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Someone Has Died

Someone has died and everyone wants to inherit! But you’ll have to make your case and sway the estate keeper if you hope to bring home the loot.

In Someone Has Died players draw cards to create their characters and pitch their case as to why they deserve the inheritance more than anyone else.

Gameplay

One player is the estate keeper. Every other player gets an identity card, a relationship card, and two backstory cards.

Someone has died and the players are all competing to win the inheritance that has been left behind. The estate keeper comes up with what this inheritance is and at the end of the game chooses who to award it to. The estate keeper also explains who it is that has died and how they passed. She is encouraged to get creative on all these questions.

All the other players then introduce themselves, tying in all four cards, which both give them a character and ties them to the deceased. They must also use these elements to make a case as to why they deserve the inheritance.

At any point during the game, the estate keeper can award objection cards to players, which they can then in turn play on someone else. This introduces complications such as 'you killed the deceased iguana' and the player must respond.

After players have introduced themselves, all players draw an additional backstory card. The estate keeper asks each player one direct answer, and each player must incorporate their new card into the answer. Each player then gets to address one single question to another player. Finally all players draw a final card, and make a final pitch as to why they deserve the inheritance, incorporating their final cards. The estate keeper then awards the inheritance and the game ends.

Someone Has Died Components

Review

Someone Has Died has similar elements to many other party games with a judge player whose ultimate role is to award a point (or in this case the game) to the player who combines their cards to tell the best story, however it sets itself apart by being much more about the roleplaying and storytelling elements.

The game is heavily about the characters you create, putting obstacles in each other’s way, and being creative. The estate keeper’s role is presented as being more like a game master rather than merely a judge, as you award objection cards, present the award players are competing over, and are the final word on who wins (you can even split the inheritance between multiple players if you so choose). This makes the game a great introduction to roleplaying or a solid storytelling game for players who already enjoy this mechanic. It does mean there is a little less structure than other storytelling games so the success will vary significantly based on the players and their comfort level with improvisation.

There’s a great deal of creativity and imagination that have gone into all the cards. Some of the prompts are fairly straightforward such as ‘you were popular in high school’, while others get more elaborate such as ‘you’re convinced the deceased is still alive’. There are so many variations and ways they can fit together that each time you play you’re going to come up with vastly different characters. The ability to interact between characters, also forces you to adapt.

The artwork, while relatively simple, is in a creative style and the quality of the cards is sturdy and durable. The game does come with an overview of the rules, enough to play, but you’re directed to look online to read the full set which gives you a bit more guidance. It would have been more convenient if the full, detailed rules had been included in the box.

With the right group Someone Has Died leads to some hilarious moments. It is also easy to teach. Both the role of the characters and the estate keeper are enjoyable, and the game is short enough that you can play several times so no one is stuck being the estate keeper all evening. If you enjoy storytelling games and improvisation, this game has a lot to offer.

Pros: Lots of variation and creativity in the prompt cards, enjoyable and unique artwork, good player interaction

Cons: Detailed rules not included in the box, very group specific game

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.