The first game from the Bulgarian design team of Cherry Cannon Games, Among Thieves is a new take-that, light deduction game seeking funding on Kickstarter. Players take the role of thieves trying to prove who is the best by stealing from the city or each other, laying traps, foiling plans, and committing heists. Before going any further about what I see of the game, it’s best to summarize the game as is written on the campaign page:
Everyone has the same set of action cards and each turn selects two, placing them face-down in front of himself or herself. Then, starting with the Acting Master Thief (first player), all players take turns in revealing their cards and completing their effect. At the end of the round, one of the two actions played is secretly discarded and play continues until there is a clear winner.
The game’s theme is not particularly new as skulduggery is always such a convenient host for intrigue and deduction, but the game-play is not as easily defined as the theme. Having two cards and playing them one after another in a manner of action order selection is very Coup-esque, perhaps. Some of the cards are traps, gambits, or sabotage actions meant to counter-play anyone at the table, which requires that particular deduction element hobbyists have become accustomed to.
However, Coup never gave players the whole array of possible personalities/actions to pick from, nor the ability to hide what actions might be available from future rounds. Coup also didn’t have Among Thieves’ purely cutthroat demeanor nor it’s striking macabre Victorian caricature artwork that I, for one, find greatly under-appreciated. So it really is a great departure from Coup, and I’m glad! The quick-and-dirty-and-light social deduction genre could use a fresh perspective, and Cherry Cannon Games has just that. Be sure to check out their website, Kickstarter,and Facebook pages for more information and updates!