Before I Kill You, Mister Spy is a quick card game for 2-6 Maniacal Super Villains. If you are not a Super Villain, you may wish to consider a career change prior to playing this game. If you already are a Super Villain, please ensure that you have obtained Maniacal status. You are not required to have mastered your evil laugh, but it may help.
This game was originally released in the late 90s under a more English name that may not be uttered for trademark reasons, although during the 90s he would have technically been Irish, or arguably forever Scottish. Either way, the game was forced out of print, and eventually republished as James Ernest’s Totally Renamed Spy Game four years later, with double the cards. This latest release returns to the original 55 card deck size, and features a completely overhauled set of rules.
As a real life Maniacal Super Villain, your greatest strength is your ability to taunt your enemy. Your greatest weakness, however, is your NEED to taunt your enemy. In the game, “taunt” is less of a compulsion and more of a method to get more points, though.
How the game works: you make your own lair stronger by playing cards into it, or stealing cards that make up the other players’ lairs. When your lair is strong enough, you can capture a spy in it. Once you have captured a spy, you can kill him for points or taunt him to double the point value and then kill him. But there’s a catch: as in real life, when you taunt your enemy, they have a chance to escape. You can also steal a spy from anywhere you want (because they are terrible at hiding) and play them as one of your own room evil henchmen.
Before I Kill You, Mister Spy easily plays in under 30 minutes and is tons of fun for up to 6 players. There’s a very good reason Cheapass Games is releasing their old games in a new format. They were, and still are, great games. I know a number of people who still have their original “white envelope” versions of these games and are loving the higher quality that modern manufacturing allows.
Put on your best tuxedo, grab your favourite age-appropriate-beverage (shaken not stirred), and call some friends over for a night of games!
Originality: 2 / 5 (only because it’s the third different iteration of the game)
Visual Appeal: 4 / 5
Ease of Play: 4 / 5
Strategic Challenge: 3 / 5
Total expressed as a percentage of the Ultimate Question: 30.9%