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Popular Social Deduction Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Social Deduction mechanic.
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Get Adler! Deduction Card Game Review - The Thoughtful Gamer image
ReviewGet Adler! Deduction Card Game Review - The Thoughtful Gamer (https://thethoughtfulgamer.com/2017/12/12/get-adler-deduction-card-game-review/) Like| 0 comments | [+]
Growl Kills Every Other Social Deduction Game image
ReviewGrowl Kills Every Other Social Deduction Game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Bp63DsR8s) [Growl]Like| 3 comments | [+]
DealMafia de Cuba (social deduction game) $9.80 in Walmart [Mafia de Cuba: Revolucion]Like| 3 comments | [+]
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  • Spiel des jahres feels like it is geting too "commercial" every year
  • Point salad games only give you an idea you've how well you are doing at the end of the game
  • "Social deduction game" is synonym to "part game" in my head
  • I'm so fed up with Lovecraftian stuff and zombies.
  • Kickstarter is about mini's

I like this idea too! Here's mine:


#The Legend of Korra: Pro-Bending Arena

I got the base game for my son about 18 months ago, and was a bit disappointed at the difference between that and the Kickstarter version. I found a good deal on eBay for one still in shrink (about £40 instead of the £60+ it usually seems to sell for when second hand), so I picked it up a few weeks ago.

The only problem is that when I tried to teach him how to play the game last summer I screwed up a couple of rules and it dragged on forever, so we keep saying we're planning to try it again but never getting round to it. I'm trying to decide whether to open the Deluxe version to try again, or keep it and try the base one a few more times so I can sell the Deluxe one on if need be.


Removed/thinking about removing

I have quite a few games bought for my kids that I think my youngest is starting to more on from now. So I am planning on putting these into my trade/sell pile:

#Magic Maze Kids

#Ticket to Ride: First Journey - Europe

#Rhino Hero

I also have a couple of games I picked up because they were cheap that I have never managed to get to the table, so I'm planning to pass on:

#Llamas Unleashed

#The Lord of the Rings

There are a couple that I have had for a long time, but which I don't really see getting played any more:

#Penny Arcade, the Game - Gamers vs Evil


Finally, I'm re-evaluating a couple of others after realising just how rare it is for me to play 2-player games with my older son, now that the younger one is joining in more:

#Hive Pocket

#Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion


Games on my radar

#Stop the Train!

#Scape Goat

My older son loves social deduction games (we got him #The Menace Among Us for Christmas) and these both sound like they would work pretty well, even at only 4 players.

#Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers

#The Search for Planet X

I'm not sure if these count, as I've actually got both on preorder from a long time ago (though I could technically cancel either). I am very much looking forward to trying both of them though, solo and/or multiplayer.

#The Initiative

I only learned about this one yesterday, and it intrigues me. I'm waiting to see reviews before jumping on it, but I think it might be another one that's nice to play with my whole family.


Backer's Regret?

I'm not sure if this should count, since I backed it before Christmas but had to pay some additional costs last month. Anyway, I'm going to add one more category here.

#Mission Catastrophe

I backed this one on Kickstarter, and I'm not yet sure it wasn't a mistake. There are limited reviews. What I did read sounded appealing, and I'm hopeful, but by the time shipping and VAT was added in last month I have spent more than I think I really should have, and don't really know how it's going to turn out.

Unlike many board game players I've rarely backed physical games (a lot of RPG pdf files, though...) and of the two currently sitting on my shelf I'm a little disappointed in one, #STEM: Epic Heroes (great artwork and I love the idea behind it, but the game is a bit dull), and the other, #Mint Condition Comics I've read the rules a couple of times but always seem to find something else to play. So I'm not sure I've got a great track record in judging these things.

Nice article. I think my favorite hidden role game is#Secret Hitler with#Werewords Deluxe Edition coming in a close second.

The only non social deduction games I'm aware of with anything that can kind of be described as hidden roles is#Cosmic Frog or#Cosmic Encounter. You have a special ability in both that you keep hidden until you need it. Not sure if this exactly counts though 

I'm gonna give some love to perhaps the most inconsistent mechanics in games: hidden powers and social deduction. These games may have a wider deviation in quality, but when I think of some of my favorite beginnings, middles, and endings in games, it's hard not to think about these.

