Everyone’s been enjoying Among Us, a deduction bluffing game, and some even say it’s the best game they’ve ever played and :there’s nothing like it:. Which we board game veterans say “NEIN”. Though Among Us is great, some of us board game enthusiasts have been experiencing the rush and excitement of bluffing to each other as early as 2005! Let’s take this opportunity to introduce our friends to board gaming by teaching them these games like Among Us.
The first and probably the most popular in this list would be Avalon or The Resistance. They are the same game with just different themes. If your group likes Among Us for the straight up bluffing and telling lies part of the game then this might be the right game for the group. Each round a leader would bring a group to a mission and everyone in that mission would vote if the mission would succeed or fail. If atleast one fail card is played in the mission then the whole mission crumbles and it is failed. YES it only takes one impostor to tank a mission. Fail 3 times and the impostors win. Succeed 3 and the good guys win. Mechanics wise it's very simple, the complicated part is when everyone starts discussing and it doesn't help that some of the people are deceptive impostors. If you have a group with members who can lie straight to people’s faces then this is a fun addition to the game night.
If you want meatier game with deception and lies, then you should check out Shadows Over Camelot or Dead of Winter. These two games make players run around the board doing ‘tasks’ and the impostor ‘helping’ to try to look innocent. When the right time comes the impostor can reveal themself bring hell to all the tasks. These two games are a lot more complicated in terms of mechanics and how the game works but that’s what's great about them. You are so invested in the storyline of the game that you hope and believe that maybe, just maybe, there's a chance that there is no impostor. Yes, you are not guaranteed an impostor in these games. Imagine someone trying to help you but you get paranoid because you think they're being too helpful and they might be an impostor but this person really just wants us to win but they could also be trying to sabotage everything but you really need it…(mumbles silently in paranoia). If you can invest the time and effort to play and teach Shadows Over camelot or Dead of Winter to your group, the moments and experiences you can discover in these two games would definitely be worth it.
If you are looking for a quick fix to your lying..*ehem*.. bluffing needs then I introduce to you One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This game is a 10-15 minute game where you try to find at least one werewolf in the group and vote to take them out of the village in only one round! Everyone will get roles of what they are in the village and they do their actions in the night phase when everyone is asleep. Robbers steal roles, Seers check other people’s roles, Troublemakers swap two other people’s roles, and of course the Werewolves wake up to stalk their prey. Once everyone wakes up you have a timer (you can set it to how quick you want to play the game) to discuss what happened at night and vote one person out. If it is a villager then werewolves win, if it is a werewolf then villagers win. The best part about the game is that an app will do everything for you, except the lying part. A soundtrack would tell you when to wake up, it would tell you what to do, it becomes a timer for discussion, and it even blasts out ambient music to set the mood right! If you want the ease of play and quick game that you don’t need much effort to teach, then give this one a shot.
The last game and probably my favorite and go to bluffing game from the bunch is Secret Hitler. If you do not like the theme, you can get a print and play versions like Secret Voldemort or Secret Pirate. The game is simple with the liberals trying to pass six of their policies and the fascists trying to pass their policies or get Hitler to be the chancellor. Every round the president chooses their chancellor then the group votes if they will allow the pair to assume their roles. If most vote JA(yes) then the vote passes, if half says NEIN(no) then the group moves on to the next president. Once a president and chancellor is elected, the president gets three policies from the stack, chooses one to discard then gives the rest to the chancellor, now the chancellor peeks at the two policies left discards one and plays the remaining. Now this is where things get juicy, the elected president and chancellor may say anything to convince the people of what happened during the playing of the policies. They may lie or not lie about what they discarded and what they handed over. Discussions are very crucial in finding who the fascists are and who Hitler is. The game allows for powers to be played, like investigating a person’s loyalty, looking at the policy deck, and even to kill one of the people in the group. If the liberals play six of their policies or kill Hitler then they win. This is the game I really recommend with a group who likes Among Us. It has not failed me yet to introduce board gaming to a group who has never played board games. I believe that it has the perfect mix of simple mechanics and discussion to have a great time!
There are a lot more board games like Among Us, but these are the ones I have played and recommend. I heard people are trying to make a board game version of Among Us already actually! But while we are waiting for that official release, check the games mentioned above and I assure you a great time. Happy gaming and always remember to have fun!