To be completely honest, I'm not always sure how I feel about hidden role games. So why don't we talk it out, test the waters together, and try and come up with an opinion together, eh? Sounds like a plan to me!
Don't waste time opening a new tab to google if you're sitting there confused about what I'm talking about. Hidden role games are, dare I explain it in such simple terms, games in which each player has a secret identity or objective to complete that no one else knows. Simple enough, right? Well, maybe not.
See, most, if not all, hidden role games include a certain level of bluffing, which isn't always easy if you're someone who can't always keep a straight face (yes, like me). That's definitely one of my biggest issues with these types of games. For instance, in games like The Resistance, Spy Alley, and Coup, bluffing is the primary component. In The Resistance, players are either spies or members of the resistance. While spies know each others identities (as there are always less of them) the resistance members go in blind, and so players have to rely on bluffing to convince others to take them on missions that need to be completed or sabotaged, depending on your affiliation. For Spy Alley, in order to keep your identity a secret you must lie and deceive other players, again, into thinking that you're someone you aren't, so that if they try to guess your role, they are wrong and kick themselves out of the game instead. And in Coup, actions are taken based on hidden identities, and if someone calls your bluff, you'll be out of the game. While I can't say I don't enjoy the slight rush of hiding your identity in a game and leaving other players guessing, it's also quite a bit stressful, because being eliminated from the game is not something you look forward to while playing.
In games like Bang and Dead of Winter, all players (except Bang's Sheriff who's role is known to all players) have a secret objective that they must complete in order to win the game, either alone or in a group. For instance, in Bang someone might have the role of the renegade who's goal is to be the last person standing by the end. They must convince other players, especially the Sheriff, that they are a "good guy" so that they can make it through to the end and have a final duel with the Sheriff for the win. In Dead of Winter, a play might have the role of the traitor, who's ultimate goal is to make sure that the team playing loses. They must secretly sabotage the mission in each round so that the team does not make it out of the zombie apocalypse alive.
At the end of the day, I really do like playing hidden role games. I mean, honestly, who doesn't like to run around with their own objective in mind, hoping to ultimately be the sole winner of a game? But at the same time, the bluffing that these games can incite, as well as the need to be able to read other players, and make sure that you're trusting the right people can be tough, which makes a lot of these seemingly simple games a heck of a lot harder.
Ultimately, I would put hidden role games of any kind on my list of ones to play, at least once. So, anyone know any other good ones?