18 BEST HIDDEN ROLE GAMES


hidden role games

I love, love, love hidden role games. They are some of the most exciting, different, and fun experiences I have while gaming with friends. There are lots of things that make hidden role games great. They are usually easy to learn and require less setup time. They offer varying playstyles and different scenarios, so it breaks up the monotony that comes with other games. Finally, they are typically made for larger groups, so you can play with more friends and have fun altogether.

Let’s go over some of the games I consider to be the best hidden role games.

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1. OBSCURIO

Obscurio Board Game - Navigate The Sorcerer's...
  • ILLUSION AND INTRIGUE: Enter the Sorcerer's Library and decipher illusions, but...
  • GRIMOIRE VS. TEAM: The Grimoire guides the team with image-based clues, while...
  • DECEPTION LURKS: A traitor hides within your team, leading you astray. Beware of...

Obscurio is a fantastic hidden role game. Again, it is a little more complex, but it’s loads of fun, and once you learn the initial rules, setup, and rules, explanation is a breeze. It’s made for 2 to 8 players, so it’s great for small and larger groups. The cool part about this game is that even when you catch the traitor, the game continues.

HOW TO PLAY

The gameplay revolves around three different groups. You have the adventurers who are trying to get out of the crazy wizard’s library. The book, who is trying to help them escape, and the traitor, who is amongst the adventure’s ranks, trying to sabotage them and trap them forever. It’s a great, crazy game, and it is always a blast.

2. ONE NIGHT ULTIMATE WEREWOLF

One Night Ultimate Werewolf – Fun Party Game for...
  • Engaging and Deceptive: Immerse yourself in the strategic world of hidden...
  • App-Guided Gameplay: Enjoy a free app that seamlessly guides each game, ensuring...
  • Thrilling and Inclusive: Play with 3-10 players, as you unravel the mystery of...

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a great classic game. It has many spinoffs and many names, but this seems to be the most common name for it on the market. The game is for 3 to 8 players, which makes it great for smaller and larger groups. 

HOW TO PLAY

Each player gets a role to play in the group, and the goal of the game is to find and kill the werewolves before they kill all the townsfolk. 

What makes this game so great is the variation. It has so many different and fun roles to choose from and opens itself to lots of customization. It’s possible to make the game easier or harder for certain roles, and it is a fantastic game to teach people new to hidden role games because it’s a great base to explain other games as well.

3. SPYFALL

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Spyfall
  • DON'T BLOW YOUR COVER: SPYFALL is an easy-to-learn card game of bluffing,...
  • WALK A MILE IN THE SHOES OF A SPY: Players ask each other questions during...
  • YOUR MISSION: Discover the secret location without blowing your cover. Once per...

Spyfall is a fun, easy, and quick game. It is a game for 3 to 8 players and is no trouble to learn and teach. It’s such a fun game to get a game night started and get everyone in the competitive spirit.

HOW TO PLAY

The goal of the game is to find the spy amongst you and vote them out, or if you’re the spy, to find the secret location the others are talking about.

The game is run on a timer, so it’s over in a certain amount of time. It’s a great game for players to jump in and out of and have a blast. It is a fantastic party game.

4. BLOOD ON THE CLOCKTOWER

Blood on the Clocktower is an extremely fun game that you can play with five or up to 20 people. It’s a pretty long game, but you will not notice the time passing with all the fun you’ll be having.

HOW TO PLAY

Similar to other games of the genre, each player will get a token letting them know if they are good or evil. Then, they must lie their way through the game, trying to pick off the townsfolk one by one, along with their spies. The townsfolk, on the other hand, have to find a way to weed out the evil players trying to kill everyone in their town.

The cool thing about this game is that there is one player that is essentially the gamemaster. Even though this player doesn’t actually play, half the fun is narrating what is happening in the game.

