Salem – Deduction board game about the witch trials by Joshua Balvin
Salem can hardly be mentioned without people immediately thinking about the witch trials that occurred there in the late 1600′s. Now, board game designer Joshua Balvin hopes to translate the pessimism and paranoia surrounding the witch trials into a board game about 42 real people that he researched to put into the game. Salem is a board game where you start with four villager and three witch cards with which a player assigns a role (either as a witch or as a villager) to each of the citizens that the player was given at the start of the game. There’s an element of deduction in Salem, as well, and Balvin describes the game in the Kickstarter video as “a cross between Sudoku and a deductive logic puzzle,” with players using information learned throughout the game to eliminate certain characters (the roles are assigned according to numbers, and there are four villager and three witch cards of each number, allowing you to deduce the correct result). On each turn, one of the citizens is ‘accused’ by the active player and the owner of the accused citizen must choose an alibi, which will reveal additional information regarding the two citizens (for instance, that they are the same type of citizen – either villager or witch). The accused player then becomes the active player until all players have had a citizen accused. Players then learn how many witches are in jail and how many villagers are there (plus a bluff card) and then must vote which citizen to eliminate. Salem plays over four rounds and then final scoring occurs, with the player that makes the most correct accusations and the fewest false accusations winning the game. For fans of deduction games, the Salem board game sounds like it will definitely be worth looking at. The art from Levi Hastings shown on the Kickstarter is looking pretty fantastic as well (seriously, check out his art if you want an even better feel. I mean, I don’t think the walrus admiral will make the cut for Salem, but he is definitely worth your consideration). If you would like more information about the Salem board game, you can go over to Kickstarter.
So, are you a fan of deduction games? I’d like to hear about your favorites down in the comments.