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Hollywood 1947

Hollywood 1947 is the most recent entry in Facade Games' distinctive series of Dark Cities games. Tho' they are all very distinctive games that play quite differently, all the games in the series (Salem 1692, Tortuga 1667, Deadwood 1876, Bristol 1350 and Hollywood 1947) are social deduction games themed around a specific historical location and time. They are all well produced and come packaged in Facade's trademark magnetic book box: on the shelf, they each look more like old books than board games.

Travis Hancock's design for Hollywood 1947 focuses on the golden age of cinema, and players take on the roles of those who come together to create movies: the Screenwriter, Producer, Director, Gaffer, Cinematographer, Actress, Actor, Composer and Editor, if you're playing with a full complement of nine players. Each role has its own special ability. You're not just making films, however. The setting for this game is also the period of McCarthyism, with its paranoid fears of Communist infiltration and its infamous blacklists.

In Hollywood 1947 players will have a hidden loyalty card as a Patriot, Communist or, just at some player counts, as a 'Rising Star'. Players will be using secretly played influence cards to determine each movie's message. The Patriots or Communists need to have an influence majority on four films for their team to win; if you're playing with a Rising Star, that player will claim sole victory if the Patriots and Communists are tied at three movies each and neither team wins the seventh movie by a margin of more than 1 influence.

Hollywood 1947 has straightforward rules and is easy to play. As with all social deduction games, much of the enjoyment comes from players' bluff, bluster and table talk. Assuming you're playing with a player taking on the Screenwriter role, then right from the start there will be accusations over their choice of genre: some genres are neutral but others have a Patriot or Communist bias... The components are great, with evocative genre cards, 3D tokens, 'celluloid' overlays and custom eight-sided dice to roll for blacklisting (tho' they are d8s, they function as d2s as they have four star and four blacklist sides).

There are special rules for playing with two or three players, and even solitaire play(!), but really this is a game that's most fun at higher player counts (7-9). And a big plus over many other social deduction games is that there's no player elimination in Hollywood 1947. Most games will run to around 40 minutes and even if your allegiance has become transparent, you may get blacklisted but you won't ever be out of the game.

Facade Games are returning to Kickstarter shortly with all five Dark Cities games in deluxe editions. Click here for details.

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