Fans of CSI? This game is for you!


Piper Beach

“Paige did it! She’s the murderer and she used-” Nicho yelled as our group of friends gathered together to play “Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.” (No real murders were committed.)

“I did not! Maybe you did! Nicho did it with a pillow and chemicals!” Paige said.

“Deception: Murder in Hong Kong” is a board game based on strategy and deception. Our non-socially distant group of friends before the pandemic loves a good challenge, so this game was perfect for us.

The game consists of a long set of instructions that can get confusing, so we watched a video instead. After the demonstration, things began to run a little more smoothly.

Our group consisted of 11 people, and the game can have up to 12 players. Each person is assigned a role blindly by choosing a role card. Once chosen, the role cards will be placed face down as the role cards are a secret. The roles that can be played in each game are one accomplice, one witness, one forensic scientist, one murderer, and at least one investigator but there can be up to eight; the forensic scientist is the only role that every player can know. Each game lasts three rounds and each person gets four means and four clues cards.

All 11 of us gathered around a little couch ottoman in Sailor’s living room, sitting on the floors, chairs that were pulled forwards, and the couch itself. The forensic scientist, who was skillfully played by Ash, will have all participants close their eyes. She will have the murderer and witness and accomplice open their eyes. From there the investigators will open their eyes and the game begins.

Our first piece of evidence was released “Location of Crime: Dormitory” and then accusations for the first round begins. “I accuse Brianna she has an exam paper and she committed the crime with arson, she’s guilty”! I stated. It turns out I was wrong in accusing Brianna, so Austin accused Sailor of committing the crime of having kerosene and a notebook. At the end of the first round, nobody guessed correctly and the murderer was still a secret.

Round two came full circle and a new piece of evidence was revealed ‘Cause of Death: Suffocation.” “Nia did it 1000% she has ”gloves and a pillow,” Anthony announced and shot me a grin, quite confident in his answer. But like everyone else he was wrong. This pattern continued with most people getting smarter with clues. But still, no one came close.
Round three finally came, the last round. If no one guessed the correct means and clues card, the murderer would stay undiscovered. The final piece of evidence came “Hint on Corpse: Bodily Fluid”, and with that everything turned chaotic.

The final hint seemed to throw everyone off. Sailor and Paige had given up on trying to guess. Anthony let a few choice words fly when his guess was claimed wrong, Nia didn’t even bother to guess and Nicole began to guess nonsense such as “I think Austin was the murder and used a plastic bag and steamed buns.”

“Nicho’s been too quiet this entire time. I accuse Nicho of committing the murder with curtains and a belt.” And with that, I gave my final answer. “Yes, actually,” Ash screamed almost as if she was relieved the round was over. I won the game with a complete out of the ballpark guess. Thus proving that those who accuse first are usually those who are guilty.

A few days later I played a much smaller game with only four other people. However, the gameplay itself felt like it took just as long. My younger brother who was playing struggles with concentration. Getting him to focus and sit still is always a struggle.

In this game, there was only one accomplice, one witness, one forensic scientist who happened to be me, one investigator, and one murderer. This smaller game was won in two rounds on a very particular guess.

“Your first piece of evidence is “Location of Crime: public residency,” and from here the guesses began. “I accuse Sebastian because he has kerosene and smoke.” This guess was refuted with “Well I accuse you mom (Heather) because you have arsenic and a syringe and that’s just what a murderer would have.” In the end, nobody ended up being correct; however, they were getting close.

“Your second piece of evidence is Cause of Death: Loss of Blood.” There were accusations of knives, axes, scythes, and much more being thrown around. My brother however had a more creative idea. “I say Uncle John is the murderer because he has an axe and card to dismember!” And with that “great job buddy, you won the game!” The enjoyment and laughter that erupted from the players were infectious and definitely worthwhile.

“Deception: Murder in Hong Kong” is definitely a game worth playing, whether you play with a small or larger group of friends and family. This game provides a new sense of mystery and excitement that is hard to find in unique ways in 2020. Take 45 minutes to gather in safe ways with friends and family and have a little fun.