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SPYFALL

Overview

A game of Spyfall is made up of several short rounds. In each round the players find themselves in a certain location. One player is always a spy who doesn’t know where they are. The spy’s mission is to make the other players talk, identify the location, and keep from blowing his cover. Each non-spy must give an oblique hint to the other non-spies suggesting that he knows the location’s identity, thus proving he’s not the spy. Observation, concentration, nonchalance, and cunning — you’ll need all of them in this game. Stay on your toes!

Objective

The spy’s objective is to avoid exposure until the end of a given round or identify the current location. The non-spies’ objective is to establish consensus on the identity of the spy and expose him or her.

Preparing for Round One

Before the first round begins, Game Master selects a location pack, number of the spies and time of the ruond.

Beginning of the Round

Each game is a series of short rounds, the number of which is agreed upon by the the players before the beginning of the game and has set by the Game Master. We recommend playing five rounds for your first session (this should take about an hour). The Game Master participates in the game as a regular player.

Game Flow

The Game Master starts the round, and the game begins. The first player then using the chat box, asks one of the players a question, calling them by name: “Tell me, Amir Mahdi...” The questions usually pertain to the meeting location. This is prudent, but not mandatory. Questions are asked once; no follow-up questions are allowed. Responses can take any form. The player who answers the question proceeds to ask any other player a question of their own, with the exception of the player who asked the last question (so you can’t answer a question with another question). The order in which the questions are asked is established by the players themselves and based on the suspicions they have after hearing the questions and answers.

Sample Round

Mahdie, Amir Mahdi, Eric, and Elnaz find themselves in the crusader army. However, Mahdie isn’t aware of this because she got the spy card. Eric, Elnaz and Amir Mahdi play their parts and try to identify the spy. Mahdie’s goal is to identify the location without blowing her cover. Eric asks the first question: "Amir Mahdi, do you remember which sea we took a dip in yesterday?" Amir Mahdi naturally names the Mediterranean, and Mahdie takes notice: the location could be the beach or the pirate ship. Amir Mahdi can’t ask Eric, so he asks Elnaz, "Elnaz, when do we get paid — is it at the beginning of the month, or the end?" All the other players are on the alert, since the question might identify Amir Mahdi as the spy. However, Amir Mahdi is just sounding out his fellow players. Since Juan is not a spy, she answers the question easily: "Who knows? We’ll get paid whenever the commander feels like paying us." Mahdie the spy is thoroughly confused — now she suspects the location might be the military base or the submarine. Elnaz asks her next question: "Hey Mahdie, what did they serve for dinner yesterday? I couldn’t make it." Mahdie is evasive: "Oh, you know, the usual stuff — potatoes, nothing special." This is where other players start to suspect her of being the spy — as crusaders, they’re well aware that Columbus won’t be bringing that particular plant back from the New World for another three hundred years or so...

    End of Round

    A round ends when one of the following three things happen.

  1. Eight minutes have passed; When time runs out, the players must declare their suspicions as to the spy’s identity. The Game Master asks each player to vote, starting with themselves and proceeding clockwise. If need be, the players can discuss their suspicions and then vote. If everybody but the suspect votes for the suspect, the spy loses. In every other case the spy wins. Note: The players can agree on a different round length. Make sure you decide how long you want rounds to be before you start the game. First-time players might want to play longer rounds — say, 12-15 minutes.
  2. When a Player Gets Suspicious; Any player can declare one of the players a suspect and ask the others to vote at any time (but only once per round). If all players vote for the same suspect, the round ends (even if it turns out that the suspect they’ve voted for isn’t the actual spy). It’s in the players’ best interest to stop the game. If the spy is caught this way, the player who initiated the vote gets an extra point. However, it might also benefit the spy to accuse another player in order to divert suspicion from themselves. If the initiator of the vote fails to receive the support of all the players, the round continues as usual from wherever the game was stopped. Note: we recommend players abstain from discussing the spy’s identity during voting (i.e. "I think this player is the spy because their pajamas are pink, but they should be green!"). The players’ arguments "for" and "against" the spy’s identity could inadvertently reveal the location’s identity to the spy.
  3. At the Spy’s Request; The spy can stop the game at any time by revealing their role to the other players. The spy is then allowed to consult the location list in the middle spread of the rulebook and identify the current location. The spy wins if they identify the location correctly. Otherwise the other players win. Note: once one of the other players accuse the spy, the spy can no longer attempt to identify the location. The spy has missed their chance. If the other players vote against them, the spy loses the round.

Objectives and Strategies

The spy’s objective is to avoid exposure until the end of a given round or identify the current location. The non-spies’ objective is to establish consensus on the identity of the spy and expose him or her.The objectives of the non-spy players are to identify the spy and avoid revealing their location. Therefore, the non-spies should refrain from being too explicit in their questions: (for example, a bank teller asks a security guard, „How much cash did the robbers steal yesterday?“ The spy will then instantly identify the location as the bank). However, when a player’s questions and answers are too vague, other players might start suspecting them of being the spy, enabling the real spy to win. The spy’s objective is to listen as carefully as possible to what the other players say and do their best to avoid blowing their cover while also trying to identify the location before eight minutes have passed. A spy who waits until the end of the round is taking a risk — it is entirely possible that the other players will identify them after discussion and voting.

Scoring

Scoring Tally up the points earned by the players at the end of the round based on the results.

    If the Spy Wins

  • Victory: The spy earns two points.
  • The spy stops the game and identifies the location correctly: the spy earns extra two points.
  • All the players accuse an innocent player: the spy earns extra two points.

    If the Non-Spies Win

  • Victory: Each non-spy player earns one point.
  • A successful vote (before the end of the round): the player who stops the game and names the suspect earns an extra point.

End of the Game

Whoever scores the most points after the agreed-upon number of rounds wins the game.

Credits

Created by: Alexander Ushan

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