  1. #Deception: Murder in Hong Kong has the strongest opening of any party social deduction game I've played. Right from the get-go, there's plenty to talk about (I play with a house rule where everyone shares their murder weapons and clues in the beginning), and the first round of discussions/accusations escalates quickly. Seeing people's faces go from calm and inquisitive to shocked and defensive is so much fun in this game because there's actual info to be used, unlike a lot of other games in the genre.
  2. #Cosmic Encounter is another game I like to play with an (official) variant in which everyone's powers start hidden and unused until their alien race is revealed. Usually a few turns have passed until the first reveal happens, and I love the anticipation that comes with someone suddenly announcing their power and the rest of the table collectively groaning as the first major wrinkle to the game mechanisms is introduced. Suddenly alliances and negotations are seen in a new light, and on those occasions when one reveal immediately results in others: *chef's kiss*
  3. This is a toss up between a bunch of different social deduction games, in particular ones that end on a final decision/accusation, such as #A Fake Artist Goes to New York, or #One Night Ultimate Werewolf. While it's possible that the hidden fake artist/werewolf is a foregone conclusion, there's often still a lot of tension in the moment that everyone reveals their vote. My additional, non-social deduction submission for this is #Telestrations. Getting to share the journey of how your words/pictures got misinterpreted and arguing with other people about what they did is sure to bring lots of laughs. 

Last week was a great week of gaming! Got in some new hotness and old classics, too. 

#Red Rising - I've now played at 3p & 4p counts, and I think this game is going to shine with higher player counts. Hoping to get a 5p soon.  Red Rising definitely rewards multiple plays, as getting to know the cards and the flow of the game is key. 

#Star Wars: Dark Side Rising -  this is a euro only version of the popular "Rising" series ( #Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War etc.)  A looming Darth Vader tries to stop you from stopping the emperor from building the Death Star. Wow, this was a lot tougher than I thought. Vader dispatched us pretty easily.  AMA if you have questions!

#Bristol 1350 - my first play of this charming (?) little competitive game about avoiding The Bubonic Plague. I loved the production (Facade Games knocks their deluxe editions out the park -- the entire Book series is great at that) and loved the push your luck / social deduction twists. I'd definitely play it again. 

Got in two games of #Beyond the Sun on BGA.  Didn't win either but came very very close. Hit me up on BGA if you want to get in a game, I love this game! 

Hahaha, I fall into this category from time to time.

"oh, I guess you can't afford Battlestar Galactica. I mean that is the best social deduction game."


So I own this game mainly because I was hoping to find a social deduction type game that we could play more readily. To say it hasn't gone over well is a huge understatement lol. We've played it maybe twice and I'm currently trying to sell it.

I agree with what people have said so far.  Social deduction, any game that is "mean" or has lots of "take that" to it, definitely.  Also humor can be a weird defining factor.  I have a few specific examples of this that stand out in my mind. 

  • Personally, I can't play #Cards Against Humanity.  I know taboo is supposed to make things edgy funny, but I feel like there are some things in that deck that just shouldn't be laughed at. 
  • I played the game of #Things... with one group several times and we all thought it was hilarious.  Then brought it to another group and it completely fell flat.  I tried making the same types of jokes as before and no one could see why it was funny.  
  • Oddly enough, #Apples to Apples was another one that had something like this happen.  My family tried to bring it to an extended family gathering because we thought it was a no-brainer.  Very simple premise, easy to understand, will be great with a bunch of non-gamers.  They played it straight literal the whole time.  It was terrible.  We'd try putting something weird in there or pandering to the judge and no one understood what we were trying to do. 

So yeah, if it can happen with something as basic as Apples to Apples, apparently the right sense of humor is very important in gameplay haha. 

Another game that comes to mind is one I've mentioned a few times here before.  #Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game you have to have kind of a gentlemen's agreement with the other players about not spamming your cards trying super hard to "win" the game.  (The rules do specifically say not to do this, but its kind of up to the group to say what playing your cards too fast is.)  This is definitely a game that's more about the journey than the end result.