Newspeak is the language of Oceania, a fictional totalitarian state and the setting of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. In the book, Newspeak is a language with restricted grammar and limited vocabulary. It's a communication style which the board game tries to replicate. Given a very limited vocabulary, you'll find that some will embellish whilst others will be stunted in their communication. Can you successfully communicate with your side without your location information being intercepted?
Newspeak is a deduction game for 3-6 players. At the start of the game you will split into two teams; a team of rebels and a team of moderators. Each team needs to win three locations in order to win the game. A three-by-three grid of locations is laid out in the centre of the board in their moderated form. The locations contain plenty of colourful and eye-catching little nuggets that you might be able to latch onto when giving clues.
The rebels are then given a set of code sheets each. The rebel leader chooses a code sheet to use and then the rebels have two minutes to converse with each other about which area to hack. Of course, a regular conversation would be monitored too easily so the code sheets are used to translate 'Newspeak' into real words in order to try and secretly communicate a location. At the end of the two minutes all the rebels must dial in a location to attack.
The moderators then have one minute to discuss among themselves about where they think the rebels are attacking. While they don't know which of the code sheets the rebels are using, they do have access to a full list of all the code sheets. As a result, they can try to deduce which code sheet the rebels used and thereby what words they were secretly communicating and where they will attack. They can defend one place against hacking each round and must choose this location at the end of their minute.
At the end of a round if the rebels were caught, or if they failed to gather at least half their team in one location then the rebels failed. The location that was defended is removed from the game. However, if they managed to get over half their team to the same location and it wasn't defended then the rebels win and get to flip the location over to keep score.
Like many of these larger team deduction games, the art is in communicating enough for those in the know, but not too much to allow the opposing team to guess your meaning.
Newspeak - Coming Soon
Newspeak was originally funded on Kickstarter by publisher, Inside the Box Games. The game should land in early 2020. In the meantime, Inside the Box have been sharing demos at many conventions around the UK. Perhaps you'll be able to see it sooner if you're heading to any shows.
Ironically, Newspeak will really force you to think outside the box, and if you’re looking to challenge yourself and your friends even further than games like Decrypto or Codenames, then Newspeak could be one to look out for.