Players: 3 – 8
Time: ~10 minutes
Times Played: 30+
Our gaming group has the quintessential first world problem of board games: too many people want to play. We can only cram so many people around a table. Enter Spyfall. A smart party game that scales well and can be played relatively quickly.
In Spyfall, each player is given one card that is either a location with a role on it or the Spy card. The goal of the spy is to decipher where the group is located and the goal of the other players is to find out who the spy is. To do this, the group will ask one another questions until the timer runs out, someone accuses the spy or the spy discovers the location of the remaining players. Players are supposed to answer faithfully to what their card says.
If the accused player is chosen by the majority as the spy and is the spy, the players win. If the accused is not the spy, then the spy wins.
If the spy guesses the location correctly, the spy wins. If they guess incorrectly, the spy loses.
That’s it. That’s Spyfall. This game involves bluffing and deduction in a social setting.
Is Spyfall fun? Yes. And honestly, I think it’s fun regardless of how well it’s played. Some people will be terrible at asking questions that aren’t too pointed or that aren’t too vague whereas others will think of questions that are perfect for the scenario. The game is relatively quick (dependent entirely on how much you use the timer). We are on and off regarding the timer. Sometimes we use it but typically, we just freestyle everything. If the game comes to a lull, we’ll ask for declarations.
I will say that when being the Spy, this game is not easy. If someone gets easily frustrated by “losing” (you don’t really lose in Spyfall as no one is keeping points), this may not be the game for them.
There are thirty unique locations and the art for the cards is detailed, fun and vibrant. With the short length of the game, it’s possible to blow through several locations in one playthrough, which is not a bad thing because as players get used to asking questions and giving answers, later games get better and better (at least in my experience).
This game supports three to eight players but I definitely think six to eight is the sweet spot. The game works with fewer players but the interactions with the higher count lead to more fun moments and honestly, if I only have three to five people ready to play games I will pick something meatier that fits that number as opposed to a party game.
The game will suffer if you play it a lot though. We have a few locations that some people can pick up on immediately just because we’ve played the game so much. I guess that’s a blessing and a curse and a surefire way to ensure that we purchase Spyfall 2.
The game will also have some setbacks if people become too introverted to ask questions or can’t think of anything to ask at all. Due to this, I will go on record as saying that Spyfall is one of the better games to pair with alcohol (if you’re into that sort of thing) as the rules are simple and the devil’s nectar might loosen some players tongues.
To end on a high note, there are two things that I love about this game that I don’t see mentioned enough. The first is that this can be played anywhere. You don’t have to sit at a table like other games. People can be lounging about the room in different furniture or be outside or if you have a zero gravity simulator, I’m sure it would work there too. It’s just one card that has to be kept track of.
Lastly, this game is made for customization. You can create your own locations and professions to share with your friends to keep things interesting. And that’s awesome. If you’re not the creative type, you can find some pre-made fan creations online already. You can print them out on paper or index cards or get real fancy and buy some blank playing cards and write/print on them.