The second season of The Traitors (the BBC UK version) is currently airing and it’s proving to be just as frustrating, agonising and gripping as the first.
The Traitors is a game show in which a group of people stay in a castle in the Scottish Highlands and complete a series of challenges to add various amounts of money to a prize pot. At the start of the season, the contestants are divided into two groups – faithfuls and traitors – with the faithfuls far outnumbering the traitors. Whilst the traitors know who their fellow traitors are, the faithfuls don’t know the identity of anyone.
Throughout the season, the traitors will be able to collectively choose faithful players to ‘murder’ - or remove from the game – gradually thinning their ranks. Meanwhile, the entire group must come together at a roundtable almost every day in order to vote off one person. Whilst the faithfuls are aiming to banish a traitor, the traitors are looking to manipulate the group to serve their own interests. At the end of the game, if any traitors are still remaining then they’ll get to take the entire prize pool – leaving nothing for the faithfuls.
Traitors board games
If you’re wrapped up in the drama and intrigue of Traitors and are dreading its end, then there are board games that would scratch that itch. There is an officially licensed Traitors board game that we have not played and haven’t seen anyone talking about. However, there are plenty of board games that feature similar elements to those found in the show.
Like Traitors, these board games test players’ ability to lie, manipulate and read each other – all in a safe and secure environment where everyone agrees to take part. For that Traitors experience, without applying to an incredibly popular TV show, here are five board games to play once The Traitors ends.
1. Mimic Octopus
Find your people in this conversation-driven social game
Mimic Octopus doesn’t feature a traitor gameplay mechanic but it does involve players working around hidden information, similar to the identity aspect of The Traitors. In the game, players each receive a card that includes a conversational point or identity. Whilst there could be other people in the game who share the same card, there is also a potential for that player to be the only person with that specific card.
Working this out requires players to talk with one another about the opinions/ideas or as the identities listed on their cards. This phase takes as long as the group wants it to, with the game moving on as soon as the majority of players feel like they know who shares their card. Players are welcome to chat to whoever they like, using their communication skills to indicate to what their card might be without outright saying it.
Once the players think they know who their fellow matching card holders are, they then simultaneously point to the people they think share their card. If players point to the right people, they gain points. However, there may be at least one player who will not share a card with anyone else. This person will want to figure this out as quickly as possible before selecting no-one at the guessing stage. If the player really wants to score big, they can attempt to trick people into thinking they’re in the same group as them in the hopes they’ll be voted for.
Mimic Octopus comes in multiple different versions – including silly and flirtatious editions – and offers a very rules-light social game that leans into the fun aspects of traitor-esque gameplay.
Buy Mimic Octopus from Brain Games.
Seek out the hidden spy or try to remain undercover
A large chunk of The Traitors is taken up by players talking with each other – whether to establish alliances, devise strategies or to catch out any potential liars. The party board game Spyfall also has players attempting to discover information about each other purely through discussion, before making the decision to accuse someone of trying to hide a secret identity.
Rather than taking place at a single location, like Traitors, Spyfall features a wide collection of locations: including a casino, a travelling circus and a pirate ship. These locations serve as the settings for the players to meet at and discuss. At the beginning of each round, all except for one player will receive matching location cards - whichever player doesn’t becomes the spy for that round. As the spy, the player will need to remain undetected whilst trying to figure out which of the game’s locations the others might be meeting at by listening to their conversations.
Throughout each round, players must ask each other questions that might help them correctly identify the spy, without giving away where they are. Whoever they ask the question to can then ask another person a question themselves and so on. All the while, the spy player will be trying to gather any information they can to help them pass. Alternatively, the spy can answer and ask generically enough to possibly get away with it. It’s a fine line for everyone to walk. At any point, a player can accuse another of being the spy but will need the majority of players to agree before the round ends and the spy's identity is revealed.
As with Traitors, Spyfall is a game about listening as much as it is about talking – see if you can catch your fellow players out in a suspicious statement.
Buy Spyfall from Zatu.
3. Two Rooms and a Boom
Split into two separate teams with two very different goals
The entire cast of Traitors is split into one of two identities: either faithful or traitor. Though betrayal and selfishness can definitely occur in either group, there are also benefits to playing as a team – whether to share information and ideas to oust a traitor or collectively manipulate to have a faithful banished.
