Critical play

This week I played Spyfall by Alexandr Ushan with friends. Some of us were on our phones and others on their desktops. We played it outside our program area in the sun over lunch.

The aim of the game to pull out the spy among FBI agents. There is a location shared with all but one of the players and the last player is the spy. The spy would have to pretend that they knew where the location was until they can guess it and they would win if they did it. The other players would win if they could guess the spy first.

I think the target audience is maybe ages 18-40 because there were locations that would require some knowledge and experience in these spaces. There were 5 of us playing and it was a lot of fun trying to figure out who was the spy and who just didn’t know because of their lack of experience with the space. In the first round location was “Embassy” and 3 out of 5 of us playing were international students that have had many a negative experience with embassies. This made the questions we asked very interesting because there were shared experiences we drew from to draw out if the others knew what this place was.

Pulling from what we knew about each other was good because the game creates boundaries by only allowing yes and no questions. In the end, we were able to guess the spy because we knew this person hadn’t traveled in the last year but had said they had visited an embassy multiple times.

This game reminded me of the one we played in class once where we had to draw an image but one person didn’t know what we were drawing. It was a very enjoyable social deduction game because there was a time limit built into it from the race to catch the spy before they guessed the space.

I would change this game by making it optional to add to the list of locations so friends could use familiar spaces that mean something to the group.

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