Z-Man Games has announced plans to distribute Michael Schacht’s new game Smile. A card game for three to five players, Smile has players working in an environment where all sorts of critters have escaped their enclosures. Players will use lightening bugs as bait (critters love lightning bugs, obviously) to catch more lost critters than their opponents, while being careful to avoid capturing wild critters which will give players negative points.
The light is falling and time is growing short. There’s no telling what sorts of trouble your critters will get into if you don’t find them soon. Gather your lightning bugs and round up the best critters in Smile, arriving soon!
Game play unfolds over ten rounds. In each round players will unveil a number of critter cards equal to the number of players. Players then choose, in order, to stay in the round by placing a single firefly on the lowest value creature or to drop out of the round. When dropping out players take the least valuable critter still available, though gaining the many fireflies possibly now associated with that card. Deception and push your luck elements are in play as each firefly committed brings you closer to a valuable critter while at the same time depleting your store of lightning bugs. Drop out early and stock up on bugs for future rounds and make a dramatic comeback or take an early lead!
Additional rules add to the challenge. If you end up with two critters of the same color in the top-left corner you remove both from the game. This can come in handy for getting rid of negative point critters, or perhaps you can force an opponent to lose two valuable cards?
Michael Schacht is also the designer of Coloretto, Hansa, Aquaretto, Mondo, Mogul and many other games. His game Zooloretto won him the 2007 Spiel des Jahres award.

Asmodee has announced a new bluffing game titled “Oh Captain!“. Designed by Florian Sirieix and published by LudonauteOh Captain! is a game for 3 to 6 players, featuring a heavy dose of deception and treachery.

“The goal of Oh Captain! is to gather as much treasure as you can to sell to a group of Nomads who currently inhabit the island you’re stranded on. One player is designated as the Captain at the start of the game while the rest become explorers. Players then select an adventurer to represent them in the game, each with their own unique ability and a stockpile of gold coins. The Captain tries to collect as much valuable treasure from the adventurers as possible, while the explorers try and hide the best items for themselves.”

Oh Captain! is scheduled for release in Q2 2017.


Hector Vargas built a glorious multibillion dollar empire on a string of shady business promotions and Ponzi schemes. His life ended rather ingloriously, however, when a champagne cork shot into his windpipe and he choked before anyone could provide aid. Now, you have a chance to inherit his unbelievably large fortune. All you have to do is prove yourself worthy by showing that you are as clever, ruthless, and deceitful as he was.

Fantasy Flight Games announces the upcoming release of a revised version of Hoax, the game of secret identities designed by Bill Eberle, Ned Horn, Jack Kittredge, and Peter Olotka.  In Hoax, players will possess a true, secret identity, and must weave a web of deceit amongst the other players in order to mask their own identity while catching their opponents in their own stream of fabrications.  By investing their own resources to investigate rivals, and by making timely and accurate accusations, players will work to eliminate their competitors and seize Hector Vargas’ amassed wealth.

hoax cards

Changes in this new version of Hoax include a seventh playable character, improved privileges and immunities, reference sheets to track assumed identities and past lies, and a new scoring system.

Hoax is a game for 3-6 players and plays in 45 minutes.  The scheduled release date is the fourth quarter of 2015.  For more information on this new version of Hoax, visit the game’s pages at FFG’s website here.

Grey Fox Games has a new project up on Kickstarter called Deception: Murder in Hong Kong from designer Tobey Ho. Deception is a reimplementation of a game called CS-Files by Jolly Thinkers and has 4 -12 players trying to solve a murder in a game of deduction and deception. Similar to the game Mysterium one of the players can not talk but will be giving the others clues to a murder they need to solve; a murder committed by a player at the table that  is part of the investigation!

At the start of the game role cards will be dealt to each player, they will either be the Forensic Scientist, the Murder, an Investigator, or depending on the number of players an Accomplice or Witness. The Forensic Chemist will be the only player to reveal themselves as they will be the one handing out the clues but unable to speak. The rest of the players will have cards that will have possible murder weapons as well as clues dealt face up in front of them. While everyone else closes their eyes the murder will indicate which of the weapons in front of them were used in the murder and which of the clues were left behind by them. Then the Forensic Scientist places a ’cause of death’ tile in front of them as well as other various tiles. These tiles contain random words that are used as clues that the Forensic Scientist tries to use to indicate who is the murder and what weapon they used. They do this by placing markers one on each tile next to a word that they think will help players determine the specifics of the crime. After a each player has a short time to speak their thoughts the Scientist draws a new tile, replaces one of the tiles that was previously in front of them, and places the marker next to a clue on that tile. At any time a player may make an accusation. After each player makes an accusation if no one correctly identified the murderer, weapon, and clue the murder and their team wins.

Deception appears to take the best mechanics from games like The Resistance and Mysterium and twists them into a new and different game. Both of those are great games and I would predict Deception will be right up there with them. Also it already has the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence awarded to it and the project page includes a review by Tom Vasel. This new version also has some terrific new artwork by Tommy Ng and Ari Wong and will be made with high quality components like the other games in Grey Fox Games’ lineup. So if you are a fan of deduction/deception games or haven’t tried one yet you should head over to Kickstarter and investigate Deception: Murder in Hong Kong before it’s too late