Top 100: #86 Mascarade

Mascarade is a really fun, simple to learn, social deduction game. There are a few higher up on my Top 100, but this one beats out some of the more obvious choices like Resistance and Werewolf. Mascarade’s puzzle of deduction can change throughout the game making it so your knowledge is never truly perfect - or if your opponents think you have perfect knowledge they will fix that right quick. And player elimination is one of my biggest issues with games, especially if they can go on for a decently long time, but everyone is always involved in a game of Mascarade.


Depending on the number of players the game roles will be shuffled into the stack and then secretly dealt out to the players. Each player gets to look at their role just that one time for free. As later in the game it takes a turn to take a look at it. There are only three things you can do on your turn - switch(or not) your role with another player, look at your own role card, or attempt to use the power of one of the characters included in the current game.

If you choose to use a character you don’t even need to have that character - although it is easier to use it if you do have it. After declaring you want to use the role it goes around the table to see if anyone wants to challenge and say that actually they are the role you are claiming! If no one calls you out, you just take the action without revealing if you actually were that role. However, if called out everyone including you reveals their role to all players and anyone who is not the correct role must pay the justice system a coin. Anyone who is that role (doesn’t need to be the active player) gets to take the action associated.

The end goal of the game is to get to 13 coins. Some roles will steal from other, some will just get you money from the bank, the judge will collect all the fines that people have paid. With less than perfect knowledge but still some insight into who could be who Mascarade becomes a cleaver puzzle of taking risks with who you might be to breach that coin goal before any of the other players. But if you are wrong you might accidentally give the victory to someone else!