5. CHEESE THIEF

Jolly Thinkers Cheese Thief Board Game | Party...
  • POPULAR PARTY GAME MECHANICS – With the social deduction game mechanics,...
  • NO PLAYER ELIMINATION – Players are saved from the possibly embarrassing and...
  • CHILDREN-FRIENDLY THEME – The game, themed on an investigation of a missing...

Cheese Thief is a really fun variation of a hidden role game. It’s quite simple so that younger players can join, but it’s also complex enough to keep the older, more experienced players entertained. 

HOW TO PLAY

In this game, each player is a character, sleeping and dreaming about eating cheese. One player is the thief who wants to steal the cheese. The big difference in this game is that you use dice to determine the outcome of what happens during the game. Will you be able to steal the cheese successfully, or will you get caught? 

6. CROSSFIRE

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Plaid Hat Games Crossfire
  • Return to the world of specter ops and rejoin the Dystopian struggle between...
  • A tense game of hidden roles for five to ten players
  • Use deduction, negotiation, and the limited information at your disposal to...

Crossfire is a game that is very similar to Werewolf. Although the gameplay is similar, there are several differences. The main one is that there is a three-minute timer, so the game can go by much quicker. The box comes with two different game modes, both of which are super fun.

HOW TO PLAY

In this game, each player gets a card with their role on it. Then, they pass their card to the player on their left and look at the card again. Finally, one player takes the two cards next to him and shuffles them along with their own card. 

Now you can look again and start the game. The card swaps give you a much better idea of how to deduce who the assassins are based on the cards you looked at. This is a more strategic game, but it is fast-paced and so much fun.

7. DECEPTION: MURDER IN HONG KONG

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Grey Fox Games Deception: Murder in Hong Kong...
  • Lie to your friends and get away with murder!
  • Are you clever enough to determine who at the table is sus?
  • Enjoy a fast-paced game full of lies, laughter, and hilarious accusations!

Of course, with a hidden role game, you can involve themes such as murder mysteries. If you’re a fan, then you’ll love Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. It’s become one of my favorite games since every game is different.

HOW TO PLAY

In this game, one person is the murderer, another is the forensic scientist, and everyone else is an investigator. As an investigator, you need to find out who the murderer is before the time runs out. The fun part is that the forensic scientist actually gives you clues to try and help you. It’s almost like a combination of Clue and Werewolf, which is why it’s one of my favorites.

8. ESCAPE FROM THE ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE

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Osprey Games Escape from The Aliens in Outer...
  • Suggested ages 13
  • Playing time 30-45 minutes
  • Players 2-8

Escape from the Aliens from Outer Space is a great one to play if you’re more into the outer space sci-fi theme. The gameplay is different than some of the other games on the list, but it is equally as fun.

HOW TO PLAY

In this one, you’re either a human or an alien trying to eat those humans. You play the game on a map, and you move a certain number of spaces based on the card you draw. The goal is to make it to an escape pod and escape before the alien eats you Depending on the card you draw, you say out loud a point on the map where you are; this can be true or false.

As an alien, you have to try to guess where the humans are based on what they say. Your goal is to catch and eat them before they escape. This is such a great twist on a hidden role game; you will surely stay entertained with this one.

9. A FAKE ARTIST GOES TO NEW YORK

Oink Games Board Game A Fake Artist Goes to New...
  • Pictionary with a hidden identity mechanic
  • Clever party game for 5-10 players
  • Play Time: 20 minutes

A Fake Artist Goes To New York is a fun game for those who love to draw. Personally, I am a terrible artist, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing this game. It’s super fun and very easy to set up and explain, and it’s sure to make you laugh all night.

HOW TO PLAY

For this game, one person is the game master or master artist. One player will be the fake artist, and all the others will be the real artists. The master artist will choose a random word and write it on all the player’s tiles except for one. Then, all the layers will look at their tiles. 

One by one, each player takes turns drawing one part of the whole image of the word they were given in front of all the other players. The fake artist must pretend to draw a part of the image as well in order to seem like a real artist. It is so much fun when the fake artist is trying to add to a photo he doesn’t know. This is a very fun and creative twist to a hidden role game. 

