I enjoy plenty of social deduction games. Mafia de Cuba. Spyfall. A Fake Artist Goes to New York. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. Dark Moon. Homeland. So why is it that the genre has always sounded like a swear word to me?
When I really put my mind to it, the essence of my beef is that I simply don’t enjoy any entries into the genre that feel scripted, where a person’s role or ability informs nearly all of their behavior. I’m talking about stuff like The Resistance: Avalon or One Night Ultimate Werewolf, where everyone else works out these logical identity puzzles while I sit there counting the minutes. The first time is thrilling, but the tenth? Boring. Programmatic, even. Invariably, it feels like we’re just going through the motions as our assigned characters.
Secret Hitler feels a whole lot like Avalon, and yet it sidesteps this issue completely. Let’s look at how.