Top 100: #90 Salem

While some of my favorite games are cooperative adventures to play through with my friends evidently I also enjoy making my mind work towards solving logic puzzles because here is the second deduction game in a row - and spoiler alert there are more coming up soon. There are lots of different games themed around Salem and the witch trials but this one is definitely a stand out from the rest. We’ve never played the advanced game because the basic version has just the level of complexity we enjoy.

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The deduction grid in Salem is similar to a Sudoku game. Through a somewhat overly complicated set up there will be a set number of witches in each row and column. Players must interrogate each other until at least half of them have placed their guesses for which of the cards in the middle of the table are witches. When one of your citizens is first accused you have three different alibi options to tell the accusing player. Once you have used an alibi you won’t be able to use it again until you have used all of them.

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The types of alibi you have are treachery, slander, and hearsay. When you use treachery you must identify another one of your citizens that is the same role as the one selected. Slander is the opposite where you must identify another citizen that is different than the selected character. Lastly, hearsay is when you add two citizens to the accusation then just state out loud how many of them are witches. Obviously is it best to have a mix of innocent people and witches in that group of three.

Using the process of elimination, public interrogation, and the knowledge of your own citizens the players compete to figure out which spots could be witches in the middle of the table. Since each column can only have three witches than once you have discovered three in a slot then you know that must be an innocent in that slot on the table. A very different type of puzzle than sleuth with more work to get it going but still a lot of fun and more player choices for the interrogated than sleuth. Which is why it is just narrowly better than its classic cousin.