Critical Play — Spyfall

James Chao

CS 247G

12 April 2023

Name of game, creator, platform:

The game is Spyfall, created by Alexandr Ushan. It is played on the web.

Target audience (as best you can discover from research or the games messaging)

The game seems to be primarily targeted at children and young adults, but really anybody can play.

Notable elements of the game: how many players? What actions can players take? How do rounds work? Do they do anything interesting with player relationships/objectives/resources? (refer to Formal Elements for this!)

The game can be played by 4-12 people. Every player but one is given the round’s location and a specific role for that location. The other player is the spy for the round, and does not know the location. Once the round starts, players ask each other yes/no questions to try and determine if other players know the location or if they are the spy. The spy attempts to answer these questions as best as possible and pretend they know the location. Round length is tracked on a timer online and is dependent on group size. Once the round is over, the players try to guess who the spy is. If they guess who the spy is, then the spy has a chance to guess the location. If they can guess it, or the other players guess the wrong spy, then they win. Otherwise, If they are exposed and cannot guess the location, everyone else wins.

Compare the game you chose to other games in its genre. What differentiates it from the other games? Is it better/worse? How so?


It is similar to other deception games like mafia and avalon in that there is a group (in this case one) of secret bad people who are trying to pretend to be good people, and the objective of the game is to uncover who the baddies are. However, this game is much simpler than most other games in that it consists solely of asking questions about a location.

Was the game fun? Why or why not?

It was fun because it was challenging to come up with good questions that did not give away the location but also provided enough information. This game is a lot more fun when paying with friends though because you can ask more targeted and funny questions.

Moments of particular success or epic fails (in your opinion):

Moments of particular success or failure all revolve around guessing the spy correctly/incorrectly and seeing if the spy can guess the location correctly.

Things you would change to make the game better:

I would make the option of having multiple spies per round.

About the author

Leave a Reply

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