Top Secret Spies
newer English language edition
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from 7 customer reviews
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The players each take a secret spy and then move all spies around the board, trying to score those for their secret spy. The players also try to guess the secret identities of their opponent's spies. Whenever a spy is moved to the house with the safe, all spies score based on where they are sitting at the time. Players must be careful not to move their spy too well or their opponents will guess their spy quickly and work against their spy scoring points. Players also have special cards that give them special actions throughout the game. The player whose spy scores highest at the end of the game is the winner!
How often can you find a game for up to 7 players that is quick to teach, totally awesome fun and keeps you guessing right until the end??? Well, this is one. (I would probably say Adel is another, and Fornula De of course but not everyone enjoys F1 racing).
TSS is slick really. Makes every player attempt to conceal his identity with great amusement - Do I move someone else's pawn or my own to deceive the other players? Needs a real poker face!
Its a much better game than its average rating (which I noticed was 'spoilt' by some serious gamers!) and you should give it a go, especially when you have 6-7 people who suddenly all wanna play!
I noted on more than one occassion, games that don't appeal to 'serious gamers looking for deep strategic challenge'.
Before these 'chip on the shoulder elitists' rate a game such as Top Secret Spies, and other similiar 'light' games, I urge them to first consider the fact that these games NEVER IN ANY WAY purported to offer deep strategic challenge, nor CLAIM THAT THEY CREATED IT FOR SERIOUS GAMERS...
I further find it funny that 'serious gamers' are on the one hand looking for 'deep strategic challenge', but at the same time arent bright enough to recognize a light game when they see one... !!!
So fellow serious gamers, before you go on rating Hare & Tortoise, or god forbid, Dance of the Witches, as 'not seriously challenging to serious gamers', I suggest you refrain from spoiling ratings of wonderful games like TSS, and stick to rating those games that DO CLAIM TO CHALLENGE YOU.
In closing, I find TSS a wonderfully clever game, where everyone is constantly in a dilemma of how to advance their spy (pawn) without revealing their identity!
Easy to learn, quick to play, no two games ever the same, great for kids or adults alike. Just as much fun the 10th time or 100th time!
This is an older German classic, and certainly a little gem of a game. Several reviewers have noted this game is fairly simple, and there can be no doubt about that, but that doesn't keep this from being a great addition to a games closet.
The object is to get your detective to x number of points (45?) the fastest. No players know which color marker belongs to which player, and since any player can move any color, you want to keep your information secret for as long as possible. (If they think you are green, you can bet they aren't going to move green very often!)
And that's where the fun comes in. On your turn you roll a single die and move any number of detectives a combined total of the die. So if you roll a 2, you could move 1 detective 2 spaces, or 2 detectives 1 space, etc. Pieces move from house to house beginning with a house worth zero all the way up to 10, then to -3, then back to zero. There is one wooden safe that sits in a house and once a player moves detectives in such a way as to have one of the pieces end its turn in the same house as the safe, every color scores whatever house value it sits on. nThe safe is then placed in a different house and play continues. That's it.
The challenge is in the bluffing and the deducing (especially in the advanced version.) Since there are two neutral colors in the game, and no one really knows who each other are or which colors are neutral, players must carefully manipulate colors in order to see their own color do well without too obviously favoring one. Sooner or later though, you must make a move to score big points at the end to ensure victory. When I play, I encourage table talk and recriminations! That becomes especially fun in the advanced version where, about 3/4 through the game, players write down which color they think belongs to each player and then get bonus points for correct guesses.
This game is simple enough for children, interesting enough for non-gamers, and nasty enough for gamers that it has a universal appeal to it. Not to say everyone will like it, but also considering it is a 20-30 minute game, it really is a great game to be able to pull out after for almost any group.
Shuffle the spy cards and deal one facedown to each player. You see only your spy, whose color is represented by both a token on the scoring track and a figurine on the board. Roll the die each turn to determine the total number of spaces you must move one or more figurines. If movement ends with at least one figurine in the Scoring Marker's space, each spy scores the value of the space it occupies. Play continues after the current player moves the new Scoring Marker to a different space. After one or more spies cross the track's finish, identities are revealed, and the leading token wins. The advanced variant's Action Cards influence movement, thus adding more entertainment to the challenge of moving your spy discreetly forward.