Board Game Night Playlist: I, Spy
Spies are a surprisingly common trope in board games. They usually aren’t of the James Bond variety, though they’re often used to represent someone who is hiding their true identity. All three of these games on tonight’s Board Game Night Playlist feature these undercover agents. Curiously, all three games are also designed to work as party games for large groups. Let’s blow the cover on these spy-themed board games!
Set in a dystopian future where a corrupt government rules supreme, you and a group of fellow freedom fighters attempt to overthrow them in a series of missions. The problem is that government spies have infiltrated your group and are attempting to dismantle you from the inside. The first faction to win three out of five missions wins the game.
As a spy, you’re going to have the difficult job of trying to convince everyone else that you’re a good guy and that other good people in the group are bad. How you go about that is completely up to you, as long as you don’t get caught!
Players are at a specific location hunting down a spy. The problem for the spy is, the spy has no idea where they are. In Spyfall, players take turns asking each other questions relating to their current vicinity in hopes of catching the spy in a lie. Be careful though, if your questions are too specific, the spy might be able to figure out where they are and steal the win.
The pressure is high for everyone in this game, as you have to be very creative with everything you say as to not out yourself. However, things are extra strenuous for the spy, as they piece together the location off of shrouded information while still acting like they’re part of the team. If you really want the sensation of being under cover, this is the game for you.
Two teams of rival agencies are trying to make contact with all of their spies in the field first. The challenge is that the spymaster can only give out one-word hints in order to not blow the team’s cover. It’s up to the spymaster to come up with quality clues that identify multiple spies, while field agents must decipher the hints in order to successfully make contact with their people.
All of the above sounds very dramatic, but it’s much more simple in actuality. Codenames is sort of a twist on Password, where each team is trying to pick the appropriate words based on the given clues. The cards on the board are spies, so you’re not doing any snooping around of your own. However, this is a fantastic party game that works well with any player count. While it tangentially hits the spy theme, it’s certainly worthy of a spot on your next spy-themed game night.