Author: Reiner Knizia

Publisher: KOSMOS 2004

Awards: none



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes:

Rainer Knizia's newest game is a quite short-playing, easy game in a new small box from KOSMOS. It is a card game with 120 cards and 48 tokens, the spies. The design of the cards is simple and functional.

2-4 players can play the game. At the beginning 12 special cards that show continents and secret hiding places are placed in the middle of the table with one spy per card. These are the 12 places where the spies can be placed during the game. All spies are divided up between the players in equal parts. Then each player gets 3 cards, the rest of the cards are put aside. These cards all show one continent and one hiding place. Then the game can begin.

During his turn the player can do one of the following:

  1. If the player has three cards on his hand, he has to place one of these cards face-up on the table
  2. He then may do one action, if he has enough cards with the same motif. For this he may take the cards on his hand and his cards on the table. If the sum of the cards is higher than the actual sum of the spies on the special card with the same motif the player can place as many of his spies on the special card as the difference between the number of cards and the quantity of spies at the card. E.g.: Kurt has one card with the camera symbol on the hand and three cards with the same symbol on the table. On the special card "camera" are actually 2 spies. If Kurt chooses to play all of his camera cards he may place 2 of his spies on the special card. He also could try to get even more camera cards to increase the number of spies he may place. But if some other player places spies on the camera first, he has risked too much.
  3. At the end of his turn the player must take exactly one new card from the stack.

So the game goes on in turns. The player who first places his last spy on a special card wins the game. This normally lasts 20-30 minutes, so several rounds can be played.

Spy is not a game to fill a whole evening. But if you are in the right mood and don't want to think too much it is quite nice to play. To my mind the design is a little bit poor and the strategic and tactical elements are very limited. As most games it is nicer to play with 3 and 4 players, but I also enjoyed to play it with two. In my opinion Spy will not become something like a best seller. But if you are looking for something simple and small and are fed up with Bohnanza, maybe you should have a look on this game.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany