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Become a Gotham City Detective in Batman: Everybody Lies

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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To follow up my earlier post about narrative games in which you solve mysteries, Polish publisher Portal Games has announced a deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC, and Genuine Entertainment in which it will create and publish "officially licensed tabletop games set within the DC Universe featuring Batman characters".

Board Game: Batman: Everybody Lies

The first title to be released under this deal will be Batman: Everybody Lies, a design by Ignacy Trzewiczek and Weronika Spyra that uses the co-operative deduction game system found in Portal's 2018 release Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. Here's an overview of this title, which will have a preorder campaign open on March 4, 2022 ahead of a Q2 2022 release:
Batman: Everybody Lies is a crime-solving deduction game for 2-4 players set in rich lore of the Batman comics universe. Players take on the roles of four key investigators — instinctive journalist Warren Spacey, tenacious reporter Vicki Vale, brutish detective Harvey Bullock, or the cunning Catwoman — who are drawn into a series of mysterious events unfolding in Gotham City.

Throughout the game, players co-operatively make decisions running the investigation and trying to solve a series of challenging cases. They visit famous locations in Gotham City (like the Batcave, Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Penitentiary, and the Gotham City Gazette) and cross paths with well-known Batman characters (like Batman, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, and more) while trying to chase leads, identify suspects, and gather enough information to help save Gotham City. The game also adds a brand new hidden agenda mechanism, which assigns secret goals and unique win conditions for each player based upon which DC character they portray.

In Batman: Everybody Lies, players utilize a variety of physical and digital game components — a deck of cards with essential clues and plot twists, various physical handouts, and a dedicated website with access to in-world resources from the Gotham City Gazette archives — for a truly immersive experience. The game also features another new thematic treat — scenes — that bring memorable gameplay moments to life via original comic book illustrations that feel torn straight from the pages and panels of the beloved comics.

Beginning with an introductory prologue designed to get players acquainted with the game rules, Batman: Everybody Lies then continues with three big cases to solve, each taking roughly 2-3 hours to play. Each case can be played separately as standalone episodes, yet should players crack all four cases, they will unravel a master narrative with an epic climax. Every scenario ends with a final report with questions verifying how well the team has investigated the case.
Board Game: Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
The press release announcing the deal notes:
All Batman games will feature new and inspired iterations of the story-driven, co-operative deduction game system from Portal Games' award-winning Detective game series, delivering deeply thematic games that challenge 2-4 players to team up with the Caped Crusader and bring the theatrics and themes of Batman to life in a fully immersive tabletop experience....

Future games may explore other corners of the DC Universe as well as pluck inspiration from DC film and TV content. "Batman is easily one of the greatest crime-solving sandboxes ever created," says Genuine Entertainment CEO Joe LeFavi, who brokered the Portal/DC deal and serves as a producer and brand manager on Portal's tabletop game series. "So as long as there is a need for the Dark Knight in Gotham City, we can only hope to give him and our players more cases to crack in the years to come."
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