We love bluffing games. Not only do they require both a certain amount of luck and strategy, but these types of games also have a high replayability in that each new player brings a new and unique element not found in the box. You are playing the people around the table as much as you are the game. Bluffing games played with friends and family also add a new angle of fun; trying to fool the people who know you best can be both surprising and exciting.
Here are a few of our favorite bluffing games to add some new and exciting elements to your gaming table.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE BOARD GAME
Photo Credit: Teri Litorco
Published by Fantasy Flight and with 3 expansions, it’s a science-fiction, grown-up version of Werewolf, where the werewolf doesn’t just kill villagers, but instead can ensure the complete destruction of the sparse remnants of mankind. Oh, and there can be multiple werewolves.
Players pick a beloved character from the television show, each of whom has special abilities that is reflective of that character. Players are to work together to try to jump humanity out of the clutches of the Cylons and to the safety of Earth, while at the same time dealing with food contamination, fuel shortages, and political unrest.
When faced with such crises, players are forced to do a skill check, wherein they can play any number of skill cards to help support (or undermine, in the case of the Cylon) the passing of the skill check.
Players have the ability to accuse each other of being the Cylon, imprisoning them in the Brig. Players can also reveal themselves as the Cylon, which allows them to also use a specific action and imprison another player who hasn’t revealed themselves as a Cylon into the Brig. The game perfectly captures the paranoia and tension of the television show, emotions driven almost exclusively by the Cylon threat: the one that pursues the human fleet as well as the one that dwells within it.
THE SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM
Photo Credit: Arcane Wonders
You: a legitimate capitalist entrepreneur trying to take your goods to market so you can feed your seven fat children (and certainly not a contraband dealer supporting/profiteering from the social upheaval spurred by Robin Hood and his merry men).
Him: The greedy Sheriff of Nottingham whose taste for the finer things in life, who took your
bribe thoughtful donation and expedited your goods without inspection to ensure the freshness of your perishable products.
The missed connection as described above is the premise of this simple yet fun bluffing game. While honesty may be the best policy, in The Sheriff of Nottingham, sometimes you can get further with some half-truths and well-placed silvers, as Wil and the gang showed in season 3 of TableTop.
Photo Credit: Teri Litorco
There’s a lot of reasons to love Get Bit! including high-quality components (that are super fun to play with and personalize), quick playtime and simple mechanics that are based on strategic bluffing and a decent dose of luck.
The premise is simple enough: you are trying to swim away from a shark. You don’t need to swim faster than the shark, just faster than everyone else also fleeing the shark.
All players play cards with a number on them. Players move to the furthest point in the line away from the shark in ascending order, except those who played the same numbers as an opponent, in which case, neither player moves. The shark bites the nearest player who, having been viscerally motivated, moves to the front of the line.
The winner is the player who survives having satiated the shark’s hunger by out-swimming their companions. Games play in less than fifteen minutes and are intensely fun, as demonstrated by Wil on TableTop.
Photo Credit: Board Game Geek
Do you hate the man? Then The Resistance is the game for you.
You are part of a resistance cell, fighting the oppressive Imperial structures and undertaking missions to undermine its tyrannical hold on society. Unbeknownst to you, your cell has been infiltrated by Imperial spies, looking to sabotage your activities at every turn, without revealing themselves as the unpatriotic automatons they are.
While it plays very similarly to Werewolf, it doesn’t have a hard elimination element, meaning all players can share the social experience of the game. See how it plays for yourself on TableTop.
TWO ROOMS AND A BOOM
Photo Credit: Tuesdsay Knight Games
Fulfilled on Kickstarter this month and with a free print and play version, this indie bluffing game is a new favorite. Taking less than 15 minutes to play and supporting 6-30 players, the game plays in 3 rounds, with each round taking 3 minutes or less.
Players are divided into two rooms and assigned one of two teams (red and blue) by randomly distributed cards. Two players are assigned special roles: that of the president (on the blue team) and that of a bomber (of the red team). Team and role assignments are kept secret.
Each room is assigned a leader (by their roommates) who determines a specified number of hostages to exchange with the other room.
After three exchanges (each separated by a round where players may converse and try to influence the room’s leader) the bomb, carried by the bomber, is set off. If the president is in the same room when it goes off, the red team wins. If the president survives the assassination attempt, blue team wins.
It’s fun, fast, furious and free; what’s there not to love?
What are your favorite bluffing games? What do you think of our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Header image credit: Nacho Facello/Flickr (Used under CC 2.0 License)