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Dubious is a new social deduction game that mixes Guess Who? with Spyfall

Unmask your friends.

Help the other players guess your secrets, but try to remain inconspicuous in Dubious, a new social deduction game that combines elements of Guess Who? and Spyfall.

Dubious is a social deduction game for three to six players that has each participant making up their own character around an occupation and a secret they hold. The aim of the game is to have at least a few of the other players figure out the occupation and secret of a player, without all of them getting the right answer - meaning that players will have to think carefully about the narrative they’re building around their character.

Every player gets a record sheet to keep track of their characters’ occupations and secrets, with a screen to protect them from the prying eyes of the other players. The group can choose between a selection of different settings - including Victorian England, modern or fantasy - with a reference sheet for the potential occupations and secrets found within each setting. Every setting has a deck of occupation and secret cards which are shuffled and dealt randomly to each player.

Dubious cards image

A deck of general question cards is used - alongside three that are unique to the chosen setting - with players able to draw and use question cards to query their opponents on their imaginary character. Once players have received their occupation and secret cards, they are allowed some time to devise aspects of their character. In a similar manner to the classic family board game Guess Who? elements of a character’s appearance can help other players to figure out their identity, with specific question cards around appearance being provided.

Players then go around the room and read the drawn questions, with the players having to provide answers to them. Similarly to the party game Spyfall, players in Dubious want to give answers that will give hints to certain players, whilst being vague enough to not give too much away to everyone. Players then guess the occupations and secrets of their opponents’ characters, with the players getting one victory point for every player who guesses each aspect correctly, but zero points if everyone got the right answer.

Dubious was designed by Dave Neale, the creator behind Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars - a board game that has players attempting to solve crimes in order to impress the great detective himself - and several titles from the escape room game series Unlock!, as well as co-designing 5 Minute Chase, a quick tile-laying board game.

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Hobby World is the publisher behind Dubious and is otherwise known for releasing the aforementioned Spyfall - as well as its sequel and the spin-off title, Spyfest - alongside games such as last year’s Cutterland and Furnace.

Dubious is set to be released sometime next year, with a retail release price yet to be confirmed.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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