Social Deduction Games

“Our space colony has been infiltrated by murderous androids who look just like us. We are gradually being replaced by look-alikes! The only way to find out for sure if someone is a robot is by shooting them with your laser pistol. Our only hope is to destroy the robots one by one!”

Looney Labs, grand masters of all things Fluxx, have announced a new microgame, Are You a Robot? by designer Andrew Looney. This 4 card game boils down the essence of a social deduction game to its simplest form. 2-3 players each secretly receive a card stating whether they are one of 2 humans, or the robot. Purely by questioning each other, they then need to decide who is who. The game ends when one player either shoots the other or shakes hands. If a human shoots a human, they both lose. If a human shoots a robot, the human wins. And finally, if a robot shakes hands with a human, the robot wins, since it’s menacing metal hands never release. The game can be played with 2 players, or with multiple decks, expanding the complexity. For more information, check out the Looney Labs webpage here, and look for Are You a Robot? on store shelves this August.

Kingdomino Duel – a new roll and write for 2 players based on Kingdomino, the 2017 Spiel des Jahres winner. Each face of the four dice in the game is one of six coats of arms or a wild. Each round, the dice are rolled, one player selects one, then the other player selects two, leaving the fourth die for the first player. Each player now has two dice to form a domino they will add to their sheet. Like in Kingdomino, when you place a domino, it needs to match on one side to an already placed domino, or be adjacent to the central castle. Players also can unlock wizard powers that provide a one-time benefit during the game.

Detective Club – a social deduction game for 4-8 players that sounds like a mashup of Dixit and Spyfall. Each round, players will play two cards with surrealistic art to best represent the word chosen by the active player. However, one of the players (the Conspirator) does not know the word and has to choose what to play based on the cards played by other players. Players will then have the opportunity to explain why they chose the cards they played, before each player except the active player votes on whom they think is the Conspirator. The active player and the Conspirator score points if zero or one votes are correctly cast. Other players score points for correctly identifying the Conspirator.

Papi Winchester – an auction game for 2-5 heirs of the recently deceased Papi Winchester. The game board is a map of Papi’s land divided into parcels that will be auctioned off. The money from winning auction bids are evenly disbursed to the other players. Extra money is earned based on public and secret objective cards. At the end of the game, the player with the most money wins.

Dragon Market – a brain teaser game where 2-4 players will collect goods from boats in preparation for the royal wedding. At the start, players will receive a card informing them which goods they are trying to collect. The board is a grid of water squares with player starting spaces in the corners. Boats with various goods are floating around the water. On your turn, you can (1) move your heir, collecting goods from any spaces you move through, (2) move a boat in a straight line, or (3) rotate a boat 180 degrees. The number of moves you can make each turn is based off of a dice roll. The first player to collect their assigned goods and return to their starting space is the winner.

Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker is a new social deduction game for 5-8 from Renegade Game Studios and the design team responsible for the popular Clank! series of games, Dire Wolf Digital. In Oathbreaker, one player is the King, while the others are secretly either loyalists, looking to keep the current king in power, or conspirators, seeking chaos. Missions are started, and each player secretly contributes influence cards to the cause, either fulfilling the requirements or jamming up the works. Players who contribute the most cards to a mission can place their house sigil with that pile. The cards in each mission are shuffled, and it is determined if the mission succeeded, aiding Order, or failed, leading to Chaos. Nobles who added their sigil to a mission can gain special rewards. The King can grant special decree cards to players, either helping or hindering whomever seems deserving. Look for Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker in stores this June, and check out Dire Wolf Digital’s web page for more information on this new title.

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.

Werewords is a word game designed by Ted Alspach and published by Bezier Games where players are trying to guess a secret word. However, the werewolf doesn’t want the villagers to guess it correctly. One player is the Seer, who also knows the word. If the villagers do not guess the word, the werewolf wins unless the villagers can identify the werewolf. If the villagers do guess the word, then they win unless the werewolf can identify the Seer.

