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Every player is a spy, and your first job is to figure out which of the other players is your partner. Wandering the streets of Venice during a carnival, with everyone wearing masks, makes that task quite challenging. After finding your partner, you must complete your mission—but you don't know exactly what that mission is.
This game may be hard to find, but it's worth tracking down. It was redesigned and released by ARES, increasing the number of players from four to five. Inkognito takes about 90 minutes per game and is meant for three to five players, ages 10 and up
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Every player is an evil genius building a lair in which to kill Mister Spy and other secret agents. This spy game, previously known as "Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond," ran into some legal issues with a certain movie studio which controls a certain spy franchise. The game features 1960s-style graphic design.
No matter—this latest edition is in full color and just as fun. The game was available as double-deck version prior to 2014, but now is sold as a single-deck game. Before I Kill You, Mister Spy takes about 30 minutes per game and is meant for two to six players, ages 12 and up.
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Spy Alley has won a host of awards from the Chicago Tribune and Mensa Select it was also named Australian Game of the Year. Between two and six players age 8 and older are named spies for a given country and try to keep their own identity a secret while uncovering the other players' identities. To do so, players use code books, disguises, keys, and passwords. The simple game takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play.
If you need to play a game with a younger set of children, pick up a copy of Spy Alley Junior, which is meant for ages 6 to 12. The company behind Spy Alley also makes Spy Alley Bluff 'N' Peg, a five-card draw game with a cribbage-style scoring system. Like the original game, this version is meant for two to six players who are age 8 and older.
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Although Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War is sometimes hard to find or expensive to purchase, it can be a two-player favorite that's set in the 1960s during the time of the Cold War between the United States and USSR. The original game of Confusion was released in 1992, but it was updated and re-released by Stronghold Games in 2010. It's more of an adult game rather than a family favorite, as it's meant for ages 12 and up. Game time lasts about 30 minutes.
At the beginning of each game, neither player knows how their own pieces—which are spies in the CIA and KBG—move; they figure it out by performing attempted moves. The goal is to capture the neutral piece in the center of the board. Winning the game requires strategy and deduction.