A social game of deduction and deception. Who among you can see through the lies? Who is capable of getting away with murder?
In Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, players find themselves in a scenario of intrigue and murder, deduction and deception. One player is the Murderer, secretly choosing their weapon and the evidence they leave behind. Another is the Forensic Scientist who holds the key to convicting the criminal but is only able to express their knowledge through analysis of the scene. The rest are investigators, interpreting the clues to solve the crime – and the killer is among them. Investigators must collaborate and use their wits, their hunches, and their keen deductive insight to correctly identify the means of murder and the key evidence to convict the killer. The murderer must mislead and confuse the investigators to save themselves.
Do you have what it takes to see through the lies and catch the criminal in your ranks or will they muddy the waters long enough to get away with murder?
"Deception Murder in Hong Kong is an amazing social deduction game that I have played with friends and coworkers on numerous occasions. The game requires a base of 4 players, though I think it works better with at least 5-6 players. A basic game contains the roles of the Forensic Scientist, the Murderer, and several Investigators, though there are several other roles available to add something different (mostly to games with more people). Now, you may be thinking that this is not so different from other social deduction games, which is fair, but Deception is unique in terms of its clue-giving mechanics as well as its atmospheric quality. The Forensic Scientist is unable to speak, but instead has these clue boards or scene tiles that they pull 4 from at random for the game. They also select a location of crime scene tile from those available and a cause of death tile, both of which are differentiated by color from the rest of the scene tiles (green and purple respectively). Each player, except the Forensic Scientist, will have four murder weapons displayed in front of them (the small blue cards) and four items left at the scene/clues (the small red cards) displayed in front of them.
The Forensic Scientist will act as game czar, while everyone else at the table will have an investigator’s badge that they can use up to make a guess based on the Forensic Scientist’s given hints. The table will open to discussion of clues and then each round wind down to a presentation phase in which different players present their case. The game’s art has this wonderful neo-noir feel to it and the gameplay is incredibly fun. This is especially true, as even if players deduce correctly who the Murderer is they cannot win unless they deduce the correct combination of items sitting in front of the player. Unlike Werewolf, you don’t just immediately axe the player you suspect and no one is left sitting at the table with nothing to do. Even if you’ve used your badge, you can still take part in discussion and try to present your case to someone with a badge remaining.
Who is the game for? If you are a fan of Clue or a fan of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, then I’d give this one a go. It’s also great for playing over Zoom or Skype with friends, so long as one of you has a copy. It is not as involved as Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, but it still comes with its own thrill of investigation and discovery, and the possible solutions are even more interesting than in Clue to a degree because a live person chooses the item left at the scene and the murder weapon. If you are into big group games and also into detective and noir style games then Deception is definitely a no-brainer.
Who is this not for? If you already have a favorite social deduction game that you prefer to play over all others, then maybe this isn’t what you want, but even still I recommend giving it a shot, as we have played it at Boozy Board Game Night before and it's always a big hit. Also, if the idea of a player who is totally silent the entire game isn’t your bag, then this might not be what you’re looking for."