A Game Review: Spy Alley Dice Game – Find the Spy

 

ToysBulletin.com reviews a strategic game from Spy Alley Partners.

 

“Spy Alley Partners LLP” is a family business formed in 1996 that has produced several award winning and best selling games.   Toys Bulletin has reviewed several of their games, including the original “Spy Alley” board game (see our review on 15 March 2013) and “Simply Suspects” (see our review on 2 July 2013).

 

Now, there is the “Spy Alley Dice Game.”  This one is suggested for ages 8 years old and up and is intended for 2-6 players.  The game includes 5 Spy Alley Dice, each with a photo of one of six different spies on each face.  There are also 6 Spy Identification Cards, a carrying bag and a set of rules.

The setup is easy, as each player receives one or more (up to 3) Spy Identification Cards, depending on the number of players competing.  There is only one card per spy and the card(s) are kept hidden from the other players.  The first player begins the game by rolling all 5 dice, looking for 3 of a kind (matching spies).  Players may roll the dice two more times on any turn, setting aside only the dice they choose, looking for 3 of a kind or more.

 

If a player does not roll 3 of kind or more, the turn immediately passes to the next player.  However, if a player rolls 3 or 4 matching spies, they may ask any other player if they have the Spy Identification Card of that spy.  If the player has the matching card, they must pass that Spy Identification Card on to the player making the guess.  The guessing player then must secretly discard one of his cards (could be the one he just received or another) face down out of the game.  If the player does not have the matching card suggested by the guessing player, the turn will end and move to the next player.

If a player is fortunate enough to roll 5 matching spies, he can guess any player’s identity as “any” of the six spies, not just the one that matches the rolled dice.  That same player also has the option (only with 5 matching spies) to attempt to “Accomplish the Mission,” and maybe win the game immediately.  We will not go into the specific details regarding how to “Accomplish the Mission,” other that to say it is a gutsy way to surprise and maybe outfox the other players.  

The object of the “Spy Alley Dice Game” is to eliminate all Spy Identification Cards held by other players, and be declared the winner based on being the only player holding one or more Spy Identification Cards, or to win the game by cleverly outwitting your opponents and “Accomplish the Mission.”  In either case, winning can only be accomplished by using careful bluffing, a good memory and having a little luck with the dice.

 

The Toys Bulletin staff thoroughly enjoyed playing this game.  We especially enjoyed the bluffing part of the game, where a guessing player might ask another player if he has a spy that the guessing player already has in his hand, or has discarded.  We tried it with 2 players, 4 players and even 6 players, finding that the excitement grew every time more players were added to the game.  This was also a great travel game, with all of the components, including the rules, fitting into the small carrying bag which measured approximately 3” x 5”.

 

The “Spy Alley Dice Game” retails for just $12.99 and can be purchased at Amazon.com.
— RJ Cullen




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