Critical Play 1: Spyfall

We played Spyfall by Alexandr Ushan online at It is a 4-12 person game, and meant to be played on zoom or in person when each person has their own electronic device. Players can ask questions, respond, defend themselves, and make a guess-either on the location or the spy at the end of the timer. The objective for most players are to convince others that you are not a spy without revealing the location. The objective of the spy is to discover the location without revealing your role. The specific character you play is also an interesting factor, because some of the roles are less stereotypical than others (eg a tourist at a cathedral).

The game appears to target a general family-friendly/corporate-friendly audience through clean/sterile graphic design and artwork.

This is a quarantine/online game, and it works well because it its lightweight (runs online, unlike among us/jackbox), doesn’t require specific hardware/skills (eg. gartic phone), and allows you to learn more about each others because it encourages questioning. It is especially corporate friendly for remote work compared to these other games because all the interactions are via speaking, and the accusation period is rather limited.

I had fun because I needed to come up with creative answers that would convince my teammates that I wasn’t the spy without revealing the location. I was proud of my response to “a famous person that reminds you of [a pirate ship]” because a LARPing youtuber seemed to be a good answer. Originally, my accusation was incorrect because I thought the “associated color” and “best shoes” answers people had given was a little suspicious.

I think the game is a little stressful for the spy, so it could be interesting to more strictly enforce the roles on the other players, either to equalize the stress, or somehow make the lose/win condition less mutually exclusive.

About the author

Leave a Reply

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