Social deduction game

A social deduction game is a game in which players attempt to uncover each other's hidden role or team allegiance.[1] Commonly, these games are played with teams, with one team being considered "good" and another being "bad".[2] During gameplay, players can use logic and deductive reasoning to try to deduce one another's roles, while other players can bluff to keep players from suspecting them.

Players taking a vote in a game of Werewolf

Examples of social deduction games include Mafia, in which only the mafia know who is mafia and what the mafia players' roles are; Bang!, in which only the sheriff's role is known to everyone; and Secret Hitler, in which only the fascists know who the fascists are, except for the player who plays as Hitler.[3] Other social deduction games include The Resistance, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and Spyfall.

Social deduction games have been adapted to video games numerous times through mods or full games. One instances of such adaptations are custom maps for StarCraft: Brood War including Changeling and The Thing.[4] These custom maps inspired later Warcraft III custom maps including Mafia, Werewolf, Zerg Infestation, and another Changeling and The Thing.[5] Other notable examples include Garry's Mod "Trouble in Terrorist Town" game mode,[6] Town of Salem, StarCraft II's Phantom Mode mod,[7] and Among Us.

One important element of strategy in some social deduction games is determining how long to stick to one's story in the light of information obtained from other players.[8] A Monte Carlo tree search has been suggested for making decisions in social deduction games.[9]

Notable gamesEdit

Board and card gamesEdit

Cards from The Werewolves of Millers Hollow

Video gamesEdit

Space Station 13


  • De Mol (1998), Belgian reality game show franchise where one contestant is secretly a Mole. The series has been adapted internationally in various countries, including in the Netherlands under the title Wie is de Mol?, in Poland as Agent, and in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom as The Mole.
  • Trapped! (2007), a British children's show where one contestant is secretly a Saboteur
  • The Hustler (2021), US quiz show where one contestant is secretly given the answers in advance
  • De Verraders (2021), Dutch gameshow based on Werewolf/Mafia, which has spawned a number of international adaptations, including the British The Traitors (2022) and the similarly named Australian The Traitors (2022).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Engelstein, Geoffrey; Shalev, Isaac (2020). Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design: An Encyclopedia of Mechanisms. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-138-36549-0.
  2. ^ Farber, Matthew (2020). Global Perspectives on Gameful and Playful Teaching and Learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. p. 6. ISBN 9781799820154.
  3. ^ Engel Bromwich, Jonah (5 September 2017). "Secret Hitler, a Game That Simulates Fascism's Rise, Becomes a Hit". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Changeling". July 13, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  5. ^ LazyCoder (January 15, 2011). "The Thing".
  6. ^ "What is Trouble in Terrorist Town?". Trouble in Terrorist Town. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  7. ^ "StarCraft II Arcade Series: Phantom Mode". Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  8. ^ Eger, Markus; Martens, Chris (2018-09-25). "Keeping the Story Straight: A Comparison of Commitment Strategies for a Social Deduction Game". Fourteenth Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference.
  9. ^ Cowling, Peter I.; Whitehouse, Daniel; Powley, Edward J. (2015-08-02). "Emergent bluffing and inference with Monte Carlo Tree Search". 2015 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG): 114–121. doi:10.1109/CIG.2015.7317927. ISBN 978-1-4799-8622-4. S2CID 15461414.
  10. ^ Casey, Matt M. "What deduction games like Werewolf tell us about ourselves". Boing Boing. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Turn your tabletop into a real Game of Thrones with Oathbreaker game". Ars Technica. 23 November 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Secret Hitler". Secret Hitler. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  13. ^ "Space Station 13: a multiplayer space station simulator about monkeys, insane AI, cultists and paperwork". PCGamesN. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  14. ^ a b "The best games like Among Us: seven of the top social deduction and imposter games". PCGamesN. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  15. ^ Renadette, Brian (19 August 2020). "Among Us 2 Announced Following First Game's Huge Surge In Popularity". Game Rant. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  16. ^ Miller, Chris (2019-10-22). "Hello, Neighbor's Newest Upcoming Entry Capitalizes On The One Versus Many Game Play Stylized By Dead By Daylight, Evolve | Happy Gamer". HappyGamer. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  17. ^ "Read About the New Fortnite Impostors Mode". Epic Games' Fortnite. Retrieved 2022-07-10.