Deception: Murder In Hong Kong Review [In Depth]

Deception: Murder of Hong Kong board gameDeception: Murder in Hong Kong is a very cool game. At its core it’s driven by the mechanics of Codenames, but the interesting twist is that it’s also a social deduction game. In this review we tell you what we do and don’t like about Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.

How To Play Deception: Murder In Hong Kong

The players are Investigators in a murder case, but one of the investigators committed the murder. The Forensic Scientist knows who committed the murder and tries to communicate this information to the Investigators using hints. The Investigators have all been dealt words, such as ‘Blender’ or ‘Curtains’. The Forensic Scientist has a series of cards in front of him that all contain multiple words. For each card the Forensic Scientist will try to select the word that he associated the most with the words in front of the Murderer.

For example, if one of his cards contains the words ‘Kitchen’, ‘Sofa’ and ‘Television’ and the Murdered has the word ‘Blender’, the Forensic Scientist might pick the kitchen. The Investigators have to pick up on the associations of the Forensic Scientist to discover the Murderer.

Larger groups make it easier for the spy because there are more suspects, but you basically need at least 7 players for the spy to have a chance.

Association Game

Obviously, if you enjoy word association games like Codenames and social deduction games, then Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is for you. It has all the word association fun of Codenames and you have to be on your toes as the Murderer tries to lead the discussion astray.

The difference with other social deduction games is that there’s much more information available for the Investigators, because of all the clues that the Forensic Scientist gives. On one hand this is nice because social deduction games can sometimes have too little information for interesting investigations to gain footing. But, on the other hand, it makes the game very difficult for the spy.

Downsides: Speaking Restrictions

Further, the game isn’t very fun for the Forensic Scientist, for two reasons.

Firstly, he can’t speak, and that just isn’t fun when you’re with your friends (this is the same problem as Codenames has).

Secondly, he can only give clues by pointing to words on cards in front of him. He cannot, like in Codenames, freely think of any word that best describes the Murderer. (If he could, the game would be even harder to win for the Murderer.) So the process is less creative and in our opinion less fun.

Who Should Play Deception: Murder In Hong Kong?

If you’re into deception and word association games like Codenames, Deception: Murder In Hong Kong is a fantastic game for you.

And because this game is also easy to teach, it’s a great game to gift someone and then play it right there at the party.