J.B. Howell

Wizkids Games has just announced the new social deduction game Chiyo’s Secret from designer J.B. Howell (Reavers of Midgard). In Chiyo’s Secret, players are trying to determine the identity and location of the wanted lovers Chiyo and Fusanobu in feudal Japan. One player takes on the role of Motonaka, the lovers’ son, trying to save his parents and help their escape. The rest of the players are either Allies, seeking to capture the pair for execution, Usurpers trying to lure Fusanobu into a trap and seize power, or Betrayers trying to betray the Daimo and use the pair as a gift for the Shogun. Players gain information by moving locals between establishments, or by questioning Motonaka, who may lie about his parents once per game. Players roles, excepting Motonaka, are secret, so exact intentions are unclear. The game ends when a player has met his or her winning conditions. Chiyo’s Secret is due to be released in February 2019, but for more information check out WizKids’ web page here.

Chiyo’s Secret is an upcoming game from designer J.B. Howell and published by WizKids. Checking a distributor’s page and its BGG listing have given me some reasons for excitement for Chiyo’s Secret. What peeked my interest in this hidden role game is that its BGG summation brought out feelings of recent classic games like Coup and Love Letter:

“You are a noble ally of the daimyo, perhaps with a secret agenda of your own… Chiyo’s Secret has four teams: Loyal Allies, who seek to capture Chiyo and Fusanobu and send them to be executed for their crimes; Usurpers, who seek to lure Fusanobu and the Daimyo into a trap and seize power for themselves; Betrayers, who seek to betray the Daimyo and present Chiyo and Fusanobu to the Shogun instead; and the lone Motonaka who seeks to protect his parents, hiding them until the Shogun arrives.”

If this intrigues you as well you can already learn the backstory and how to play this 5-8 player, 45-60 minute game as the final rules are already posted and show off the art and components as well.

J.B. Howell may not be a famous board game designer yet, but 2019 may change that, with two other WizKids games scheduled to release, as well as at least three from other publishers. One of which, Reavers of Midgard by Grey Fox Games, the newest game in their Champions of Midgard universe, may be cause for some series fans to check out Chiyo’s Secret to examine Howell’s design skills. I am equally interested in another 2019 release of Howell’s called Papillon, which combines butterflies and flowers in a game of set collection, tile placement, and area control/area influence into a unique looking package.

Gamers  will starter to gather information and seek out others to complete their objectives in January 2019 when Chiyo’s Secret is scheduled to release.