Players: 3 to 8
Game Length: 15 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 5 to 8 players who want a social deduction game where you’ll need to be careful what you say!
Spyfall is a unique social deduction game where the players will be asking each other vague questions in succession to try to identify who among them is a spy! All players are all people occupying a particular location, such as a space station or a hospital. Among them is a spy, who does not know the current location. Starting with a randomly chosen player, the players will then ask each other questions – the goal behind these questions is to try to identify who the spy is, but without giving so much information away that the spy can work out which location they are at.
A player who is asked a question is then in control – they may ask another player a question, point out a player they believe is the spy and call a vote, or identify which location they are at if they are the spy. If they correctly identify the spy player or the spy guesses the incorrect location, the other players win, but if the spy guesses correctly, the spy wins.
The questions will need to be phrased carefully to make sure that they don’t give away the location. If you’re on a space station, you might ask a question like, ‘What’s that on your head’? A suitably vague answer would be, ‘Protection’ – not enough for the spy player to work out that they’re talking about an astronaut’s helmet, but enough to let the other players know that these two players probably know what they’re talking about. Maybe. This vagueness works in the spy’s favour – there’s a good chance he’ll be able to bluff his way around any questions asked, if he’s careful.
Spyfall is easy to teach, but the first few rounds can be rocky. You’ll have access to a page showing all 26 of the game’s locations, which for a first-time spy is daunting, as they are going in completely blind. As you play a few more rounds, the game will be in full swing and everyone will know what locations are possible, and be thinking about suitable questions that will help root out the spy. The individual decks of cards are cleverly packaged, with the Spy card being the only revealed card, meaning that players can set up the game easily without accidentally revealing to themselves what locations are, or are not, in use.
Spyfall is a quick and entertaining social interaction game and works excellently with larger numbers. The game keeps good pace and comes to a close quickly. Five or more players is ideal, as with too few players the spy is less likely to be able to get a good feel for the situation before he’s forced to answer a question. If you’re looking for a good, quick and unique social game, Spyfall comes highly recommended.