It was originally published in 2017, but today the Deluxe edition launched on Kickstarter.

Why a deluxe version?

The deluxe version has updated artwork, a new narrator for the updated app, and it changes the number of players who can play. Werewords Deluxe is a party game that can be played by 2-20 people. It also has new roles to add to the fun and variety of the game.

Some of the stretch goals include a new custom word list voted on by backers, the ability to turn off proper nouns in word lists so that players with varied backgrounds can stand on equal footing, and many more.

Werewords Deluxe will fund on April 4, 2018. If you’re interested in more information, see the Kickstarter page.


Muquo Games has started a Kickstarter campaign for Adrana Project, a social deduction game heavily dependant on smartphones, social media and the internet. Players represent agents of either the World Federation, looking to maintain order out of the chaos, or the Neoluddites, who believe technology has gone too far in taking away the world’s humanity. 4-12 players are trying to deduce who is on each team and to fulfill their agenda towards domination, all in real time with no turns and no moderator. Adrana Project comes with the Adrana Core, a small physical piece, which uses beacon technology, detecting phones which move close to the Core. Players can use this technology to steal virtual cards, which give clues or actions, or the Neoluddites can use the Core to install viruses in the Adrana Server during their mission.

Adrana Project, the new “phygital” social deduction game will continue its campaign through December 5, and the game should be available June 2018. Additionally, here are pledge options allowing immediate beta tester access.

Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new skirmish map for Imperial Assault, The Nal Hutta Swamps Skirmish Map . Taking place on the homeworld of the Hutts, this new map will be available as a tournament skirmish, and comes on a 26×26 beautiful neoprene playmat. The Nal Hutta Swamps Skirmish Map should be available now, and you can read the press release here.

In a report of current projects, Czech Games Edition has listed That’s a Question!, the new party game from Codenames developer extraordinaire, Vlaada Chvátil. That’s a Question! has 3-6 players use color coded cards and interrogation to try and predict how someone will answer. All players bet on which answer will come up, tallying their progress on a scoring board. Look for That’s a Question! in September 2017.

Hawk Wargames has announced the second edition of their highly regarded 27th century wargame Dropzone Commander. Hawk Wargames has stated the update is intended to bring more balance, and allow every unit to be playable. Expect Dropzone Commander second edition in Q4 2017.

Steve Jackson Games has given some more details about the upcoming digital version of their classic wargame Ogre, being designed by Auroch Digital. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of this futuristic tank battle classic, the early screenshots look true to the original.  You can read the press release about Ogre digital here.

An expansion to Mayfair Games‘ Spiel winning tile building game Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King has appeared in some distributor’s pre-order lists, and confirmation has come from the designers. Isle of Skye: Journeyman Expansion adds mighty warriors, cunning merchants, and swift heralds. Players can turn agents, flip cards and fulfill missions, while trying to avoid being thwarted by their opponents. Isle of Skye: Journeyman is expected in stores November 2017.  A brief description is available on Alliance Distribution’s web page.

Indie Boards and Cards just let loose some new information about current games and upcoming games.  The first two announcements are simply the official release of Aeon’s End, and the reprint of Kodama being back of store shelves.  But that isn’t what is interesting, what is interesting is that they just wrapped up a Kickstarter for their next social deduction type game called Abandon Planet.  In Abandon Planet you are trying to escape the planet as meteors rain down from the sky, destroying anything and everything in their path, including eventually the Earth itself.  So you have to hop into your rocket and try to collect all the supplies you need to make the interplanetary jump to safety.  The problem is, you won’t be able to collect everything on your own, so you will have to form alliances with others to get the materials you need, but be careful, betrayal is not uncommon when your very lives are on the line!  Each turn you will play a card to indicate which direction you will go, then you will pick up parts at the new location, or steal parts from other players.  After that a meteor will come down and destroy things, where that happens is random but one person will know each round, and they can tell the other players, if they want to.  So keeps your friends close and keep an eye on your enemies and you just might survive.  Kickstarter delivery isn’t expected until March 2017, so you most likely won’t see this on store shelves until the 2nd quarter of 2017.

