Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Top Hats & Treachery. You are the proud owner of a fine Victorian London Hotel. You play host to all manner of guests, from the richest and most famous in society down through the classes to the poorest of servants and infamous of criminals. To be the best Hotelier all you need is your guests to boast the best reputation, and it’s a lot of fun helping them or sabotaging others to get there!
This is a 2-6 player game (designed by Andrew Prowse) that plays in 30-45 minutes. It's a game for people aged 14 and over. Within the small box you will find a series of different cards. Lower Class, Middle Class and Upper Class. These are your Guest Cards bringing all types of people to your hotel with a range of silly names (and some real), a small bio of the persons character and those all important Reputation Points.
There are also Twist of Fate, Shenanigans and Grimm Reaper cards, that make up the Rumour Deck. These can, and will, be played to raise or lower reputations, add extra guests, swap/remove or refine your strategy and finally kill off those that have outstayed their welcome in your own hotel or your opponents.
There are 108 cards in total, one D6, a round tracker and rulebook.
Each player is dealt one of each of the Lower, Middle and Upper Class cards and five cards from the Rumour Deck. Proceeding clockwise Hotel Owners flip the Guest Cards and introduce everyone to the visitors staying in their hotel.
There are two game variants in Top Hats & Treachery:
- Dead Simple - Each round, play a Rumour Car and draw a Rumour Card.
- Simply Deadly - You role the D6 and play cards corresponding to the rule set and the number rolled.
If the Grim Reaper pays a visit to your hotel and you lose a guest, then you can replace the guest with a Lower Class card for free (despite whatever class met their untimely end). If you want a higher, and likely more renowned guest, then they can be purchased by spending one or two of your Rumour Cards. One for Middle Class, two for Upper.
On Turn six (or 11 if in the Long Play) more rooms become available by rolling the D6 to determine which Class of Guest you will receive. At this point only players may also draw up to the hand limit of five if they are missing those essential Rumour Cards.
At the end of the last Round, all players add up (or subtract) their guests Reputation Points and the highest total wins the game!
Final Thoughts on Top Hats & Treachery
Despite the box art not being eye catching or drawing you to the game, this is most definitely a case of “not judging a book/box by it’s cover”!
Top Hats & Treachery was an instant hit at our game table with every player getting into the feel and fun of it all. Guests were read in character and the hamming up for cards and creativity of stories unfurled as the game went on. Much merriment and laughter became the basis of this game as the Rumour cards, inflicting different Shenanigans, Twists of Fate and of course the dreaded Grimm Reaper were played.
It’s easy to learn and easy to teach. It's also a game for those who like to jump into thematics with both feet! It can be played with a couple or brought out at a party as the fun can be had from watching it played as much as playing it yourself!
There’s replay-ability to this as its unlikely you will get through all the Guest Cards in one game. And when guests appear from previous play-throughs their past stories and reputations are told as if they were part of the description or old friends that everyone remembers.
We love playing Top Heats & Treachery and everybody we introduce it to, joins us in our appreciation of it. If you’re looking for a fun card game that rolls out the laughter and stirs up the amateur dramatics within you, then Top Hats & Treachery is for you!