10. INHUMAN CONDITIONS

Inhuman Conditions: A Game of Cops and Robots,...
  • A fast-paced interrogation for two players, expandable up to 22 players
  • Satisfying custom stamps for processing Humans and Robots
  • Over fifty unique robot personalities and hundreds of harrowing conversations

Inhuman Conditions is a really fun game with an even more fun box. When you first pull this hidden role game out, the box will definitely stand out. It’s a two-player game where you are an investigator, and the other player is the suspect. It has a fun back-and-forth gameplay style that the creators of the game call conversational judo!

HOW TO PLAY

In the game, you are either the investigator or the suspect. As the investigator, you just ask questions and interrogate the suspect. The suspect, on the other hand, is either a human or a robot. If they are robots, they must convince the investigator that they are human. 

You get cards with specific sets of rules on how you can answer questions based on whether you’re a human or a robot. This game is much more complex than others, but it is so much fun when you get the hang of it.

11. NEMESIS

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Nemesis Board Game | Sci-Fi Horror | Miniatures |...
  • SURVIVAL BOARD GAME: The crew wakes up from hibernation to find a critical...
  • STRATEGY GAME: Choose your character wisely because each one comes with a unique...
  • DETAILED MINIATURES: Game includes 26 high quality miniature figures and over...

Nemesis is another one of my favorite games. It is another game that revolves around the outer space sci-fi theme. It’s great to play with others since it’s semi-cooperative, but each player always has their own agenda.

HOW TO PLAY

In Nemesis, all the players have a certain role in the game. You must all work together to survive aboard a spaceship. The twist about this game is that even though you are cooperating with others, each player has their own mission they must accomplish. This means you can betray others and complete your own goals to win rather than help everyone else. 

There’s so much deception that can take place that this will quickly become one of your favorite games.

12. BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL

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Avalon Hill Hasbro Gaming Betrayal at The House on...
  • EXCITING THIRD EDITION: This edition of the Betrayal at the House on the Hill...
  • HAUNTED HOUSE TRAITOR GAME: Players must work together to survive the...
  • GREAT FOR NEW PLAYERS: This 3rd Edition of the game features artwork, rule...

Betrayal at House on the Hill is great for those who love horror-themed games. You and your friends have to explore a haunted house that’s filled with different dangers and mysteries. I love playing this game in a dimly lit room, with scary music in the background to set the ambiance.

HOW TO PLAY

This game has two phases: the exploration phase and the haunt phase. During the exploration phase, you and all the other players explore the mansion and its different rooms. Each room contains different items, omens, or events. 

Once the haunt phase begins, the traitor reveals themselves. During this phase, as the traitor, you are trying to create challenges for the other players to lose the game. The other players will be trying to achieve certain goals to win the game. Hidden role games are made so much better when they have a scary theme.

13. THE RESISTANCE

The Resistance Card Game - Social Deduction,...
  • Dive into 'The Resistance,' the ultimate social deduction card game. Test your...
  • Enjoy non-stop gameplay with no player elimination; everyone plays until the...
  • Perfect for teens and adults who love board games, 'The Resistance' is an ideal...

The Resistance is one of the best hidden role games you can play with up to 10 people. It’s another one that’s similar to werewolf. You can either be part of the resistance or a part of the higher power. You can choose what the higher power is yourself, depending on what theme you feel like playing.

HOW TO PLAY

You have several traitors in this game, and the rest are part of the resistance, trying to overthrow the higher power. You play the game in a series of missions. The traitors try to sabotage the missions while the resistance tries to pull them off.

There is lots of deception and bluffing, just like many of the others. Whichever side is successful is the winner.

14. SECRET HITLER

Secret Hitler
  • A fast-paced game of deception and betrayal
  • Beautiful wooden components
  • Solid game boards with foil inlay

OK, now this title is a bit weird, but Secret Hitler is actually a really fun hidden role game. It’s set in 1930s Germany, and players are trying to stop Fascism in the country. It’s a super fun game for those who love a bit of history theme in their games.

