Saturday, April 27, 2019

19) Spyfall


Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at the Cafe that you may want to check out. Maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!

Humans are very social beings. We take a lot of cues from the people around us on how to act. In Psychology, I was shown an experiment where participants were inserted into a group of actors. The actors were in on the experiment, but the participant didn't know that. Everyone was shown 2 straight lines and asked to say which is longer (it was fairly obvious). The first few, everyone gave the right answer, no problem. But then, all of the actors gave the wrong answer on purpose! And the participants actually started to say the wrong answer too, just from looking at what the others in the group were doing! It's all fascinating stuff to me.

Today, we're looking at a game called Spyfall, It's a type of "social deduction game". And I don't mean when you have a 4 player game, but you have 5 friends and now you're forced to deduct 2 invites to the meetup. Spyfall is about figuring out your fellow players. 

Here's the situation: you're an ordinary concession stand worker at a hockey arena. In the group around you is a hockey fan, hockey player, zamboni driver, coach, and ticket salesman. Except, one of these is actually a spy. Now you have to figure out which person is a spy, without revealing to the spy that all of you are at the hockey arena. Now the sp-

...wait, can't the spy see where he is?! How did he know what to disguise as??? Is the rest of you just a few swords short of a Popup Pirate game?

NEVERMIND THE SITUATION! The answer to these questions:

 Everyone gets dealt a card facedown that has their role at whatever the location is this round (which is also shown on the cards). On one card, it just shows the image of a spy. That player has to bluff his way through the game, trying to get insight on what location everyone is at (based on a chart that lists all the options).

Now, one at a time, people get to ask a question of one of the other players ("What's the weather like?", "Do you walk a lot in your job?"). If you, as the spy, get asked a question, try to take hints from other answers and respond with a bluff answer of your own! At any point, you can reveal your role and make a guess at the location. Guess right and you win!
The other players are listening for those bluff answers. They can accuse someone of sneakiness and start a vote. If the decision is unanimous, that person reveals their role. If it's the spy, they all win! If not, BZZZT game over,the shady spy gets away free!

This can be an insanely funny game. When the answer to, "What does outside look like to you" is, "Bright and sunny with no clouds in the sky," the whole table will crack up with laughter. Turns out, everyone was deep underwater in a submarine! This game fosters this kind of situational humour that is a great icebreaker for new groups, while also perfect for a party atmosphere.

I'd also say it's one of the easier social games for introverted people. This game is less so about yelling out an accusation and more about listening to what is said and come to your own conclusions.

A game like this certainly isn't for everybody, but it's perfect for what it sets out to do. Spyfall is a good one to pull out when you've got a bigger party, as it's easy to learn and doesn't require much of a table at all!

Thanks for reading! Come visit us at the cafe at 12644 137 Ave, Edmonton. You can ask me about a certain game that you’ve always wanted to learn. I’d be happy to work through it with you :) Hope to see you again!

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