This is my experiment to make a game where a single device is passed around in a group while conversation is going on. It is influenced by games like Mafia, Werewolf and Clue. Try out the game and give me feedback so I can make this game better.
This game for 3-5 people, and takes about 15 minutes. The group are characters on a ship that is sinking, and they are trying to repair the leaks. One player is secretly a Saboteur trying to sink the ship.
App: Download and install the App for Android devices here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/71535/Saboteur/Saboteur-1.11-debug.apk
One Android device (phone or tablet) is needed. It is passed around to play the game. There are also two printouts, one is a map of the ship and one is a list of appearances. These place in the middle of the players and are used by everyone to plan while it is not their turn, and to share information. A third printout sheet of pieces is also included - a list of all the character tiles, and ‘X’ markers. Cut these out to use on the boards. The use of printouts is encouraged, but not necessary.
Start the App. Tap on “New Game”. One player enters all the names of the people playing, then presses “All Aboard” All players characters are randomly created, and given a title (Captain, Cook, etc). One player is randomly assigned to be the Saboteur.
Everyone gets a turn each round, including all the computer players on the ship. BUT the turns are randomized, so you don’t know what order they’ll happen. If the character is knocked out, they don’t get a turn. The random order makes it difficult to know when you are knocked out.
You don’t know who is controlling which character in this game. Because of this, Players are encouraged to talk throughout the game. Coordinate what you see on the boat and what clues you find using the two boards and pieces. Not talking makes the game easy for the Saboteur. Remember information that is shared can be used by the Saboteur as well.
Start Game: Once started, the device will ring like a phone. It will be asking for a player name. That player is handed the device and they can unlock the device with their PIN. (On their first turn they will create a PIN) Then they will be shown the Room View. They will be then told if they are a Civilian or Saboteur. They can also see what their character looks like in the upper left.
Room View: This shows your character in the upper left and any other characters in the room with you. There are buttons to take various actions. You only can take 3 actions, and you have 30 seconds to take your turn. You can end early by pressing the “End Turn” button.
Depending on the number of players, there will be a number controlled characters randomly moving around the ship. They will also sometimes wake up characters and find bombs. (There are 7 total characters on the ship)
Civilians Win if:
Saboteur is Arrested
Boat survives 7 rounds
Saboteur Wins if:
All Human Characters are knocked out.
3 Wrong Arrests are made.
There are leaks that naturally happen on the ship, but the Saboteur can also make more. Keep searching for the leaks to keep the boat afloat. Watch the water level on the PIN screen - by sharing how high it is, you can know if there is a leak somewhere. All you have to do is survive 7 rounds to win.
The Sabotuer leaves clues wherever he goes. Search the rooms to find them. Share clues. If you have a narrow down one item, like what hat he’s wearing, start arresting people. Each attribute has one or two characters with it. Look for suspicious behavior - like people in the room with a leak, a bomb, or a knocked out character. Remember - it takes two people to arrest someone - one to accuse, one to arrest.
Since one of the Saboteur’s goals is to knock out all the human players, listening to where they are at, can make them easy targets knock out or luring them into rooms with bombs. Making leaks is a less risky way to win, but takes persistence. Look for empty rooms when changing rooms. Finally, laying low and accusing or arresting other players can get a win.
There is a small chance that NO player is chosen as the saboteur, but it is a computer controlled Saboteur trying to sink the group. :)
When first playing it is recommended for the Saboteur to announce who he is. (Who he is controlling is still secret) Also setting the timer to have longer turns(Turn Length Option)
I started with the constraint of a making a pass and play game on a single device. While one person is playing, I wanted the other players to be engaged in conversation. Games of werewolf/mafia have people constantly talking - so the idea began. I also wanted to take boardgame qualities like deduction in Clue and merge them with the privacy of personal devices. Having a limited game view, and less than reliable memory, you end up with a Rashomon-like quality of everyone looking at the game and seeing slightly different versions of the story. And one player that wants to deceive them all. Deceiving other players with a straight face as the device gets passed around has a “Spy Party” element of being the smooth operator.
The twists come from the pass and play privacy: Players don’t know who is controlling who in the game. Players NEED to share information to catch the Sab, but sharing too much put them at risk of being knocked out by him. If you are knocked out, you may not know it, because the device doesn’t call you and the turns are in random order! On top of all this, the Saboteur may actually be NONE of you - occasionally it’s a computer player!
Please send me any feedback or thoughts.