(Re)discover our mini games #4: NESSOS

Diary of a Mini-Gamer: Nessos


And so this weirdo approaches me with the Nessos box in his hands…


-Here, this box is for you. Do you know what’s inside?

- Duh, Nessos.

- You sure?minautore lefty

- Hum, yeah, it’s literally written on the box. N E S S O S. So, yeah, Nessos

- So that’s enough to convince you, huh?

- What do you mean?

- Well I could have put a different game in the box for all you know. 

- Well, okay, but if the box says Nessos then it’s Nessos, isn’t it?

- So, will you take it?

- What do you mean, I’ll take it? I guess yeah. Is it Nessos?

- I mean yeah it’s written on the box. Let’s say it’s probably Nessos. So you’ll take it?

- Hum… I… I guess… Hum…

- Beware! If you give me the wrong answer, The God of the Underworld will come visit you…

- Hum… Help? Anybody?


“I have a present for you!”


In Nessos, we exchange presents. And that’s pretty cool. But we can lie about the value of the present and that’s even cooler. Why? For two reasons. The first one is that we’d like to unload the god of the underworld card instead of a present. That’s an excellent reason. 

The second one is that we’d like our opponent to think we’re lying so we can get our present back. And that, friends, is an ever better reason. 

« They don't know we know they know we know ! »

In Nessos, you need to have more points than your opponents, or you need to do everything to kick them out of the game. Each turn, the player who has Nessos’ amphora offers cards to the other players. If the card has a numbered value, he has to say exactly what it is. If it’s Charon, Hades’ ferryman, they can make up whatever value they want. 

The player offered the card can take the card, leave it or offer a second card as well as what the card’s value is. The new card is offered to another player who has the same three options. Once the offer has added up three cards, it can only be accepted or turned down by the player who made the offer. It’s up to you to find out who lied and who didn’t and whether there’s a ferryman among the cards offered. If you get three Charon cards, you’re out of the game. 

As for the cards with a numbered value, you place them in front of you, face up, to accumulate as many points as possible. If you reach 40 points, you’ve won the game!

A whole lot of bluffing (with a side of bluff)!

You get the point, in Nessos you’ve got to lie without getting caught, all the while making sure you know who you're talking to. If all the players have 5s placed in front of them and you proudly announce your card’s value to be 5, they’ll get suspicious. However, you’ve still got the same three choices. Accept the offer. Send it back. Outbid it. You can go for the 40 points or by straight up getting rid of the other players. So, what’s your style?

Nessos is a bluffing game where you got to bluff, bluff your bluffing, pretend you’re bluffing when actually you’re totally not bluffing, or maybe you are? Telling the truth is sometimes the best way of making people think you’re lying. You know what I mean. So much suspicion and paranoia in such a small box (sumptuously illustrated by Miguel Coimbra) is quite a feat! Nessos is an exhilarating bluffing lesson that will test your patience. And boy does that feel good!


MSRP $14.99 - Players 3 to 6 - Age 8+ - Play time 20 minutes

Designed by Takaaki Sayama et Toshiki Arao, illustrated by Miguel Coimbra

{Contest! You read this whole article? Well, you are a true Mini Gamer! To try to win the mini game of your choice, comment on the Facebook post for this article with the title of the game you really want but backwards, so that it’ll stay between us!  (time bomb evolution = noitulove bmob emit, high risk = ksir ghih, etc.) Random draw 08/25/2020: Good luck to you all!}