If you are like us then you may have never heard of the game, Someone Has Died until we posted about our anticipation rating a few weeks ago. Now that we have had time to play the game, you can see our full review below.
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A silly game about serious business.
Someone Has Died is an improvisational storytelling game set at a will arbitration where players try to convince an estate keeper that they are the most worthy of someone’s fortune. Identity, relationship, and backstory cards help players create wacky characters who must argue against one another for the riches and glory.
The game was originally created by Adi Slepack and Ellie Black, who were grouped by fate as “Team Laserz” in a game design class at Wesleyan University. They were tasked with creating a social game and, after lots of nothing, the team fixated on the concept of Werewolf, where people are constantly being killed every round. They decided instead to start with the dead person. Soon after, the idea of a will arbitration sprouted and Someone Has Died was born.
Coming up with ludicrous card ideas and trying the game with friends was so much fun that, upon Adi’s graduation, she and Ellie decided to continue the project. Since Summer of 2016, Someone Has Died dove head first into the New York City gaming community, playtesting regularly at NYU Game Lab’s Playtest Thursday and participating in Playcrafting’s expos and events. With the help and support of friends, con-goers and fellow designers, Someone Has Died has gone from a strange school project to a full-fledged, functioning game!
Since, Someone Has Died has shown in conventions across the country, often with IndieMegabooth at both coastal PAX conventions. Someone Has Died also shown at the Boston Festival of Indie Games, IndieCade, PAX Unplugged, ConnectiCon, and more.
In September 2017, Someone Has Died launched it’s very first Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a first printing of the game. Hoping to raise $15,000, the game garnered over 1,700 backers and over $52,000 in raised funds. The game is currently available for purchase.
If you love like card games and/or storytelling then Someone Has Died is the game for you. Someone has died is not your typical card game, You start off by having one player playing the estate keeper and the other will be arguing to claim the contents of the will. The estate keeper will keep control of the objection cards and hand them out to the other players as they see fit. The objection cards are used as a bonus/reward for when player impressed the estate keeper. All players receive an identity card, which will act as your base identity in the game, except the estate keepers, it will act as the identity for the deceased. All the other player, not the estate keeper, will also receive two backstory cards which provide them with a partial backstory of their characters and a relationship card that gives them their base related to the deceased.
Now is when the storytelling comes into play, the estate keeper starts the game by describing the deceased and the content of the will that players are fighting for. Then play opens to the players, they will then create their character stories by incorporating all four cards they were dealt in the beginning.
On the second round of play, each player draws a new backstory card, then the estate keeper will ask the players a question re guarding their backstories they came up with in the first round. The players, in character, will then incorporate their new backstory cards in their answers.
In the next round, no new cards are drawn, and players get to talk among each other and ask each other a question if they choose to. Remember the estate keeper is always listening and can be handing out objection cards for the player to use at any time.
In the final round players draw one more backstory card and will use it in their final statements to the estate keeper, so make sure the final statements are compelling! The estate keeper will then diced who will receive the fortune or how it will be divide up, or possibly how no one will get it, so again hope you were compelling!
Someone Has Died is a fun fast paced card game perfect for those with great imaginations. We loved dart and cards, they provide a lot of silly fun. The game is very open-ended as the cards guide your character creation but do not fully limit players from coming up with some great stories. Someone Has Died also has a small footprint which makes the game great for travel.
If you are into character creation, card games, or just some silly fun then you defiantly want to pick up Someone Has Died! The game provides an almost endless time of fun with the storytelling as every time you play it, even if you seen or used the cards before, it is a new unique experience.