The solemn scene: mourners, dressed in black. Muffled sobs. A somber attorney prepares to read the will as the downhearted participants have gathered to mark the passing of their dearly beloved family friend.
Or have they?
In Someone Has Died you and your opponents play as rival potential heirs to a fortune, each hoping to convince the executor that their claim is the most valid. Shocking reveals, plot twists, and some downright nefarious machinations await.
Someone Has Died is a storytelling game for 3-6 players designed by Liz Roche and Adi Slepack. During each round the Estate Keeper (the GM of the story, if you will) will use an identity card to describe the deseased. The potential beneficiaries have an identity card as well (their persona), as well as relationship card and and two backstory cards with which to weave their tale.
Players take turns stating their case, drawing more cards, and may even obtain objection cards (to influence other players’ stories) as a reward from the estate keeper for clever storytelling. After the interrogation and final statements the Estate Keeper bequeaths the entire fortune to the most deviou- um, deserving.
A lot of story style games get lost in party type gameplay – someone plays a card, someone plays something outrageous for a quick laugh, play progresses til everyone gets a little bored. Someone Has Died offers more to the tellers of tall tales among us – an opportunity to spin a compelling yarn while competing against other storytellers to weave a twisty, devious narrative. Whimsical art completes the package, both illustrating the point of each card as well as inspiring even greater leaps of imagination.
Side eye, dramatic gasps, shocking reveals, and crocodile tears are welcome at the table as each player tries to out scheme each other. Played like your favorite telenova, the biggest struggle is usually a straight face. This one’s a smash hit in particular with my LARP friends, who double down on the dramatics, creating screamingly hilarious scenes and over the top characters. Perfect as a warm up for a longer RPG/LARP night, or around the dining room table with pot of tea and a plate of cookies.
Someone has Died – 4.5/5 for ridiculously cute art and a storytelling experience you’ll be talking about for weeks.