HOW TO PLAY

In Secret Hitler, all the players are secretly assigned either a liberal role or a fascist role. One player also gets the role of Secret Hitler.

You play the game in rounds where the liberals try to enact five liberal policies or assassinate the secret Hitler. The fascists, on the other hand, are trying to enact six fascist policies or elect the secret Hitler as chancellor. There is so much fun banter involved in this game. It has quickly made it up the list of my favorite games.

15. LORDS OF WATERDEEP

Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of...
  • An exciting Euro-style board game set in Waterdeep, the greatest city and jewel...
  • This immersive game casts players as Lords of Waterdeep who hire adventurers to...
  • Game play: 1 hour

You know we couldn’t leave out the Dungeons and Dragons fans. Don’t worry; you don’t need a deep knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons to play Lords of Waterdeep

HOW TO PLAY

Each player gets a role card that tells them their objective for the game. Each player is trying to expand their influence in the city in their own way. 

During the game, you place workers around the board, which represent different actions. These actions can include recruiting adventurers, acquiring resources, building structures, or completing quests. The quests you choose will depend on what benefits your character the most. This game is as much a strategy game as it is a hidden role game. 

16. SABOTEUR

AMIGO Saboteur Mother Lode Bonus Pack Card Game...
  • AGES 8+ | 2-12 PLAYERS: Great for small and large groups
  • AN AMAZON EXCLUSIVE: Available only on Amazon, includes complete card packs of...
  • PLAY INDIVIDUALLY OR IN TEAMS: Either way you play, the Saboteur changes in...

Saboteur is a fun hidden role game where you play as a dwarf trying to mine for gold. It’s a fun and fast-paced game that really gets you questioning the other players’ every move!

HOW TO PLAY

Each player plays a dwarf trying to excavate a mine. The dwarves are trying to mine for gold, while the saboteurs are trying to stop the others from getting the gold.

You play the game in three rounds, where you extend tunnels leading to the gold while the saboteur tries to stop the other’s progress without getting caught. You can repair broken pathways, block other players, or even reveal hidden information about other players.

17. SCAPE GOAT

Indie Boards and Cards Scape Goat
  • Package Dimensions: 4.7 cms (L) x 15.1 cms (W) x 4.7 cms (H)
  • Product Type: Board Game
  • Package Quantity: 1

Scape Goat is another hidden role game from the makers of Resistance. You can play with up to six players. This is such a fun game that has been described as Reservoir Dogs but with goats!

HOW TO PLAY

It’s a bit different than other hidden role games in that instead of one player trying to sabotage the others; the other players are trying to frame one player.

Each player gets their role cards, and the you decide the Scape Goat based on a dice roll. The twist is that the Scape goat doesn’t know they are the Scape goat. This game is super fun, and it is sure to fill everyone with paranoia. 

18. HAIL HYDRA

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Spin Master Games Marvel, Hail Hydra Superhero...
  • MARVEL HERO BOARD GAME: Play the board game that transforms you into a...
  • DEFEAT SECRET AGENTS: Evil HYDRA operatives have infiltrated your S.H.I.E.L.D....
  • MARVEL ROLE-PLAYING BOARD GAME: Hail Hydra brings the action-packed world of...

Hail Hydra is for the Marvel fans out there. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the Avengers. While there are many Marvel-themed games, such as Marvel Legendary or UNO Ultimate Marvel. Hail Hydra lets you play a hidden role game with the Marvel theme.

HOW TO PLAY

You start the game by choosing one of your favorite heroes. Each player will either get a Shield token or a Hydra token, and this will let you know which team you are on.

Now, you take a villain card, and all the players need to fight the villain together. The secret hydra member is trying to sabotage the fight! There are many villains with different strengths and abilities, making this a really fun game. After you defeat a villain, the heroes must point at another hero who they think might be the secret hydra member. This determines if they failed the mission or not. 

Looking for more fun games to play? Check out our best family board games.

Alan Lemus
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