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Spyfall is just asking questions

A game where asking the wrong question is often worse than giving the wrong answer

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Clayton Ashley , senior video editor, has been producing and editing videos for Polygon since 2016. He is the lead producer of the tabletop gaming series Overboard.

Hidden role games are often a fun way to test your ability to craft untruths on the fly. But it’s often easy to spot the more relaxed truth-tellers, who can blurt out anything without accidentally revealing themselves. Telling a good lie requires careful forethought, and it’s easy to let something slip. Spyfall is a hidden role game where every player has to think very carefully about what they’re saying ... even when what they’re saying is the truth.

There’s also a fair bit of role-playing involved, which is why we brought on the exquisite role-playing talents of Matthew Mercer to help us make a fool of ourselves in the latest episode of Overboard. We played remotely using the Tabletopia version of the game.

At the beginning of a game of Spyfall, all but one player — the spy — learns the rounds location (out of 30 possible locations). This is what the spy player wants to learn to win the game. The rest of the players want to figure out who among them is the spy, and the only way they can is with carefully crafted questions and thoughtfully vague answers.

This is what makes Spyfall different from most hidden role games. Even though most players know the truth, they must be exceedingly careful about the questions they ask, because one wrong word could give up the location to the spy. On the other hand, if you ask or answer a question too vaguely, the rest of the players might suspect you’re the spy.

You can see how pretty much all of these scenarios play out in the episode above, where we choose the more difficult route of role-playing as specific people at these locations. This makes the game even more challenging, but also a lot more entertaining! If you enjoy this video, be sure to check out the rest of Overboard on our YouTube channel.

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