Get Adler! Deduction Card Game
Player Count: 4-8
Play Time: 30 minutes
This is the second part in a three part review for Get Adler! In this part of the review I will be giving first impressions of the game after one play with five players.
Get Adler! is a light social deduction game for 4-8 players in which players are dealt a secret identity of either a villain (Agent Adler, Kate Collins, or The Mole) or a good agent (Inspector Sharpe, Agent Gold, Constable Townsend, Agent Tarasov, or Agent Bonnet). Each character's traits are listed on a player reference sheet. These traits are used to allow players to deduce or attempt to deduce who is who with the ultimate goal to be to determine who is Agent Adler and the other villains who will be helping Agent Adler in larger player counts. At the end of the seventh round the agents win if they have successfully arrested or eliminated all villains in the game (or in some cases if the one or more of the villains survive but are not able to possess a top secret document in their hand). Adler and/or the other bad agents win if they are able to have at least one top secret document in any of the villains possession at the end of the seventh round.
Before the game begins players will be required to collect the appropriate character cards for the corresponding player count. Then they should create a deck of item cards that includes the cards marked for the appropriate number of players. Once a first player is chosen that player receives the 1:00 o'clock round marker and the game begins.
The game is played over seven rounds or until all agents of one team are eliminated or arrested in the case of the villains. The seven rounds are divided into two styles of play. The first three rounds of the game are primarily performed to deduce who is who and construct hands of cards they believe will be useful in the later rounds. Starting in the fourth round players may begin attempting to arrest the player they believe is Agent Adler or any other villain.
Each player will have one turn per round. On a player's turn they first draw a card, then play a card. Depending on the card that is played, there may be an action to perform.
Types of Item Cards
Question Mark: Playing a question mark card allows a player to ask any other player one yes or no question about their character's traits. Once all player's identities are revealed the question mark card becomes a "go again" card that is played and then the player draws another card.
Magnifying Glass: The magnifying glass allows the player to secretly look at all cards in another player's hand.
Binoculars: This card allows you to take one card at random from another player's hand and then requires you to give that player any card from your hand.
Top Secret Document: The top secret document is the card that Agent Adler or another villain must possess at the end of the seventh round (and be alive) to win the game. Good Agents basically just use this card to insinuate that they are not a villain, but villains are allowed to discard this card to cover their identity.
Arrest: Starting in the fourth round, a player can play an arrest card in an attempt to arrest the player they believe is Adler or another villain.
The other item cards are used during arrest attempts. When a player attempts to arrest another player the accused player answers (truthfully) if he or she is Adler or another villain. If the player is accused incorrectly then both the accuser and the accused must skip their next turns. If the player is a villain the next step in a temporary break in play to allow the arrest attempt. All players will then reveal their identity for the remainder of the game.
To execute an arrest attempt the accuser plays the arrest card face-up in front of the player they are accusing. The accused player must then player an "Escape" card.
Standard Escape Cards: Boat, Bus, Underground, Car, Bicycle, Plane
If the villain is able to player an escape card, any other the good agents must then play a matching escape card to not allow the villain to escape. If the good agents are able to match the standard escape card then the villain must play another standard escape card that must be matched by the good agents OR play a "Special Escape Card".
Special Escape Cards: Bomb, Disguise, and Pistol
Each of the special escape cards immediately end the confrontation with the good agents and have some additional impacts on the game.
Arrest attempts will end in one of three ways; the villain escapes, the villain is eliminated or arrested, or the good agent is eliminated in a pistol fight.
At the end of the seventh round players will determine who is the winning based on whether any of the villains were able to survive and possess a top secret document.
I have only had an opportunity to play this game once and with five players so I cannot speak to the scalability of the game yet, but in my one play at five players, I was surprisingly pleased with the game. In my first portion of this review I stated that I was hopeful that the game played like Good Cop, Bad Cop (another social deduction game) and while there is a different feel in this game it was certainly not too drastically different. There are similar mechanics and a simplistic rule set that focused primarily on condensing the deduction process into a short task that is meant to compliment the primary functionalities of the games rather than be a heady task that requires paper and pencil for note-taking.
I am a little concerned that the deduction part of the game is too simplistic because it is not very difficult to narrow down who is a villain and who is not, but as I said, it's clear deduction isn't the primary focus of the game. If the game were to create a stronger sense of deduction and make the process more complex the game would likely begin to feel unbalanced toward the villains because with just seven rounds to not only find the villains but outplay them in the arrest attempts could be too difficult in a short amount of time.
So while I am curious to see if the game has another layer of deduction and strategy I do get the impression that the game is fun as I have interpreted it so far and I enjoyed the game enough to look forward to playing the game again at several player counts.