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"Snake In The Grass" is a unique game show for so many reasons: The gorgeous setting in Costa Rica, the challenges that involve physical feats of daring as well as mental acuity, and, of course, the fact that one member on the team is sabotaging the others.
That's right: In "Snake In The Grass," premiering Monday, August 1 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT, four players are brought into the jungles of Costa Rica for 36 hours. They must complete various challenges to obtain clues — clues that help reveal which one of the four is the Snake, aka the person sabotaging them during challenges. If, at the end, the three players correctly identify the Snake together, they win $100,000. If not, the Snake walks away with the grand prize.
It's an exciting show to watch — so exciting many viewers will wish they could play a game like "Snake In The Grass" at home. The good news is, you can play similar party games at home (after you finish watching and guessing along with the players who the Snake is, that is!).
In Werewolf, everyone has a role. One person is the narrator who keeps the game moving, but the other roles? Totally secret from each other. You see, some of you are just mere villagers, while a few of you are werewolves who will be feasting on their remains. Sort of. When the narrator declares it "night," everyone shuts their eyes and the werewolves silently select their victim. Then, when the villagers "wake up" and find out who's been eaten, the group tries to decide who the real werewolf is. In other versions, you'll also have a "doctor" who can save people from death or a "seer" who can guess who the werewolf is with the narrator telling them if they're right and wrong. Prepare for a lot of shouting and ridiculous arguments.
Mafia is basically Werewolf — what changes is the game's theme. If you're not interested in having seers, werewolves, and other magical creatures, this is a more grounded take. Some among you are members of the mafia, while others are a doctor or a detective. The narrator can get very creative describing the ways the mafia is taking out people in the group.
"Among Us" is slightly different because it's not played in person like other games on the list. Instead, it's an online role-playing game directly inspired by Mafia as well as the sci-fi horror classic "The Thing." It takes place on a spaceship, where most of the players are crewmates carrying out various tasks (like the players on "Snake In The Grass"!). A few, however, are imposters who are out to sabotage the mission. Players have to determine who the Imposters are and vote them out — or risk being killed by the Imposters.
"The Resistance" is a card game that, like others on the list, will inevitably lead to plenty of wild accusations and proclamations of innocence. Everyone is part of a group known as the Resistance — except one-third are actually government spies infiltrating the group. The spies all know who the others are (as in many of the games, a narrator has everyone else close their eyes as the spies open them to see one another). During each round, there is a new Mission Leader (who is maybe a spy!) who selects a certain amount of players for a mission. Everybody debates whether this mission makeup makes sense or if there are saboteurs in it. If the majority votes not to accept it, they move onto a new mission leader. Spies win by convincing the group to reject five mission ideas.
You can find a more detailed breakdown of the rules here.
The ultimate real-life example of a social deduction game is obviously the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, when a group of young people started accusing their townsfolk of being witches, leading to a string of shocking trials and executions. The dark time period has directly inspired this game, Salem 1692, which incorporates real historical figures into the game — although, in this version, some people actually are witches trying to burn Salem to the ground. People accuse one another of being witches, but must beware of wrongfully becoming accused themselves. Plus, there are special cards that actually turn people into witches. It's the perfect game for history-lovers.
This game is a little different than the other ones on the list, but it still circles around determining the odd man out in a group of people. In Wink Murder, one person is designated as the killer — and their wink is deadly. As the group mills about, the killer makes eye contact with various people and winks at them. If they've been winked out, they must count to five before "dying." If someone thinks they know who the murderer is, they can accuse somebody, but if they're wrong they die, too. The goal of the group is to stop the killer, while the killer wants to take everyone else down.
“Snake In The Grass” premieres on USA Network on Monday, August 1 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
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