Secrets and Deception: A Preview of Subtle Much?

Subtle Much?

This fun little party game (now on Kickstarter) is compatible with any game you could possibly want to play and mixing and matching it with other genres is half the fun!

Gameplay

The game consists of a deck of cards. Each card lists an objective such as asking for the time on three different occasions or getting a song stuck in another player’s head. The objectives are designed to be completed while you are playing any other game.

Every player draws one of these cards and attempts to complete the objective. If you successfully complete it, you wait five seconds, announce “Too subtle for you!” and the card is added to your score pile. However if another player suspects you are attempting to complete an object, they can call you out on it by saying “Subtle much?”. If they’re right, your card goes into their score pile. Once you have been falsely accused three times, but have at least attempted to complete your object, you score the card, otherwise the first player to call you out scores it.

At the end of the main game, whoever has scored the most cards wins Subtle Much?.

Subtle Much - Catan

Review

There is a simplicity to the game that is both elegant and fun. The game is taught insanely quickly and each card is not only self-explanatory, but takes into account any situations that might make an objective impossible given the current main game you’re playing and makes allowances for it. It’s so simple that it doesn’t feel like any trouble at all to add on to another game.

One of the most enjoyable aspects is to watch how Subtle Much? changes with the different genres of games you pair it with. Do you add a spice of competition and sneakiness to a co-op? Or do you up the ante of distrust and throw it in with a social deduction or traitor game? It would also be a great way to add more player interaction to anything you’re playing.

The card prompts aren’t all balanced, and it would be nice if the harder prompts could be worth more points, but the points and winner aren’t really the purpose of the game. It’s all about the thrill of sneakily meeting your objectives and calling others out. There are also a couple of cards (such as “You must gross out the other players”) that more timid players might feel uncomfortable accomplishing or even attempting.

But most of the cards not only pose fun challenges but are definitely doable for all players. There is also replay value as not only are there a lot of objectives, but theoretically the more familiar the players become with the cards, the easier it would be for you to attempt to trick players into falsely accusing you.

The cards all have some subtle but attractive artwork that make them stand out and the text is easy to read. Subtle Much? is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, and certainly would make a fun addition to any game you break out at game night.

Subtle Much - Jenga

Pros: Works well with multiple genres of games, clever design, a good way to add player interaction to games that lack it

Cons: Some challenges may be too difficult for more timid or self-conscious players

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.

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