Those new to hobby games may be confused by terms, such as "cooperative," "dexterity," or "abstract" games. Here, at The Starting Player, our goal is to make gaming accessible to all. With that in mind, this month we're going to talk about Hidden Roles.

In a “hidden role” game, you play a character that is unknown to the other players while you try to figure out the roles of the other players. Hidden Roles are one of the simpler game mechanics and tend to be one of the most popular because they are usually very easy to teach. But the tension isn’t in strategic thinking, it’s in the careful observations between the players. Did they make that move because they are on your team, or because they want you to think they are? With simple rules, the subtly is in persuasion, deduction, and clever conversations. These are not quiet games of contemplating your board. These are about looking in each other’s eyes and keeping a poker face while you try to figure out if your friend (or a stranger) is trying to help you or bluffing to undermine you. You, of course, should always be trusted, right?

Some examples of Hidden Role games in our collection are:

Bang: The Dice Game
Mafia de Cuba
One Night Ultimate Werewolf / Alien
Shadow Hunters
Grimm Masquerade
Love Letter
The Resistance: Avalon


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