Best Secret Missions Board Games of 2024: Top 7 Picks

Discover the thrill of secret missions with games like Codenames and The Resistance, perfect for friends seeking undercover adventures.
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Codenames coverThe Resistance coverSpyfall cover

Hey, fellow gamers! Are you ready for a night of sneaky plays and hidden agendas? We’ve scoured the board game world to bring you the 7 best games focused on ‘secret missions’. Our picks aren’t just about the thrill of the chase; they’re about strategy, deception, and, most importantly, the fun of outsmarting your friends. Whether you’re transmitting covert clues, uncovering spies, or solving mysteries, each game promises a unique blend of challenge and entertainment. So, gather your crew, because we’re about to embark on a journey filled with intrigue and surprise, all in the name of ‘secret missions’.

On this list:

7 Codenames

Codenames cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-8
  • Play Time: 15 min

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So, Codenames hits our list first because it’s like the ultimate party game with a twist of ‘secret missions’. You split into two teams, and each team’s spymaster knows the identities of 25 agents. These folks are giving one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. The teammates gotta guess which words their spymaster meant. Talk about a brain teaser wrapped in a mystery. We’ve had some hilarious guesses in our game nights, making it a favorite.

6 The Resistance

The Resistance cover

  • Age Range: 13+
  • Players: 5-10
  • Play Time: 30 min

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Here’s why The Resistance rocks: it’s all about secret identities, deduction, and deception. You’re part of a rebellion trying to overthrow the government, but there are spies among you. The catch? You don’t know who they are. Every mission becomes a nail-biting experience of trust and betrayal. We’ve played this one so many times, and it never gets old. Plus, the accusing look when you get outed as a spy? Priceless.

5 Spyfall

Spyfall cover

  • Age Range: 13+
  • Players: 3-8
  • Play Time: 15 min

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Imagine being dropped in a location with a role, except one of you has no clue where you are. That’s Spyfall. Players ask each other questions to figure out who the spy is, while the spy tries to catch on to where they are. It’s a game of wits, and let me tell you, trying to stay incognito as the spy gets intense. We’ve had rounds that ended in total shock when the spy guessed the location right.

4 Secret Hitler

Secret Hitler cover

  • Age Range: 17+
  • Players: 5-10
  • Play Time: 45 min

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Talk about a game of political intrigue. In Secret Hitler, players are secretly divided into two teams – liberals and fascists – with the fascists aiming to install their secretive leader. The tension it creates, figuring out who’s who while passing policies that benefit your side, is unmatched. Every time we play, it’s a rollercoaster of accusations and defenses, making every session unique and thrilling.

3 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-8
  • Play Time: 90 min

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This one’s a bit different. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective isn’t about finding the spy among you but rather solving mysteries together. You’re given maps, newspapers, and case books to solve the crimes across London. The secret mission? Unraveling the clues before Sherlock does. It’s a game that tests your deduction skills to the max. Plus, it makes you feel like a real detective, which is pretty cool.

2 Mysterium

Mysterium cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-7
  • Play Time: 42 min

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Mysterium blends secret missions with a supernatural twist. One player is the ghost, giving silent clues to the others (psychics) to solve their murder. The catch? Communication happens through visions – cards that are often abstract and open to interpretation. The discussions and deductions this game sparks are always a highlight. Seeing friends debate over the meaning of a dreamlike image is as amusing as it gets.

1 Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter cover

  • Age Range: 13+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 100 min

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Dead of Winter stands out as the best in the ‘secret missions’ theme because it combines survival with betrayal. Each player has a secret mission which might conflict with the group’s goals. You’re fighting off zombies and the cold, but also the suspicion that your friends might be working against the group’s interests. The atmosphere it creates is tense and immersive. Every decision feels weighty, making it not just a game, but an experience. That’s why it’s our top pick.

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.