Discover each week a board game that we have selected for you (with love and passion). This week, Decrypto is in the spotlight.
Who has never imagined a secret agent, transmitting encrypted messages to his fellow spies and trying to decipher those of enemies? That's good, that's what Decrypto offers. And what is even better is that he does it well. Let's see what he's doing.
In Decrypto, two teams of two to four players compete. The goal is to transmit secret codes to his teammates, without being intercepted by the opponents. For this, each team places in front of it a screen in which are slipped four cards Keywords. Each also has a deck of Code cards and a sheet of notes.
Each turn, one player from each team becomes the encryptor. He draws a Code card on which is written the combination to be guessed to his team. Let's take an example, it will be much more talkative. Let's say my team's keywords are "1. Banana", "2. Biscuit", "3. Vegetable" and "4. Sombrero". If I draw the code "4 – 2 – 1", it means that I have to guess the keywords "Sombrero", "Biscuit" and "Banana" to my team, in that precise order. For this, I write a hint for each of them on the sheet of notes. For example "Mexico", "Flour" and "Fruit".
I then announce my clues out loud. My teammates are all working together to try to decipher my clues. Good luck to them, because I was not very smart. My "Fruit" index can be reminiscent of "Banana" or "Vegetable". Opponents do the same to try to intercept our code. There, however, my "Fruit" index can possibly mess up their reasoning.
If my teammates find the combination in the right order, so much the better. On the other hand, if they are wrong, we recover a misunderstanding token. As soon as a team has two, it loses the game. Similarly, if a team intercepts the opposing code, it retrieves an Interception token. If it's her second, she wins the game immediately.
We play several games in a row, always with the same keywords, but with a different encryptor and code card each time. The clues accumulate turn after turn, it becomes easier for the opponents to intercept the code. Especially if the successive encryptors were bad enough to give the indices "Fruit", "Yellow" and "Twisted" to make guess "Banana". We must therefore provide more and more subtle clues to blur the tracks. Sometimes so subtle that our teammates find themselves completely lost and they are wrong. The border between too simple and too difficult is becoming increasingly tenuous.
Why it's good Why it's good
When reading or first explaining the rules, Decrypto may seem slightly confusing. And yet. After two rounds, the magic operates and we understand what we have in our hands: a little playful nugget.
Decrypto is a clever, beautiful and intelligent game. To put it simply, Decrypto is obvious. It works so well that one wonders why it did not happen sooner.
If it is clearly to be classified in the category of ambience games, it should rather be closer to a game like Codenames: the atmosphere is muffled, studious, and from time to time a small temporal bubble burst during which everything the world is getting tired. Nothing to do with the stupid games that we proposed to you to celebrate the New Year (attention, no value judgment here, we love all the games that we present to you).
Decrypto is an obviousness
Decrypto works with any type of audience: connoisseur, beginner, adult, child, etc. You just have to adapt to the references and knowledge of your partners. If he can be a little scared at first looking falsely complicated, it is not. And often we go on a second part, mixing the teams to rebalance the level.
The material is really successful, especially for this kind of games. The cards Keywords that can only read through the red filter … it is useless, but it is terribly effective and fun. Just like 5.25-inch floppy diskette cards that people under 20 can not know. The illustrations are incredible, both vintage and modern, serious and fun. The little mascot presents everywhere invites to try the game.
In short, Decrypto is a game terribly clever, intelligent and during which we have fun racking our brains. In any case on our side, and in its kind, this is our favorite moment.
Decrypto is a game by Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance
Illustrated by NILS, Fabien Fulchiron and Manuel Sanchez
Edited by The Masked Scorpion
For 3 to 8 players from 12 years
For parts of about x minutes
At the price of 17,90 € at Philibert
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