If you’re looking to inject a little murder into your family (or friend) game nights (maybe you’re, I don’t know, annoyed by that one person who always double dips their chips), look no further than Ghosted, a new whodunnit board game from Big G Creative.
Ghosted is a familiar premise with a twist. It’s similar to Clue in that you’re trying to solve a murder. But instead of everyone competing to be the first to solve the same crime, each player is racing against the others to solve a different killing – their own.
That’s right! Each player is actually dead and they are now responsible for figuring out the who, the how, and the why of their murder. Players are given an evidence board, a dry erase marker, and one card from each category: Suspect, Weapon, Motive.
Suspects are archetypes like the nosey neighbor, the conservationist, and the gamer. Weapons range from everyday objects like toilet plungers to bizarre items like a tank of piranhas. Motives are those super petty pet peeves that we all have, like chewing too loudly or talking on the phone at the movies.
It is vitally important that you not peek at your own cards, simply place them face out in the corresponding slots on your evidence board. You will be able to see everyone else’s cards, which will help you narrow down your leads. (Side note: I really like that the game uses little dry erase boards rather than giving a pad of paper, because then you can play as many times as you want without worrying about running out.)
A tip here is to make sure you’re seated far enough apart from each other that you cannot see your opponents’ evidence boards. They have sides for a bit of a barrier, but depending on how you’re sitting it may be extremely easy to spy on what the other players are doing. (My friends and I played this on our recent vacation, so we were on a hotel bed. I do not recommend this.)
After everyone has been given the tools of their deaths, the remaining cards are shuffled into one giant deck and equally distributed to all players. Mark off your cards (as well as the ones on your opponents’ evidence board) on your evidence board. Then the game is afoot!
Once you’ve determined who goes first, the starting player rolls the action die to learn what kind of turn they’ll have. Unlike in Clue, where each turn is the same, Ghosted has five different kinds of turns to help players get to the bottom of their death. Depending on the roll of the die, players can guess two suspects, guess two motives, guess two weapons, ask a yes or no question, or try to tip the scales of justice.
When the option is one of the guessed two, you pick one of the other players and pick two items from the list. If the player has one (or more) of the cards, they should then show one card to you. (If you are asked and have both cards, only show one! You have to make people work for it.) A yes or no question is self-explanatory and can be as specific or as vague as you want. (A favorite of ours was ‘Was I killed by a man/woman?’)
If you roll the scales of justice, that is the turn that most resembles Clue in that you are making a guess as to who killed you, how, and why. The other players will look at your cards and tell you how many of your guesses are correct, but not which ones, so be strategic in your guesses!
There are two ways to win, and both involve making a correct guess. You can either roll the scales of justice and guess correctly, or if you feel you’ve eliminated enough of the alternatives, you can make a Final Accusation. Please note that if you make a Final Accusation and it’s wrong, you will be out of the game. And while a correct guess during the scales of justice can immediately win the game, making a wrong guess will not eliminate you.
My friends and I had fun playing this, although I suspect I had more fun than they did (and not just because I won!). While Ghosted is recommended for ages 10 and up, we’re all in our mid- to late-30s, and my one friend commented that she suspected the audience would skew younger. The artwork is definitely more cartoony than something like Clue, but I liked it, and I thought the motives were really funny. (Don’t tell me you didn’t wish harm on all those people who hoarded toilet paper during lockdown!)
I think this game will be enjoyed by people who play games like Exploding Kittens – games that are just a little bit silly – but also by people who like to solve puzzles.
Ghosted will definitely be a fun addition to your game night, so make sure you check it out!
*I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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