Designed by Mark Stockton-Pitt and Fiona Jackson, NewSpeak is a codeword deduction party game: think Decrypto (Le Scorpion Masqué) meets Spyfall (Hobby World). NewSpeak is for 3-6 players, tho' it's not hard to modify this team game to expand the player count.
Players divide into two teams, with one team designated as the 'dissidents' and the other as the 'moderators'. The number in each team is determined by the number of players: if you play with just three then two will be dissidents and the other player will be the moderator. Before the start of play, players choose which code set they will be using (the rules refer to A, B, C & D tho' our copy only included A & B). Sheets are supplied for each code set that show key words and what they translate to in the various alternate codes in the set. The player designated as the lead dissident chooses which of the codes to use and shows this to the other member(s) of their team so that they are all on the same page. Of course, the moderator(s) don't know which of the 6 (for set A) or 7 (for set B) codes the dissidents are using. Nine locations are displayed and the lead dissident chooses one and records the choice on their code dial. No-one else can see their choice.
What the dissident leader is trying to do, against a two-minute sand timer, is use code words to communicate to their team which location they've chosen. Other dissidents can respond, again using the code words, but they'll want to keep their conversation as cryptic as possible. The moderators are listening to the dissidents' communications and will be looking out for code words, aiming to deduce which code the dissidents are using, and therefore guess the correct location. The dissidents win the location if a majority correctly identify it but the moderators win a location they identify if it was chosen by any of the dissidents. The game is won by the first team to win three locations.
Inside The Box have done a good job with the production of NewSpeak, including laminated sheets that the moderator(s) can use with their dry-wipe pens to mark off key words when they hear them in the dissidents' chatter. The art by David Thor Fjalarsson adds to the game's appeal.
NewSpeak is a fun fast-playing game - thanks in no small part to urgency imposed by the real-time time limits. Our games at Board's Eye View mostly took around 20-30 minutes. You don't have to use the exact word on the code cards, so players are expected to get inventive in their use of synonyms. But as in other word association word games like Codenames (CGE), if you go too obscure you risk confusing your team mates as much as the opposition...
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