OBJECTIVE OF SPY: Be the last player remaining in the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 players


TYPES OF CARDS: 4 spies, 8 safes, 8 top secrets, 10 bombs

TYPE OF GAME: Deduction card game

AUDIENCE: Ages 10+


Spy is a deduction card game designed by Chris Handy and published by Perplext.  In this game players are spying on their opponents’ bases in order to discover their top secret card.  Watch out for bomb cards.  Any bomb that is found twice blows up, and the player who found it is out of the game.


The Spy deck consists of 30 cards.  There are 4 spies, 8 safes, 8 top secrets, and 10 bombs.  The cards are organized into four sets with each set being its own color.  Each player will have one color set of cards for play.


 Each player chooses which color they would like to play as.  They are given all of the cards for that color.  In a two player game, only the green and red color cards are used.  For a game with 3 or 4 players, remove the Bomb 2 cards.  They are not used.

Each player organizes their hand any way they wish.  A player’s hand is referred to as their spy base.  All bomb cards should start oriented so that the lit fuse side is down.  Each player will fan out their cards so that only the spy is visible to their opponents.  The rest of their cards should be kept secret.  Also, the order of the cards is not allowed to change throughout the game.  Only the Spy can change position.


During play, each player will use their Spy card to search their opponents’ hands.  During their search, they are trying to discover the location of the four following items: Safe 1, Safe 2, Top Secret 1, and Top Secret 2.  Those items must be discovered in that order. 

On a player’s turn, they may perform one, both, or none of the following actions: move and spy.


A player must declare their movement out loud before moving the Spy in their hand.  They are only allowed to move the card as many spaces as the number on the card the Spy is facing.  It must be exactly as many spaces as the number.  No more or no less.  However, when a Spy is facing an exposed card, the player may move 1 OR 2 depending on what they wish to do.

A Spy’s direction can be flipped before or after movement but not during.  When a Spy is on the edge of the Spy Base, it is automatically considered next to the card on the opposite end of the base.  Moving the card from one end of the base to the other does not count as a movement.  If the Spy is on the edge of the base and facing away from the cards, it is considered looking at the card on the opposite end of the base.


To spy, the player must announce which player they are going to spy on.  As if the player is looking in the mirror, they say the opponent’s name to find out which card they have revealed. 

That opponent must reply in one of the following ways. First, if the card chosen is a Safe or Top Secret and not the Exposure Target, the opponent must declare the card type.  They do not reveal the number.  The Exposure Target is the card that the player must find.  In the beginning, each player is trying to find Safe 1 in each of their opponents’ hands.  Safe 1 is the first Exposure target.

If the Exposure Target is found, the opponent turns the card so it can be seen by the other players.  For example, once Safe 1 is found, it is turned for everyone to see.  The next target that must be found in that player’s hand is Safe 2.

If the card is a Bomb, and it is found for the first time, the opponent responds with a “tssssssss” sound (like a lit fuse).  That Bomb is then rotated in the player’s hand so that the lit fuse is showing, but the bomb is still facing the player who holds it.

Finally, if a lit Bomb is found, the opponent shows everyone the card.  The player who discovered it is disqualified from the game.  The Bomb remains lit, and it is placed back in the same location.  It is kept facing the player who holds it.  Players must do their best to remember where cards are in their opponents’ hands.

Play like this continues with each player taking a turn. 


As players discover lit bombs, they are removed from the game.  The last player remaining in the game wins.

Mark Ball
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