The Traitors TV show was a bit of a phenomenon over here in the UK; combining Mafia/Werewolf mechanics with reality TV-like social gameplay. The Traitors Card Game doesn’t quite capture the scale of the 22-contestant, 12-episode-long series first series, but it did make for a tense — but fun — thirty-minute play session.
Much like the TV show, each player of The Traitors Card Game is either a member of the Faithful or a Traitor. Ultimately, players will draw and play cards either adding to a monetary pot, building up useful cards in their hand, playing action cards or triggering events.
Roles are distributed discreetly at the start of a round, and each player gets three cards from a shuffled pile of action and coin cards. After the starting hands are set up an additional Traitor card is cut into the deck, the final judgement card is placed at the bottom and event cards (which trigger either judgement, murder or quiet nights) are slipped into the deck at regular intervals.
Each player can collect action cards in their hand, which include knives that allow you to check out another player’s hand and shields which prevent you from being murdered if targeted, aside from that the vast majority of the deck is coins. If you make it to the end of the round alive, then you will bank anything in your inventory as your score, as well as earn a cut of the pot depending on how many people survived and whether there was a traitor present or not. (If there is a member of the traitor faction then surviving Faithful gain nothing.)
It’s mechanically simple, however, if you want to add an added degree of secrecy and anonymity then you should use the web app that is linked to in the box. This selects an event for you when the event cards are drawn, but it also conceals the voting during the banishment (those with the most votes are removed from the game) and murder stages of The Traitors Card Game through a pass-and-play design. This is clearly closer to the designed version as it allows players to mislead with their handwriting on the voting cards, as well as speculate on the intent behind any murders.
Our group has been playing board games together for years and so we all have a pretty decent understanding of how each other plays. To The Traitors Card Game‘s credit, I did banish Jupiter and then lose the round, however, we reached that point really quickly because one of the other players has a reputation for wiping out people early on, and another is known as a wild card — both of these were easy targets for the traitor in each round… which tends to make deception games either incredibly exciting for them or frustrating as they’re knocked out quickly.
The Traitors Card Game is a great little deception game made better through its web app, to boot, you don’t need to be familiar with the TV show because the rules are really easy to understand.
The Traitors Card Game is available now on Amazon.