Mantis Falls is a highly interactive and strategic2-3 player hidden traitor game. As wary companions, players must use hand management, cooperation and deception to protect themselves, and each other, on a dark and dangerous journey.
On the shadowed film-noir roads of a mob-ruled mountain town named Mantis Falls, you have witnessed something not meant to be seen and now must escape town. You are told another witness will join you, and you expect your greatest chance at survival will come if you can contend with the dangers of this night together. But with each harmful event and every fresh wound, your doubts grow. Looking into your companion's eyes you wonder, perhaps too late, if this person is here to kill you.
By use of hidden role cards, Mantis Falls is a “sometimes cooperative" game. A game may have only witnesses, in which case players can win only if they all escape together. Or there could secretly be an assassin, carefully protecting the illusion of collaboration until the right moment to strike.
Unlike semi-cooperative games with multi-tiered win objectives or tabulations of points, Mantis Falls presents a simplicity of purpose: Survival. And this challenge exists in equal and high measure for all players. When there are only witnesses, players will need to repeatedly perform acts of generosity and sacrifice even as "unseen" events and double-edged action cards chip away at their fragile alliance. Players tasked with the role of assassin can survive only with cunning and deception, forever cautious of the powerful but tenuous ability of witnesses to call in a hit on those they no longer trust.
Mantis Falls combines hand-building and combo-driven card-play with player communication. During every turn, players discuss tactics, defend choices and bluff their way through carefully guarded secrets. Witnesses and assassins alike must walk the line between a willingness to help their companion and a readiness to kill, reading each other as much as the dangers of the road.
With a variable board, hidden maximum player health, uncertain win conditions, and three optional add-on modules to complement the base game, each journey through Mantis Falls is unique. More importantly, the degree of interaction means that the personalities and relationships among players have the power to meaningfully transform every game.