Whether it’s Werewolf, Mafia, Town of Salem or just in real life, I am no stranger to lying to my friends. Sorry, guys. But I especially love these turn-by-turn games where deceit is all around.
Throne of Lies, a PC game from Imperium42 Game Studio, is in the mould of one of these games. Subtitled ‘the Online Game of Deceit’, players take either the role of the ‘Unseen’, or the ‘Blue Dragon’. In this case ‘the Unseen’ is the mafia, if you will, and everyone else are members of the Blue Dragon; those sworn to protect the realm. If you have played games of this genre then you will know that turn by turn, each role has actions to either investigate fellow players or kill them off. The Blue Dragon must work together to find the Unseen, and to convict them for treason.
However, Throne of Lies is very complex. It has all you’d come to expect of games of its genre but it adds so much more. On paper, those additions sound like a great thing – who doesn’t like getting more? – but it can be a double-edged sword. Throne of Lies knows its audience well; there are a lot of tweaks to make life a little bit easier for veteran players, such as a default night-by-night layout in your logbook. But these added elements means its hard for anyone but stalwart veterans to keep up with what’s going on.
I suppose that’s both the appeal and the problem with Throne of Lies. It’s the perfect game for those who love this genre and want to be challenged by something new. If you want to truly get into a mystery – and I mean really get into it – Throne of Lies is excellent. However, if you’re a casual player or unfamiliar with the genre, its complexity makes it incredibly inaccessible. Basically, if you’ve exhausted your fun with Town of Salem or Werewolf, then head straight over to Throne of Lies. If not, I’d stay away.