Death of the Party is a hidden identity card game with a murder mystery theme. Each player takes on the Persona of a famous detective who has been invited to a party, only to discover their host has been murdered, and one of them is responsible. It is up to the Partygoers to identify and arrest the Killer, or determine if there are multiple Killers, before they get murdered as well.
At the start of the game, there is the hidden identity ritual of having all Killers open their eyes and identify one another. One Killer must decide to make the first murder and then leave a Cause Of Death card and a Clue card, tied to their Persona, on the host's BODY sheet. Regular play begins and everyone goes to the room in which they want to take their turn. Each player, upon entering, takes a Drink card, that determines the order of questioning, and a Drawer card to see if they can find something useful.
When everyone has finished at the table, each player can ask a question of one other, attempting to tie them to the murder, or to uncover the progress of their investigation. Afterwards, the players will disperse to find new players to question. This process of hunting suspects from room to room continues until there is another murder.
At any time during gameplay, one player can attempt to kill another player by giving them a Weapon card (with a Cause Of Death), and a Clue card. But be careful, if the intended victim has a Weapon, they may try to defend themselves. And be sneaky, if the victim sees the attack coming they are allowed a single scream that could be heard by potential witnesses. The wise Killer will sneak up on the other player, and touch the victim on the back. The victim will not get a chance to scream nor defend themselves.
When a murder is discovered an Accusation Phase begins. All the surviving players gather and each is allowed one question to "examine the body." The victim may only reply by showing a card, including the Cause of Death and Clue left behind by the Killer. Based on what everyone has learned over their investigations, an Accusation may be made. All the free and living players vote on whether or not to put the player accused of being a Killer under House Arrest.
Play continues until someone makes a Final Accusation, declaring that they know who all the Killers are. The accuser will name the players (alive, dead, and under arrest) they believe to be Killers. Arguments are made, then a vote is taken. Any accused players who are still free and alive are placed under House Arrest, and the game ends. Identities are revealed, and the players discover who won: the Partygoers or the Killers.
—description from the publisher
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