my opinion. The spy also has no advantage to combat their lack of knowledge, like how in Among Us and Mafia the outsiders are able to kill off insiders to get to their win condition. For these reasons, I think it is weaker than some other games in the genre.

During the round we played I was the spy and I didn’t find it too enjoyable. It was stressful to try and deduce a location while pretending like I knew what it was. I also wasn’t invested in winning so keeping up the act was just pure stress.

I think other people in my friend group had fun creatively answering questions, so from an expression standpoint it was really successful. However, the spy has no advantages and it was extremely easy to figure out who the spy was given that.

If I were to change Spyfall, I might give the spy answers to some of the example questions to help them blend in better. For example, a sample question was what shoes would you wear here and the spy could know to say open toed shoes.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.