Deception: Murder in Hong Kong – Review

Theme

In this game, players or investigators are attempting to solve a murder. Much like Dexter, the murderer is one of the individuals attempting to solve the crime. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is a social deduction/bluffing game for 4 – 12 players.

Mechanics

In this game, one player acts as a narrator of sorts. This player is known as the forensic scientist and they know the truth of who the murderer actually is. Before gameplay begins, each player looks at their card and closes their eyes. The forensic scientist asks the murderer to point to 1 of 4 red cards and 1 of 4 blue cards. These represent murder weapons and evidence left behind at the scene of the crime.

 
 

Everyone “wakes up” and the game begins as the forensic scientist places bullet tokens on a series of player boards that help narrow down how this individual was killed. For example, if the murderer pointed to a machete, the forensic scientist may put the bullet token on ‘lots of blood’. Players would then look around and accuse people based on the cards in front of them.

The game plays over a series of 3 rounds. At the end of each round, the forensic scientist has the chance to draw a new tile and remove one that may not be so useful allowing them to better convey who the murderer is.

In a last ditch attempt to win the game, the murderer has the ability to kill the witness who has slowly been swaying the game against the murderer. Since the witness knows the murderer – without drawing attention to themselves – help the other players come to the realisation of who the murderer is.

Art

The art style of the game is very fitting for the theme. The dark colours of the role cards contrast nicely with the blue or red of your affiliation. The inclusion of Chinese text of the cards is a nice addition, increasing the flavour of the game. Although I have heard a few complaints calling this inclusion a little distracting.

 
 

Conclusions

Social deduction games are all the same, right? What does this game do differently? Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is similar to the hugely popular Resistance and Avalon. What this game does differently is it makes the game less dependent on the hidden voting and accusations of others. Those games are highly susceptible to mob mentality. People can sway the opinion of others if they are convincing enough. Though this is possible in Deception, it is more difficult. Since all the cards are laid out in front of all players, based on what the forensic scientist signals, there are some cards that can immediately be ignored because they don’t fit the criteria. By focusing on what cards are in front of people rather than the arguments as to why this person is evil, it can make for a different type of social and party game.

In addition to that, since you are accusing people based on what is in front of them and not their actions, people feel less targeted and less attacked. This is an important point to consider when purchasing social deduction games. If your friend group does not like the chaos of Resistance or Avalon but still wants a social deduction game, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong may be the right game for your group.

Does your play group enjoy the chaos of social deduction games? What games stir the pot the most? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Written by: Michael Gaa

My love of board games and wasting time on social media is the reason I’m here. Said love of games began at the tender age of 18 when I was introduced to Lords of Waterdeep. Since then, I’ve been an avid board gamer and take every opportunity to bring social deduction games to the table with friends. I also enjoy playing Magic: The Gathering, and cube regularly.

33 Comments Added

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  1. Greg L July 2, 2017 | Reply

    I played this game and enjoyed it. My favorite role was as the forensic scientist

  2. Yong Z July 2, 2017 | Reply

    I like this game! Better than Mysterium imo

    • Michael Gaa July 5, 2017 | Reply

      What is it you like about Deception: Murder in Hong King over Mysterium?

    • Michael Gaa July 5, 2017 | Reply

      Please let me know what you think when you give it a try!

  3. James July 3, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the review!

  4. JurassicMatt July 3, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve heard a lot about this game, and this review just strengthened my opinion that I need to pick this one up! Love deduction games.

  5. Trey July 4, 2017 | Reply

    Looks interesting, I’ll have to try it out

    • Michael Gaa July 5, 2017 | Reply

      If you enjoy social deduction games, this is a must try!

    • Michael Gaa July 5, 2017 | Reply

      Hey, thanks for reading. I”m glad my review was helpful!

  6. Tracy July 5, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the review. I like a good quick game.

  7. Adam July 9, 2017 | Reply

    Somehow it just doesn’t appeal to me. But I might enjoy it if I tried it.

  8. Shendie July 12, 2017 | Reply

    Definitely tempting. I just need to figure out if my gaming group would enjoy it as much!

    Just looked up the play time and it only takes about 20 minutes. We could do with a few more short games!

  9. Gunder July 14, 2017 | Reply

    This at least still feels like a game, unlike others like coup or the resistance.

  10. Gillian July 16, 2017 | Reply

    I wish I’d read this review when the Kickstarter was still running. I was really tempted but couldn’t get a good enough sense for how it played. Will need to think about buying the base game now!

  11. Jeremy S July 17, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve logged about 20 plays on this one – great game. Great review!

  12. Eric F July 18, 2017 | Reply

    I love this game so much, but sadly I have CS-Files, so expansion would be weird cards

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