Alibi Card Game
GAME DESIGN | PHYSICAL CARD GAME, 2015 | JJ SURKIN
Alibi is a hilariously crude, role-playing card game of quick wits and clever ad libs for 3+ player. This is the perfect party game for a rowdy night in or after a crazy night out. You make the stories; where the game goes is entirely up to you! What is your Alibi?
One player is The Detective; they are the judge, jury, and executioner. They are also the scorekeeper. The Detective's job is to interrogate each suspect and dissect their alibis to determine who is most guilty. The remaining players are the suspects. The suspects are trying to make sure they don't have the most points of guilt at the end of the game. The player with the most points of guilt loses, the others win.
Alibi is designed to be played by 3-5 players, one of whom plays as the Detective. First, the Detective picks a crime that was committed. Perhaps it was a murder? Or maybe someone stole his/her newspaper that morning? The Detectivethen shuffles up the deck and deals out the opening hands. At the beginning of the game each player starts off with 3 cards. The game operates around a 24-hour clock and is played in rounds, starting with Round 1 at 11:00 (11 am). Round 2 is 12:00 (12 pm), Round 3 is 13:00 (1 pm), Round 4 is 14:00 (2 pm) and so on.
At the beginning of their turn each player draws a card, plus any additional cards earned from Divine Alibis.
The Detective asks the first suspect, the player to his/her left, for their alibi of where they were at 11:00 (11 am). The suspect then draws a card and chooses which Alibi to play for the Detective. This process goes clockwise until each suspect has given an Alibi for that hour. Each round is a new hour, so that Round 2 is at 12:00. The first suspect also rotates clockwise each turn, so that player one starts Round 1, player two starts Round 2, and so on. Players must end each round with 3 cards in their hand and must draw/discard accordingly. When there are no more cards in the deck players no longer discard.
There are two types of cards, Alibis and Slams.
Alibi Cards are played by the suspects to formulate an innocent, believable story for the Detective. When the Detective asks where a suspect was, that suspect plays an Alibi card which states where they were, what they were doing, and who they saw. There are three different Alibi cards:
Typical Alibis (Blue) - A Typical Alibi could be the truth or a lie, but that's up to the Detective to decide. It may conflict with other alibis and has no other effect.
Divine Alibis (Orange) - Divine Alibis grant the player +1 card draw at their next upkeep. They have no more influence or power than Typical Alibis.
Trump Alibis (Green) - Trump Alibis are 100% true Alibis. The Detective can issue a point of guilt to any player whose Alibi conflicts with a Trump Alibi that turn. Trump Alibis are only Trump if played at the time indicated on the bottom of the card; if played at any other time they are Typical Alibis.
Slam Cards can be played at any point in the game, regardless of whose turn it is. In addition to their individual card effects all Slams also grant an immediate +1 card draw. Players can only play one Slam each turn and up to 3 Slams per round. The Witness Statement Slams cannot be played when a Trump Alibi is in play, and only one Witness Statement may be played per round. Witness Statements are trumped by conflicting Trump Alibis and the player of the Witness Statement is issue a Point of Guilt.
There may be Conflicting Information in the Alibis played on any given turn. It is up to the discretion of the Detective to determine who receives points of guilt, unless an Alibi was trumped. Multiple players may receive a point of guilt on a turn.
If two or more players play Alibis with the same location on the same turn, it is considered a Corroborated Story, even if they didn’t see the same witnesses. If a Trump Alibi is played against a corroborated story, all corroborators earn two Points of Guilt. Trump Alibis cannot be a part of a corroborated story, and will trump other Alibis at the same location.
It is the job of the Detective to question suspicious Alibis and Conflicting Information, though players are encouraged to argue the validity of their Alibi. If an Alibi doesn't "fit" in a suspect's story the Detective should ask the suspect to elaborate. If the suspect cannot come up with a satisfactory explanation, the Detective can issue them a point of guilt. Points of Guilt can also be issued retrospectively in the event that an Alibi seems suspicious, but there is not enough information to issue a Point of Guilt.
The Detective ends the game once any player runs out of cards, and the deck is empty. The player with the most points loses. Ties are allowed in which case all tied players are deemed Partners In Losing.