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Veiled Fate Review – A Hidden Gem Of Demigods And Chaos


Terry Pratchett once wrote

“It is said that gods play games with the lives of Men. But what games, and why, and the identities of the actual pawns, and what the game is, and what the rules are – who knows? Best not to speculate.”

That is the fantasy on which Veiled Fate is based, and emphatically delivers upon.

As a gamer who first encountered fantasy in the history books of classic myths and legends, it was always going to appeal to me to play a game which puts you in the shoes of a god, weaving the actions of others, in secret, to suit your gain. I look back on James Wood’s depiction of Hades in the animated movie of Hercules as a fond childhood memory.

The chaos that ensues from a table when you and your friends, or perhaps just your significant other in a one on one duel, is enthralling to bring to game night.


IV studios is known for it’s production values, and in this aspect Veiled Fate does not disappoint either. Borrowing from the stories we have heard all of our lives, the character of each demigod comes to life in each card, yet the symbols and iconography of the game itself means that whilst you are equally able to get yourself lost in the myths of the theming but never lose track of what you are looking to achieve.


Again IV studios pedigree for production values was built on games like Veiled Fate. With multiple versions available including an option for metallic figurines of each demigod, this game screams quality. Each is instantly knowable by the distinctive colours or by the unique design to match the artwork of the cards. Small touches like the demigods “class”, important in some quests, presented on the base of each figure makes the table easy to read at a glance but without taking away from the theme itself.

But the star of the show is really the board. On the table it stands out with its striking environments and with multiple quest or city cards and 9 demigods always on the table (and all up for grabs for moving by any player), it is difficult not to watch every move with interest.

But the segmented design and clever packaging means that it all tucks away in a box size that makes it easy to transport and share with anyone. Some modern games (I’m looking at you, Gloomhaven) mean you could only ever play when its your turn to host, but not Veiled Fate. It is smaller than most 8 player games and the inserts make everything very easy to organise, meaning set up and clean up a quick and easy task (often while you are still talking about who won, how they did it, and even more widely who fooled who).


For a game built on so many secrets, you would think there would be an off-puttingly large rulebook, or it would take hours to teach before the first figure moves from their spots in the city, but I am happy to set minds at ease here. The game, behind all of its theming and mystery, is staggeringly simple, but has me clambering to find anything else like it.

Starting to teach friends new to the game I will jokingly suggest “what if the game was Cluedo and we were all the killer?”. It’s a bad approximation but it sets the stage for what is to come. You can all move every demigod (almost) anywhere, and votes cast in each location decide what happens once the quest card on each location is full. Powers and Age/City cards add to the chaos with new functions and rule twists which last a single round, but like most of the best games, the complexity comes from the players and the strategy you adopt.

The only tip I will give you is the cards you use to vote are also the currency for any powers you may want to use, and those powers are expensive. Keep hold of cards where you can, as there are only limited ways of getting more.

Player Interaction

No one else knows for sure who you are trying to guide to victory, but you can’t be sure on them either. Did they just put their own Demigod on that quest to make sure they get the points they want, or are they bluffing? Did they just move your Demigod because they know its you and want to stall your progress, or are they trying to convince the table that’s them to throw off suspicion.

Its very satisfying to see players pick up and play with this fairly simple rule set, and maybe even throw out wild or not so wild accusations of who is “clearly” who. Right or wrong, every move and every interaction fuels conversation and reaction. Every game I have played with a variety of player counts and experience (of this game and gaming in general) has been won and lost by only a point or two in the last round, making even the order of tokens on the same total points come into play on who wins (yes, there are tie break rules for this)

Even after all is revealed the conversations continue, and so does the plan making, for next time…


The chaos I describe above, the modular components of the cards for quests, city and age powers makes the variety of this game endlessly replayable. I have never seen the same combination twice yet, and even if I did I am not sure it would be played out in the same way, as each player brings their own style of bluffing and strategy each game.

I have played completely openly scoring points with a “catch me if you can” abandoning of the mystery, only to watch everyone struggle behind. But another game the same tactics will mean all of your friends band together to stop you. In the end, the mystery is your protection and trying to sneak ahead at just the right moment, or whether your friends unknowingly aid you at the right time, can be the difference between a win and near miss.

At high player counts, the board will change a lot between each of your turns, especially when at 6-8 player you introduce a secret team mate with the same goals as you, but it plays well at small counts too. My partner and I have sat happily duelling it out knowing that you only need to be ahead of 1 of the other 8 demigods to win, but which one?!

With expansions due next year to further add to the chaos of the board and more variety in terms of the cards, this will remain a staple of my gaming experience and one of the first recommendations I give to anyone trying to find their way into modern board gaming.

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

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