Welcome to my review of speakeasy. Just to give you a bit of background, I have played; Werewolf, The resistance, 2R1B, Mayday! Mayday!, survivor and lifeboats in pbf form and have played some in real life too.
First impressions have showed me that speakeasy falls into the same category as 2R1B in that it plays in a time limit and you may show any of your cards to other players. Also, there are two teams but, unlike werewolf and the resistance, it is not bad to claim to be on the bad team. In fact, it is hard to say that there is a bad team in this game as it offers up equal opportunities to both teams without giving an advantage to either of them. They both have the same aim in trying to get information from the other team by sneakily eavesdropping in on conversations or even being the rat for your team.
Reader: Woah, wait there Hal. What is this rat you are talking about?
Ah yes, much like the spies in 2R1B, each team will have a rat. This person receives the rat card, pops it in their pocket and plays the game like everyone else. The only twist is that, now they have received the rat card, they are actually playing for the other team trying to infiltrate their opponents and then leak the information which is much easier because you have a card of that team to bluff with.
Reader: So what is stopping you from just going over to your real team and saying what you know?
There are two main reasons:
1. Your fake team will now never give you information again
2. You have effectively given your opponents 10 points
Everyone starts the game with 3 points cards which they can spend or lose. By correctly identifying the rat on your team, you gain 10 bonus points for the end of the game. You also gain points for identifying what roles your opponents are and what their passwords are.
Everyone also starts with a password which is unique to up to four people on your team. Since you don’t know who your teammates are and every time you show your role you are effectively losing points to the other team, you want to try and drop your password into the conversation and hope that someone with the same password will notice and you can make contact with each other first before potentially losing those precious points.
Reader: This sounds really interesting but I have a couple more questions
Reader: How can you infiltrate the other team effectively, do you have any sort of powers apart from your role?
Actually, you do! You start off with no powers but if you go to the mod and give him one of your point cards, you are allowed to take any of the powers lying face up on the table and these powers are really helpful but, of course, come at a cost of a point to your team.
Reader: I can see there must be a lot of strategy in this. How long does this game last and how many people do I need to play it?
The game lasts an hour but should comfortably play in 75 minutes including the rules explanation and the end totalling of scores. As for players, it plays from 10-25 but, much like 2R1B, if more cards get unlocked in stretch goals, you should be able to play more.
Reader: So what do you think of the game?
I went into this review knowing that I had two problems with the game:
1.Time. 75 minutes is a long time to commit to a game. You would only ever fit about one game of this into your evening and, although the game will leave you talking about your experiences for a while, it would be hard to get enough people to commit to a game of that length.
2.Player count. The game allows you to play 10-25 players which, according to the designer, “occupies a certain niche”. Most gaming groups I know of have less than ten players so this game would rarely come off the shelf which would be a shame as this is such a great game to play.
However! I contacted the designer about these problems and he came back saying he had once played an eight player game of this with no moderator. He didn’t recommend it for first time play but still! We now have a game which can be played regularly in a small gaming group. I would also recommend that you adapt the time to everybody’s liking. In other words, change the time from one hour to half an hour if you are only playing with 15 people.
In conclusion, speakeasy is a great game with many possibilities to go in every direction and reach out to many different kinds of people if it just amended its small problems with length and simplicity. Therefore, I am going to give it
This could easily increase if extra things were added into the rules to allow playing with smaller player counts and smaller playing time.
If you have any comments on how to improve my reviews, I would love to hear them,
We have now found out that the game will, most likely go up to 40 players!
- Last edited Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:20 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:09 am