As is the case in Two Rooms and a Boom, a social deduction game wherein players further the goals of their respective teams at the detriment of the other. Two Rooms and a Boom is a large-scale tabletop game that has players becoming part of the red team or the blue team. As the blue team, players will be attempting to keep their beloved president safe. Whilst the red ream will be trying to end the game with one of their players being in the same room as the blue team’s president.
Over the course of five rounds, two groups of players separated into two rooms will try to further their teams’ respective goals by having particular people move from one room to the other between rounds. Whereas the red team will be looking to have their bomber player be in the same room as the blue team’s president, the blue team will need to identify the bomber and keep them apart from their president.
By asking each other questions about their allegiances and identities, blue players can try to trip up any red players into revealing themselves and red players can attempt to manipulate blues into trusting them. Depending on players’ preferences, there are also a variety of roles available outside of just president and bomber – some of which will fundamentally alter peoples’ behaviours in interesting and silly ways.
For a bigger and better version of Werewolf, give Two Rooms and a Boom a go.
Download Two Rooms and a Boom for free from Print & Play Boardgames.
4. Mafia de Cuba
Lie and cheat your way into – imaginary – wealth
Besides the fame and the fun of it all, a large reason as to why many people apply to appear on Traitors is the money. The prospect of potentially going home with hundreds of thousands of pounds to yourself has got to be a desirable factor for many of the show’s contestants and it’s often why the players turn on each other so easily.
In Mafia de Cuba, players take the role of mobsters who attempt to smuggle valuable diamonds from under the godfather’s nose during a job. Though the players are competing for imaginary wealth instead of actual, tangible money, it’s still an opportunity for them to win at the expense of others – which is an attractive outcome for competitive players.
The board game sees players passing around a box containing a variety of objects, including a collection of ‘diamonds’. Whenever players receive this box they’re invited to look inside and can choose to take something. Whilst there are tokens that grant certain roles – such as a driver or a CIA agent – there are also the precious diamonds that are worth points, if the thieves are able to get away with taking them.
One player at the table is given the role of godfather at the start of the round and will be the last to receive the box but knows what it contained before it was passed around. When they’re handed the box, the godfather player will then look inside and assess what remains inside. They’ll then be free to ask players around the table questions about what they saw in the box and what they took, with the goal of catching out players who have taken diamonds.
When the godfather thinks they know who has taken diamonds they can ask the suspected player/s to empty their pockets. Should the godfather find diamonds, then the guilty player is removed from the game. Too many wrong answers and the godfather loses their diamonds. Choosing the CIA agent will cause the godfather to automatically lose. The players will need to play it cool and try to throw others under the bus to save themselves.
Experience the heart pounding tension of being at The Traitors’ roundtable in your own home with Mafia de Cuba.
Buy Mafia de Cuba from Zatu.
Steer the other players towards an answer without getting caught
There are times in The Traitors wherein the traitor players turn on one another – whether for their own safety or to increase their chances of getting more money if they win. These moments can lead to the ousted traitor attempting to protect themselves by exposing one of their fellow traitors before they’re banished by the group, perhaps by making a pointed comment or inferring that their apparently faithful teammates aren’t what they seem.
Insider plays a bit like these amazing Traitor moments, with one player trying to steer the others in a certain direction without getting caught themselves. In this board game, one player takes the role of master and another the insider. As the master, the player will choose one word out of the six shown on a card before it’s secretly revealed to the insider. The others will then need to guess the chosen word within a certain time limit by asking the master yes or no questions.
Throughout this, the insider player will need to subtly nudge their fellow players towards the right answer without giving away their hidden identity – perhaps by asking certain questions or encouraging the others towards a choice. If the players are able to guess the correct word before the end of the time limit they’ll then have the opportunity, alongside the master, to figure out who they think the insider is.
Correctly guessing the insider will win the other players the round, whilst an incorrect guess will secure the round for the insider. Challenge each other to skillfully manipulate each other without being caught in Insider.
Buy Insider from Amazon.