Thursday , May 23 2024

Game Review: ‘Ghosted’ from Big G Creative

Ghosted from Big G Creative presents a new direction for mystery-solving games by having each player track down their own murderer. Typically in mystery games, all players compete to be the first to solve a collective mystery. Alternately, in party games like the classic Who Am I? each player is tasked with finding the answer to independent questions, usually one at a time rather than taking turns with each question. By combining the two, Ghosted has players racing to discover their hidden cards by deducing from the shared list of possibilities.

Ghosted begins with each player drawing one each from the Suspect, Weapon, and Motive decks. These are placed “facedown” by putting them into slots on their Evidence Board so that the player cannot see their own answers, but they can see their opponents’ cards. The extra cards go into evenly into the players’ hands to serve as additional private information. The goal is to be the first to determine what one’s own cards must be by eliminating the other possibilities with questions and become the “afterlife” of the party.

A player’s turn in Ghosted is guided by rolling a six-sided die. This gives the player options of asking a yes or no question, asking two questions about a specific category, guessing three cards and being told how many are correct, or the lucky wild of a player choosing their option. Each of these has their benefits, allowing players to determine their own strategy for wilds. The yes or no is particularly powerful by asking wider questions such as “Is the Suspect male?”, “Was the motive something on the Internet?”, or even background colors of certain cards. To keep the game speedy without giving advantage to a player in the lead, anyone who rolls an action for a category that they have already solved takes a ghost token that can be used as a wild later on.

Though the murder-mystery theme might seem dark, Ghosted keeps things light with plenty of gags. Each Suspect comes with a hilarious backstory, such as lifestyle enthusiast Vander Von Vapid III, conspiracy theorist Mr. REDACTED, and gossip paraprofessional Effie Chatterton. Weapon cards range from the wild overkill of a battle ax or flamethrower to the creative power washer or three-hole punch and of course the super-villain classic tank of piranhas. The Motives are perhaps the most hilarious, offering things probably worth killing over, though some people may think, such as one-star reviews or using speaker phone in public. The cartoony-with-a-touch-of-creepy art fits the vibe perfectly: solving one’s own murder while having fun doing it.

Ghosted is a deduction game for three to six players aged ten and up. Games are well paced for mystery-solving, lasting about half an hour. Since players know three items already from each of the other players at the beginning, they start with a leg up. This goes especially for games with more players that might otherwise take longer to play. With thousands of combinations to guess from, no two games of Ghosted will be just alike.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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