Decrypto is a team game of “safe” communications set in a world of dials, monitors, transmitters and other 1960's James Bond-style spy paraphernalia. In this game, designed by Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance and published by Le Scorpion Masqué, you will take on the mission of transmitting secret codes to your team of Encryptors without letting the opposing team intercept them. You will also be attempting to intercept the opposing team’s codes.
The key to this game is you will need to make sure your communications are clear enough for your team to understand but vague enough to confound your opponents!
To set-up, the two teams must position themselves on opposite sides of a table and put four keyword cards in the slots on their screen board – once they’re behind the red screen the scrambled patterns on the cards will miraculously display a word. All team members can see their team’s words but the opposition must not.
One player from each team will be nominated as their team’s Encryptor for the round and secretly takes one of their code cards at random – this will show a three digit number, for example “2,1,4”, and the Encryptor will have to give clues in order, relating to the words behind screen two, screen one and then screen four. The clue can be a single word or a whole phrase. The teammates must then attempt to guess the three digit number and proceed to write it onto their team’s notepad alongside each of the given clues. The opposition team then does the same.
The teams have the opportunity to guess the opposition’s code number in the following rounds based on the clues they hear. If they successfully do so they get an interception token. The first team to get two interception tokens wins – however, clues must be carefully thought-out because the first team to guess their own codes incorrectly twice loses the game.
This small margin for error means that you’ll need to give clues to that ensure your teammates will get the right answer but without giving away too much to your opponents because each round they will be adding to their collection of clues and getting closer and closer to working out what your words are, making it progressively easier for them to guess your code numbers – unless you have completely confused them – this increasing tension is the key to the game and leads to both agonising decisions and laugh-out-loud moments in equal measure.
Comparable to the smash-hit Codenames, but different enough in its own right, this game is ideal for family get-togethers, for a night down the pub with friends or as a bit of light relief at the beginning or end of a games night – don’t let Decrypto go under your radar!
Player Count: 3-8
Time: 15-45 Minutes
Put away your Codenames agents and marvel in the true king of word association games; Decryto - a fantastic new twist on a classic theme which uses fantastic real life encryption!
Decrypto is suitable for three to eight players, created by Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance, and published by Le Scorpion Masqué and IELLO. It's a fantastic, fun, very unique word association game, in-which players divide into two teams, and each team receives four secret words which are hidden using a unique encryption tool of word play. When you place the word in the Decrypto panel, the word is revealed, each secret word when placed in the panel will have a accordioning number from one to four which will be used as part of a code.
The objective of Decrypto is to relay a code to your team as the encrypter, using clues which associate to your team’s secret words without giving away what your words might be, as each round the team has the chance to intercept your message and guess the code. If they get it right two times they win.
How to be an Encrypter?
The first player will draw a secret card from the code deck, that lists a three-digit code, containing numbers one to four which refers back to the secret word in your team’s panel. If the code is, “3-1-4” the encrypter will have to give clues that lead their team to guessing the code from the secret words by looking at them and the clues and working out which words match the clue, such as third, first and fourth words in that exact order. If the team fail to get the code this means communication has broken down and you receive one black token, if you receive two of these token in the game your team loses due to poor communication.
The trick as encrypter is that the clues need to be simple enough that your own team can guess them, but challenging enough that the other team cannot infer what they might be and intercept the message and store points.
The role of the remaining team is to decrypt the code given by the encrypter. These clues are shared between the opponent and your own team, meaning that if over two three,four plus rounds you have been giving clues which have a running theme such as your word being chocolate and you have given Charlie as a clue, aphrodisiac along factory for example, the theme could be quite easy to guess - meaning your opponents are likely to be able to work out the word and crack your code each time due to theme of clues given.
Final Thoughts on Decrypto
As you can see, Decrpyto has several elements which make the game have twists and turns such as its unique encrypted cards which are only revealed when placed in your panel. This, in my view, supersedes Codenames and is much more fun and family friendly, and given the choice been the two games I would play Decryto. One common problem with Codenames is the mass mix of cards which require high methodical thinking and strict rules. Decrypto removes this as you only have four words to think of clues for and the rules allow you to use names, slogans and much more.
The game can play a minimum of three players, however the game works better with four players rather than two and really comes to life with six or more players as you will then have three players on each team - allowing for unique clues. One element which does really help you understand clues and the game structure is playing with people and group that you are familiar with, knowing the individual's think patterns and ways of working, as you may then understand more of the abstract clues, but the game is equally, if not more, fun playing with people you have never met - trying to deduce the meaning being the clue.
If you enjoy word association games with an element of deduction and creative thinking then this game is perfect for you. Decrypto is a relatively family friendly game with some complex/more challenging word/encryption cards which can easily be removed or swapped with other charges.
I would highly recommend buying this game with high replay value due to the number of encryption card which comes with the game you are unlikely to play the same four words for at least 10+ games.