Best Strategy Board Games

My son and were sent three games from Spy Alley Partners; Spy Ally, Spy Ally Junior, and Simply Suspects.  If I were to look for a good comparison, I would say that these games slightly reminded me of Clue, but were easier to play, as it wasn’t necessary to write anything down.

The first game we played was Simply Suspects.  In this game, each player has a secret identity, and the goal is to keep your identity secret from the other players while tying to guess their identities.  You move around the board and move evidence pegs from one suspect to another, trying to keep the pegs out of your person’s identity.  The tricky part, however, is to do this discreetly, because if the other players figure out who you are (which they can if they notice you’re only moving pegs out of one suspects row), then you can be out of the game.

Spy Ally was very similar.  In this game, you are a secret spy, and the object is to either collect all of your “spy tools” and land on your country’s embassy, or to guess the other players identities and get them out of the game.  In this game, you move around the board and collect spy tools (code books, keys, disguises, etc).  Again, you want to keep your identity a secret.  Each player has a scoring board, where they keep track of what they have collected.  This score board can be seen by the other player, so you again have to bluff.  For example, if you’re the American Spy, you don’t want to only collect the spy tools for the American Spy, because the other players will see that you’re only going after the American tools.  You want to collect a tools for several different spys, in order to try to throw the other players off.

On the side of each box, it tells approximately how long each game takes to play, which I liked.  Sometimes we have time constraints, and it was nice to know how much time we were going to have to invest when we sat down.  When we first read the instructions (for both games), we were confused and unsure of how to play.  I felt that the instructions were a little over-complicated.  Once we started playing, however, it was easy to pick up on, and were actually fairly simple games.  We preferred Simply Suspects, but both games were quite comparable.  In fact, if our family were to sit down for family game night, the two games were so similar that we probably wouldn’t play both games in one night.  These games are all about strategy and bluffing, so it’s nice that there’s a Spy Ally Junior, as the original version would be too difficult for younger children to understand exactly how to bluff their way through it.

Overall, these games ended up being easy to play, and played fairly quickly.  Don’t be deceived by the instructions.  I know they look complicated, but the games really aren’t.  They’re unlike other games that we’ve played, so if you’re looking for something new and different, Spy Alley has a great line of games to add to your collection!

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