The last bit of news is that Indie Boards and Cards just submitted their Resistance App to both the Apple and Android app markets for approval.  What this app will do is narrate the the game for you, and out of the gate it will support Resistance, Hidden Agenda, and even Avalon.  But what makes this app truly special is that they also included functionality for AI players so if you have less than 5 people, you can still play the game with the app picking up the empty seats!  Australia and New Zealand will see the app first in order to finish debugging and testing the app, then the rest of the globe will get it soon after.


We’ve already reported about the upcoming Spyfall expansion that Cryptozoic is putting out, but that’s not all they have coming.  The first game coming is the first licensed game for the Attack on Titan anime series and that is Attack on Titan the Deck Building game.  This is a cooperative game where you will be playing as characters like Eren, Mikasa, and Armin as you build up your deck to fight against the unstoppable titans as they attack the last human settlement.  This game will use the Cerberus Engine that is used by the DC Deck Building Game so those who have played that game will be familiar with how the game goes.  One major difference is that there is a positional element to the game in that you have to be in the right place in addition to having the right cards.  Look for this to hit store shelves in a just a few weeks.


Next will be the retail release of the second Ghostbusters board game, Ghostbusters II the Board Game.  This game expands on the concept from the first game and has you playing the Ghostbusters against all the ghouls and ghosts from the second movie.  Hopefully you have what it takes to stop Vigo before he comes back to enslave the world.  Look for this on store shelves in December of this year.


Coming in January of next year is a new social deduction game in the Batman animated series universe called Batman: Almost Got ‘im.  In the game you are playing villains around a poker table playing poker and reminiscing about the times they almost got Batman.  The thing is, Batman is in their midst, and so you need to figure out who it is before he is able to subdue everyone.  An interesting twist to this game is that you will be playing poker in this game, and the hands you are able to craft will dictate the actions to take during the night phase.  Look for this on store shelves in 2017.


Last on the list is the second Attack on Titan game with the Attack on Titan: The Last Stand – Tactical Board Game.  This is board game you will be playing on a 3D surface in the form of the castle walls as well as the Titan himself.  One player will play as the titan and will be playing down two cards, one hidden and one revealed that indicate what actions he will be taking.  Everyone else will be playing the characters like Armin and Eren as they prepare and attack the Titan with all they got.  Players though will have to be careful because with one Titan card being face down, there is always uncertainty of where the Titan will strike, and being unprepared will be your death.  Look for this game to hit shelves in January of next year.


The End is Nigh is billed as a pre-apocalyptic social deduction game where the comet that is going to wipe out all life is on it’s way so off to the fallout shelters you go.  But once you are there and it’s time to close the door, you realize you are over the limit of the shelter by two people.  So now you have to decide who to kick out, plus you have been hearing of a doomsday cult that is looking to sabotage shelters to make sure no one survives.  So it’s up to everyone in the shelter to pick who to cast out and close the door before the comet hits.

In the game you will have both a character, like scientist, athlete, or geezer, as well as a trait, civilian or cultist.  On your turn you will first question a refugee that wasn’t questioned last round, asking him whatever you think will help determine his identity.  Then you will cast your vote for who you think should be exiled from the shelter, then the player you just questioned becomes exhausted for the next round.  This goes around until it strikes 6, then whoever has the most votes is thrown out, all the votes are reset and play repeats the same way for the next six in-game hours.  When the clock strikes 12, another person is cast out based on who has the most votes and then the game, and the world, ends.  It’s at this point you find out who you cast out and who you kept in, hopefully it was the civilians and not the cultists.

The game sounds interesting and promises to be more deduction with a social aspect than social deduction, which could be fun.  You can check out the campaign page and pledge for your own copy today at only $15..