Get on Board: Agatha Christie - Death on the Cards

The beloved author's world is now a 2-4 player board game of mystery, bluffing and deduction

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Tech-jaded millennials are prime candidates for conversion to table-top gaming but Modiphius Entertainment is clearly targeting older fans of traditional card games with Agatha Christie – Death on the Cards.

But although the theme might be lost on younger people the game itself may still appeal to them. Modiphius primarily makes licensed role-playing games such as Star Trek and Conan, so Agatha Christie is in safe hands with a company that strives for attention to detail and is true to the source material.

Everyone plays versus a single player who has carried out a murder, but nobody else knows who. Players must take turns to unravel the mystery through deception, craftiness and blame. Each player is dealt three secret cards that contain a silly confession. However, one of those cards is the murderer card. The aim of the game is to reveal the murderer while they avoid detection until the deck of cards is exhausted.

There are a variety of action cards that result in other cards being turned over, discarded or added to your hand. Collecting detective cards (based on Agatha Christie’s famous characters) also allows you to play a significant action. It all sounds very straightforward, but the fun lies in the paranoia the whodunit whips up. If an innocent player is accused and forced to reveal their secrets then they are plunged into social disgrace, and unable to help the other innocents stop the murderer. Be careful what cards you play – everyone is a suspect.

Death on the Cards is like a mash-up of Poker and Uno – two games that pretty much everyone knows, making it easy to learn. The quality of the artwork and the cards is gorgeous, really bringing each character to life, whether you knew them beforehand or not.

Sometimes it can get slightly confusing, as you find yourself unintentionally acting as a bad guy, or you might find yourself a bit lost. The game takes a couple of run-throughs before everyone gets the hang of it, but soon Granny will have even the teenagers taking up their detective caps and searching for clues.

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