February’s Game of the Month, Batman: The Animated Series Almost Got ‘Im, comes from our friends at Cryptozoic Entertainment. In Almost Got ‘Im, the infamous faces from Batman’s rogues gallery have gathered to play a not-so-friendly game of poker. As they do so, the villains swap stories about their run-ins with the caped crusader, and the time they ‘Almost Got ‘Im.’ But none of them suspect that Gotham’s Dark Knight has infiltrated the poker game under the guise of one of the villains. Will the villains emerge triumphant and having finally caught the Bat? Or will this be just another time the villains Almost Got ‘Im?
This unique social deduction game for five to eight players was inspired by an episode of the highly-acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, entitled “Almost Got ‘Im”. One of the things that makes this game unique is that the game revolves around a poker element. Players must craft poker hands in order to activate their unique abilities during the blackout phase when the lights go out. In many social deduction games players begin by throwing around random accusations with little or no evidence to support their theories. The poker mechanic allows for players to request cards from other players and see what cards other players are taking, allowing you to make more strategic deductions! Some social deduction games offer only a few players interesting roles, but in Almost Got ‘Im each player has a Character Special Power and a Secret Role Card with a special power.
To begin a game of Almost Got ‘Im, one player is selected to be the dealer who will act as the moderator for the game. Each player is then given a random Character Card face up and a random Secret role card face down. Then each player closes their eyes and the player who was dealt the “Batman in Disguise” card is shown a random unused secret role card by the dealer. This way they can bluff about being one of the unused roles. Then each player is dealt five cards face down to start their opening hand. Three cards are placed face up next to the deck to form three separate discard piles. The player who owns the most comic books is given “the Brains Token” and will begin play. On each player’s turn, he must draw a card from the top of the deck or take the topmost card from one of the discard piles. Then he may choose to use his Character’s special Once-Per-Game ability. Finally he must draw or discard until he has five cards back in his hand.
After each player has had a turn, The Brains may accuse a player of being Batman. If the accusation is seconded, the players vote on whether they want to see the player subdued. If the Batman is subdued, the Villians win! But if not, Batman moves one step closer to winning. Next, all players close their eyes during the blackout phase and players may choose to activate their Secret Role Card during this phase. The Dealer will then announce if anyone was subdued or if any other relevant effects occurred. The Brains Token is then passed to the next player. Play continues until Batman is subdued or a number of villains are subdued dependent upon the number of players in the game.
If you enjoy social deduction games, poker, or are a fan of Batman: The Animated Series, I encourage you to give this unique twist on social deduction games a try. Be sure to borrow a copy from our library on your next visit to Ravenwood Castle. Take on the role of Batman’s notorious rogues gallery. Will you catch the Bat or will this be another time you Almost Got ‘Im?