Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth or Bluff – Japanime Games – Review

This is a very cool party game. It was an easy setup, interesting gameplay and not lengthy.

Mary Crabtree

MeepleGamers

6.375/10

Theme and What is it?

6/10

Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth or Bluff is a hilarious party game of deception and misdirection featuring super-deformed caricatures of your favourite Sailor Moon Crystal guardians!

Gameplay Mechanics

7/10

The mechanisms in this game are easy. Based on player count, you place certain character tiles into the bag and each player draws so many. You should keep your character tiles hidden from the other players.

On your turn, you will choose one of your character tiles and place it facedown and give to an opponent. You will state which character it is. This is where you may tell the truth or bluff.

That player then has two choices, they may initiate a challenge by saying “truth or bluff”. Whoever loses the challenge, gains the character face-up in front of them and whoever wins the challenge, gains a success token. Success Tokens range from 1 to 3 points for end game.

The second choice is the player may “Look and Pass”. They then look at the character on the tile and then repeat the process by sliding it to another player and they may do the same thing, tell the truth or bluff. They may even state a different character than the previous player.

This continues this way until a challenge is made or it reaches the last player who must then be forced to initiate a challenge. The tile can never return to a player who has already received it.

There are various end game conditions that are chosen at the beginning. These comprise of different combinations of tiles that can trigger end game if they are face up in front of you. If you are the player that triggers end game, you are out and do not count your success tokens for end game score. So, the key is to not have any character tiles in front of you and a lot of success tokens to win!

Initial Impressions

1/10

I am not a fan of anime so I was completely unfamiliar with the theme. This aspect made me uninterested.

Game Build Quality

8/10

The game comes with all the character tiles and success tokens which are pretty sturdy. Also included are player trays for the character tiles to sit upright in front of the player. These are typical black plastic trays. Overtime, these could fall apart from a lot of use.

Artistic Direction

5/10

If you are familiar with the Sailor Moon anime, you will recognize the characters. So, there is really no artwork.

Fun Factor

7/10

We had a lot of fun with this game. We made it super chaotic by changing characters every time we looked and passed. It was hard to determine who was bluffing or telling the truth most of the time. Towards the end, we had figured out certain tells.

Age Range & Weight

10/10

The publisher suggests 10+ and I agree. This game is not overly difficult. The only drawback was that if you were not familiar with Sailor Moon, you did not know the characters so you had to look at the back of the book. However, this did not interfere with gameplay too bad.

Conclusions

7/10

This is a very cool party game. It was an easy setup, interesting gameplay and not lengthy.

The Sailor Moon theme is not really incorporated into the gameplay so if you are looking for that, this is not it. This game could have had any theme and played the same.

My only negative, is that towards the end of the game, it was easy to determine if there was any bluffing based on the characters face-up because there are so many characters available in play. If you were an older player, you could use deduction to figure out if it was a truth or a bluff. Maybe this was the intent.

Overall, it is a solid game.