Looney Labs has a reputation for creating fun, high quality games (such as the award-winning Fluxx series) and their newest addition is no exception. Are You the Traitor? is a game of deception in which you must hide your own identity while rooting out the identities of your foes. The story goes something like this:
Once upon a time there was a mysterious magical key that could unlock untold horrors if it fell into the wrong hands. One brave soul was entrusted with the care of this key in order to get it safely into the hands of a good wizard who would destroy the key forever, saving all mankind from the wicked it might unleash. In order to further safeguard the key, the key holder’s identity was kept secret. He travelled on his journey in search of the good wizard with several companions, trusted guards whose sole purpose was to protect the key and its holder. As the party approached the good wizard, an evil wizard appeared, hoping to capture the key for himself, but because he didn’t know which of the companions was the key holder, he quickly disguised himself as the good wizard in hopes of convincing the key holder to give up the key willingly to the wrong wizard. The key holder wasn’t the only one with allies, though, for among the trusted companions was a treacherous soul who intended to give away the identity of the key holder if only he could figure out which wizard was his master without giving away his own treachery. Caught at an impasse, the key holder had to choose who to trust, for the fate of the world rested in his hands…
The role you play in Are You the Traitor? depends on which card you are dealt: Key Holder, Guard, Wizard or Traitor. After dealing the cards, the wizards draw another card to determine if they are the good or evil wizard, then must close their eyes while the key holder reveals himself to the guards. Once game play begins, each player must fulfill their task. The key holder must determine who is the good wizard and present the key to him. The traitor must determine who is the evil wizard so he can try to give away the identity of the key holder without compromising himself. The guard must determine which is the evil wizard so he can capture him. The good and evil wizards must convince the key holder of their good intentions in hopes of being given the key.
Gameplay is free-form discussion, each player attempting to figure out others’ identities without revealing their own role. Because of the free-form nature of gameplay, game time depends on how many players are involved and how into character they get. Each round, treasure cards are given to the winning team and then the cards are shuffled and dealt again. The first player to earn 10 points wins the game.There are enough cards for 4 to 10 players so it’s great for parties. It’s recommended for ages 13 and up since the deception role-playing nature of the game may be beyond younger children’s understanding.
Artist Dave Harrington has provided some very nice artwork. The item cards are well designed and the player cards are full of character. The cards are beautiful, simple and elegant with icons at the top to help you identify your role and task. The cards are heavy with rounded edges so the corners won’t easily dog-ear or wear. The small package fits in a coat pocket so you can take it with you when you know you’ll be spending time with a group. Remember, the larger the party size and the more you get into your role (come on, ham it up!… you know you want to), the more fun will be had by all.
Are You the Traitor? is a great addition to your game library. You can shop for it online at Looney Labs and Amazon, or look for a retailer near you with Looney Labs’ handy-dandy Store Locator. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out their other popular games: Fluxx 4.0, Zombie Fluxx, and the new Monty Python Fluxx.