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Review: Decrypto --- The Board Geeks Store

Alan (321): WELCOME! To our second ever Board Geeks review, where we will break down board games that we have played and tell you which games are ...fine(?), good, or excellent. It's been 5 months since the first review oops,  but I promise we will be more frequent.

Party games are loved for their accessibility, because they are easy to learn, and do not require many props or components other than each players general cognitive skills. Introducing my new personal favourite party game: Decrypto, a teams based word party game designed by Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance, and can be played by 4+ players in 15-45 minutes. 

--- TLDR: It came out in 2018 and is now #2 on BGG - Party, just after Codenames. We think it's better than Codenames.  ---

As a testament to this, I happily own both and everyone whom I’ve demonstrated the game to have enjoyed it, half of whom bought a copy ON THE SPOT.

Like Codenames, players are formed into two teams, and play is split between rounds with one representative from each team being the leader per round. Each team receives four hidden words with a corresponding number (from 1-4), and these four words are visible to your whole team and will remain your words for the entire game.

Per round, both leaders draw a code card in secret, which has 3 digits from a deck of (a permutation of numbers one to four) cards and then proceeds to give 3 clues in the order they want their team to guess the words. For example, if I had the below words with the code:

I will then give the clues: “Commonwealth, Surgeon, Sparta". My team will then, hopefully, write down what they think the 3 digits code is. If they guess correctly, nothing bad happens. If they guess wrong, you get a miscommunication token (collect two of them, and your team immediately loses).

--- BUT BEFORE WE GUESS---

The opposing team has a chance to guess our code too! After they guess, the leader publicly reveals the correct code and the opposing team notes down the correct words.


In the early rounds, chances of guessing our code are low due to the lack of information available. However, as rounds accumulate and associations become clearer, they may eventually crack our code and guess it correctly.

The game ends when:

  • The team that guesses the opposing team’s correctly twice wins

OR

  • The team that guesses their own team’s incorrectly twice, loses.

The heart of the game lies in the covertness, being vague with your clues to trick your opponents whilst also making sure that the players on your team, understands what you’re doing. Tensions are high as you are racing against the other team, encrypting your own messages to your teammates whilst furiously trying to decipher the opposing side’s code (anyone seen Benedict Pumpkin Patch in The Imitation Game, it’s good right?)

Having said that, the example I gave above might have been obvious. Here’s a better clue for a new code:

"Rich, Money, Mint"

Can you guess the code? Answer is at the very start of this Review.

Conclusion

This game makes players feel SO clever with their choice of words, and great moments are made with each playthrough. I highly recommend that if you are a fan of Codenames or Taboo, grab a copy of Decrypto.

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