Death Note Confrontation Review - Header

Death Note Confrontation Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Death Note Confrontation Review - CoverDesigners: Jordan Goddard, Mandy Goddard
Publisher: IDW Games
Year: 2018
MSRP: $29.99
Players: 2
Play Time: 30 Min
Ages: 16+
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Death Note: Confrontation

Prelude

Based on the popular Manga/Anime, Death Note: Confrontation pits the series main characters Kira (Light Yagami) and L against each other as L tries to figure out Kira’s identity to stop his killing spree. It’s a game of cat and mouse as L narrows down his list of suspects and Kira tries as best as he can to throw L off his trail. Death Note: Confrontation utilizes two different notebooks that players use to mark their progress in the game.

Play

At the start of the game, each player takes the role of either Kira or L, taking the corresponding notebook, an Area Template and an A/B Token matching their notebook’s color. L will also take the Suspect Card Deck and Investigation Card Deck based on the Chapter being played (Chapter 1 is the basic game while Chapter 2 is the advanced game.) A Suspect Card is drawn at random by Kira and kept secret and Kira marks his home territory in his notebook using the Area Template by finding the square with the matching Suspect letter and centering the template there.

Death Note Confrontation Review - Notebooks

Each round (in Chapter 1) contains a Day Phase and a Night Phase. During the Day L will flip an Invesigation Card face up, revealing two methods in which a murder was committed labeled A and B. Each player will secretly choose A or B with their tokens and simultaneously reveal them. If both players reveal the same letter L has successfully prevented a murder and may draw a Suspect Card and rule that suspect out of the invesigation, crossing them out in his notebook. If the letters do not match Kira has successfully made a kill and scores the number of points listed on the murder method he chose.

During the Night Phase, L will roll the game’s 3 dice, choosing 3 numbered locations on the map matching the symbols on the dice, recording them in his notebook, and announcing the locations to Kira. Kira will then announce which square on the map he commits his murder. Kira may kill freely in his home territory but only may make 2 kills outside this area. L crosses out the murder on his map, trying to pinpoint Kira’s location. If at any point Kira has made his two regional kills and can’t make a kill because all of L’s choices are outside his home location it’s considered a Quiet Night. If three of these occur over the course of the game the case has gone cold and Kira wins. If at any point Kira has 15 points worth of kills at the end of L’s turn he wins the game whereas L wins the game if he can figure out Kira’s location successfully.

The advanced game is a bit more involved, but the above covers the basics needed to play the game. To learn more about the advanced rules, check the full rules.

Pieces

Death Note Confrontation Review - Contents

  • Box 👍
  • Rules 👍
  • Notebooks ⭐️
  • Cards 👍
  • Dice 👍
  • A/B Tokens 👍
  • Area Templates 👍

(👍 = Good, 👎 = Bad, ⭐️ = Exceptional)

Perspective

Death Note: Confrontation is an excellent game of tension and deduction for 2 players utilizing both a simple set of rules and a unique component set that really meld well into an utterly satisfying and tactile experience. The Chapter 1 rules are excellent for introducing new players, but the real meat of the game comes with each player’s special abilities, expanded map, and slightly different endgame conditions with the Chapter 2 rules. Here Kira can bribe the demon Ryuk with apples for different special abilities or points while L can interrogate suspects to earn an extra Quiet Night or to eliminate more suspects from his investigation.

Both deductive reasoning and the ability to read your opponent are needed to for either player to win, yet each phase gives players who may be weak in either of those areas a chance to still succeed. It’s a balanced asymmetry if that makes any sense. My only fear with Death Note is for when I run out of pages in each players’ notebooks!  I need to find a way to coat at least one page from each Chapter so I can use wet/dry erase markers on them.

A copy of Death Note: Confrontation was provided for free by IDW Games

13 March 2018, Confrontation Contents, JPEG, Fandon Death Note Wiki,23 August 2018
<http://deathnote.wikia.com/wiki/File:Confrontation_contents.jpg>

Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.

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