Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

Deception board game review

OVERVIEW

Our Rating:

You and your fellow investigators must work together to solve a murder in this game by Grey Fox Games. There is a twist though... one of you is the culprit who must throw the others off the trail by trying to make them focus on the wrong clues. The forensic scientist will help you on your way with special clues, but they cannot talk, so study where they point you carefully. In this game for 4-12 people you will be pointing fingers and doing your best sleuthing to find the secret killer.

CHARLENE'S REVIEW

My Rating:

Likes

  • Easy to learn
  • Easy to teach
  • Quick games
  • Starter game or all night game 

Dislikes

  • Clue boards sometimes don't help at all
  • Eye's closed concept relies on others being honest 

Intro/First Impressions

Players take on the role of investigators trying to solve a murder that is placed in Hong Kong. Amongst them is the murderer and possibly (depending on the number of players) a witness and an accomplice. The object of this game is simple, investigators and the forensic scientist try to work together to figure out the means card (murderer item) and the clue item (evidence the murderer left behind).

The set up of this game is easy and rounds go by quite quickly, around 20 minutes. This is nice because you are going to want to play multiple games and that way everyone should get a turn at each role. Some of the means and clue cards are interesting, such as blood release (what does that even mean? the murderer killed someone by blood release? why not just have a knife or something) but overall most are what you would typically think (means card= revolver or chainsaw, clue card= necklace or book).

Thoughts

Before the game begins, everyone closes their eyes, and the forensic scientist calls on the murderer to open their eyes and point to the means card and the clue card that they have decided upon. But be carefully! Don't tap the cards or make noise as the other players will be able to figure out who it is. You may think this won’t happen but it does. Each player with exception of the forensic scientist, has 4 means cards and 4 clue cards in front of them. The murderer only gets to choose out of the cards in front of them, not out of everyones cards. The cards you choose should be strategic if you wish the murder to remain unsolved. Look at the items in front of all the other players and pick items that are similar or pick ones that are difficult to give clues too. I really enjoy the closing the eyes concept but it is only successful if everyone is playing an honest game. Peekers will ruin this game and possibly get reprimanded worse then the murderer by the other players.

The game play consists of 3 rounds, each round the forensic scientist gives clues to the other players to try and lead them in the right direction of figuring out the means card and the clue card. The Forensic scientist gives clues by placing bullets on the clue boards. These boards will have a category of some sort with different answers. For example: A card will say the victims career then it will stated a few options such as nurse, professional, teacher, etc. The forensic scientist will place a bullet on the career of the victim that best suits the items that were involved in the murder. The forensic scientist can not communicate to the other players in any other way. I really enjoy this concept, though as the forensic scientist it can be frustrating if the players are on the right track or way off base. I definitely find myself just itching to yell yes you got it, or no that's not what I was trying to hint to at all!

All the players get to collaborate as the bullets are being placed on the clue boards. Then each person gets to take turns stating their option. This prevents players, especially the murderer, from just sitting back and not being involved. You must say your point of view, so if your the murderer there will be no easy wins with this game. You have to work for it. The murderer has to be stealth and come across as they are innocent and that someone else is guilty. This can be difficult, especially if you are caught off guard and haven't thought of a story to sell to the other players. I learnt this the hard way the first time I was the murderer. When it got to my turn to state my opinion, I didn't really have anything to say. It made it obvious that I was the murderer. This made the game a lot easier for the investigators because they just had to narrow it down between my cards. So try and build a case against the other players and focus on that durning your turn. The good news is that you have only a maximum of 30 seconds to talk individually. So no need for anything too complex and elaborate.

When an investigator wishes to take a guess you choose a means and clue card under a single player (the player you think is guilty). Both items have to be correct. The forensic scientist will say yes or no to your guess, nothing more. Each player including the murderer, witness and accomplice get to take a guess at any time, but not the forensic scientist. You only get one guess so use it wisely. The murderer or the accomplice would want to guess to further sell to the other players that they are not involved and to possibly sell the theory that they have been stating on their turn. As the murderer, and if there is an accomplice in play, you want the items to remain hidden for all 3 rounds. If so you win! If the investigators guess correctly before the end of the 3 rounds, well your going to jail and you need to be more sneaky next time.

Conclusion

This game is easy to learn, easy to teach, and the games are short. Sounds like a great game to start off any board game night doesn't it? I do find that the most difficult role to play is the murderer because you have to be very careful. It can get frustrating if you get the murderer role 3 rounds in a row but hey you can blame the person who dealt the cards after the game.

For solving a murder, this game won’t leave you feeling completely frustrated and drained after a round or two. Sometimes we start with this game as a warm up and end up playing it almost all night. It is a great game to have in your collection for just that reason.

About the author

Charlene

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