Top 100: #23 Agents of Smersh

Games with a strong storytelling element are fairly rare, and ones that are also cooperative are even rarer. Agents of Smersh takes these two elements and lets players go on crazy adventures in a classic Bond style universe.  

Every interaction in the game fully encompasses the theme of spy movies and novels drawing you into role playing your characters.  Sometimes the theme games can be very pasted on and not noticeable during play, but Agents of Smersh does not have this problem.  Each player will choose a character that fits one of the stereotypical roles of a spy movie for example--tech guy, sultry assassin, or the handsome spy.  Players work together to travel the world map gaining clues and resources to defeat the evil Dr. Lobo and his henchmen.    At the end of each player's turn you also get to find out what evil and extraordinarily outlandish plan Dr. lobo is up to.

As you move around the board you will encounter different situations with only a few clues to help you decide what to do. From there you have to choose from several different options how you respond to the situation. With that information and a little randomness added in another player reads from the huge book of encounters to see if you succeed or fail. The success of your mission can depend on what advanced skills you have or from a dice roll based on your stats.

Over the course of the game, by interrogating henchmen, you will discover the location of Dr. Lobo.  In order to win the game you need to have the right resources from completing encounters earlier in the game.  This can be easier said than done!    

Agents of Smersh can have some decent swings of randomness that could be frustrating for people who like things to have set outcomes based on decisions. However, we would assume that most people who are looking for storytelling games are more interested in enveloping themselves in the fun theme than whether they win or lose. The story moments and theme of this game really made it sing more than some of its competitors. It can be hard to find nowadays but it still deserves a spot on the Top 100 - if you can’t find a copy make sure to try out ours!