We tried to identify a secret character from an array of bizarre and cute characters with limited clues in Similo, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.
Time: 10-15 Minutes
Designers: Martino Chiacchiera, Hjalmar Hach, Pierluca Zizzi
Artists: Xavier Gueniffey Durin
Publisher: Horrible Guild
Similo is a cooperative deduction game where players are trying to determine a secret character from a grid of cards. The one player who knows the identity of the secret character will play cards from their hand to indicate whether the secret character is like or unlike the newly played card, and that’s the only communication allowed from this player. The others will eliminate characters over the course of five rounds. If the secret character remains on the table at the end of the fifth round, everyone wins!
Similo is set up by shuffling the deck of character cards. Then, the Clue Giver looks at the top card and memorizes it — that becomes the secret character that everyone else is trying to leave on the table. They take that card, add another 11, shuffle them and lay them out in a grid face-up. Finally, the Clue Giver takes a hand of five cards, and play is ready to begin.
Each round, the Clue Giver will play one card from their hand, and they’ll either play it upright to indicate that the secret character is similar to it, or they’ll play it sideways to indicate the secret character is different from it. They’ll then draw a new card into their hand.
Next, the other players must choose a number of characters to eliminate from the display, based on the round number. In the first round, they eliminate one card, second round two cards, third round three cards, and fourth round four cards. Then at the beginning of the fifth round, there will be two cards left, and players need to decide which one they think is the secret character.
If the secret character is eliminated at any time, all players lose. Otherwise, if the secret character is the last card on the table at the end of the fifth round, everyone wins.
We picked this up when I saw the Spookies deck at our Friendly Local Game Store. I love Halloween and creepy-themes, and I’d been thinking about trying Similo, so it seemed like the perfect fit.
I love the silly discussions that happen at the table. We’ll say things like, “Is the creepy doll more like Cthulhu or the alien?” It’s fun to be the clue giver, hearing the players talk themselves into and out of the correct interpretation of your recently played card. I also like being a guesser, trying to figure out what the Clue Giver is trying to point us to.
Similo gives the feeling of Mysterium, but in a much faster, smaller format. This quickly became one of our most-played fillers! We often pull it out when we order dinner delivery because we can get in a game or two before it arrives!
Three Quick Questions
How is it as a 2-player game? Similo is okay at 2 players, but it’s much, much better with at least three or more. You really want that discussion to help guide the Clue Giver in their next card choices. That said, we will play this with two, so it’s not a huge barrier.
How about the art and component quality? The art is what makes this game. I love all of the different characters. The cards are decent quality, and that’s it for components!
Will this stay in my collection? Absolutely yes. We’ve also picked up a couple of additional decks so that we can play with different themes depending on our mood and the other people we’re playing with. We’ve also introduced this to non-gamers, and it’s very accessible.