June 12, 2018
The world’s cutest social deduction game has arrived on Kickstarter, with Jellybean Games launching the campaign for Hidden Panda, a hidden roles game for 5-8 players of all ages.
“I love social deduction games, but they always have such dark themes.”
said the designer, Peter C. Hayward. “Dystopian governments, witch hunts,
the criminal underworld… I wanted to make a game that you could play with
your kids, or anyone who enjoys a more upbeat theme. There’s no
werewolves or murder in this game; it’s about collecting baby pandas, and
Grandma handing out tea.”
From the designer of Dracula’s Feast and The Lady and the Tiger, ?with stunning art provided by Kelly Jo (Scuttle!, Ninjitsu), the bright colors and light-hearted theme breathe fresh air into the typically-gloomy genre.
“We told Kelly we wanted to break records in cute. As soon as she got to
work, we knew we’d made the right choice. My favorite piece of art in the
game is the ‘5 baby pandas’ token, which shows them lolling about in a
panda cuddle puddle. It’s impossible not to fall in love with it.”
As with all Jellybean Games, the rules are straightforward and easy to learn. Everyone is randomly given a role: If you’re a Panda, Keeper, or Grandma, you’re on the Panda Team. If you’re a Bandit, you’re on the Bandit Team. Only some players on the Panda team know who’s on their team, while each Bandit only knows their own role. Grandma plays face-up for the entire game; her role is to try to get baby pandas to her fellow teammates without giving their roles away. This unique addition to social deduction makes it perfect for family play – the Grandma role can be given to an adult to help guide younger players.
On their turn, each player hands out 3 baby pandas to other players. Then, they give one other player a piece of bamboo. When a player has 3 pieces of bamboo in front of them, everyone votes
on whether or not they should be netted. Netted players have their baby pandas taken away. If all the Pandas are ever netted, the Bandit team immediately wins. Otherwise, once everyone has
taken two turns, the team with the most baby pandas wins!
The game contains 8 role cards, 45 baby panda tokens, 16 bamboo tokens, 6 net tokens, and 1 cup of tea token. Kickstarter backers will get a free, exclusive set of wooden baby panda tokens.
A free print-and-play version of the game is available on the publisher’s website, jellybean.games