Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review - Spies & Spooks: Cold War Edition

Players: 2-6
Playing Time: 10 - 25 Minutes
Age: 10+
Suggested Retail: $24.95

Set in the early 1980’s, Spies&Spooks™ is a deliberately paced, conversational role-playing card game of international strategy and intrigue. The colorful cards bring to life the players, the methods, the dangers and the madness associated with spy craft… involving you in the Great Game.

As a player you assume one of eight Secret Identities, moving in a world of unknown opponents. Your Secret Mission, decoded before your eyes, is to obtain and smuggle assigned Secrets out of each round.

Here is your chance to experience the life of a Secret Agent! With a bit of luck, a well-laid plan and some clever deception you may even survive to win the game by being the first spy to complete his Secret Mission. Never the same twice Spies&Spooks is a game that you’ll want to play over and over again.

I got a chance to play Spies And Spooks at the recent SaltCON game convention.  We had 6 players, including the game inventor and illustrator. After a brief introduction to the game, we got to playing.

The Goal:

Earn the most money by completing spy missions.

The Setup:

Each player is given a secret spy identity and a secret mission. The mission cards are "encoded" with red and blue text, so you have to put them in your passport that has a blue filter on it so you mission is revealed.

The Play:

Missions are completed by smuggling out "Secret" cards (i.e. Trade Secret, Political Secret, Computer Secret, etc). Each mission is also worth a dollar amount...the harder the mission, the more it is worth. You smuggle a Secret by playing it in front of you with some form of Smuggle Card (Dead Drop, Transmission, Diplomatic Pouch). When you complete a mission, you turn in the completed mission and your identity for new ones.

There are cards that allow your opponents to steals cards from your hand or from your smuggled secrets. This can help you thwart opponents from completing their mission.

There are also a few ways to kill an opponent...daggers and bombs. Daggers are a direct attack that requires 2 daggers for male spies and one dagger for female spies. Bombs are more sneaky, you can hide them under smuggle cards waiting to be stolen by an unlucky player or players can draw them out of your hand...either way, they are blown up. When a player dies, they hand over their cards to the assassin who gets to pick what cards they want to keep. The eliminated player will get a new identity and mission at the beginning of their next turn.

Game End and Scoring:

The game continues until 3 missions have been completed. The player with the most $ earned wins.


Overall, it is a fun game. It definitely has expansion opportunities with new missions and spy identities being able to be fact, the designer is already working some out. Our game lasted longer than most, about 60 minutes. We had a bit of a cut-throat group, so killing happened more frequently than completing missions. The designer told us that a game would normally last 30 minutes.  I give Spies & Spooks an 8 out of 10.

You can buy Spies & Spooks in our eBay store ( or in our Amazon Store or by contacting me directly.

No comments:

Post a Comment