Last Message is a party game of drawing and murder… Intrigued? In Last Message one player has been killed and is leaving behind clues pointing to their killer. Another player takes on the role of the killer trying to cover their tracks. All other players in the game are investigators trying to help catch the killer.
That description really makes this game sound more serious than it is. It’s a light hearted drawing/guessing game for three or more players. To start the game you choose one of six different maps, each of these are “Where’s Wally?” style pictures from different board game artists and they feature hundreds of different figures.
The murderer and the victim both sit behind a screen and the game begins with the murderer secretly choosing which figure in the picture did the dastardly deed. The victim then has 15 seconds, as timed by an egg timer, to write or draw clues to lead the investigators to the right person.
Easy enough, but before they hand their final message over the killer gets to erase 5 boxes of information from the message. The other players then study the image and make a guess based on what clues remain.
Then simply rinse and repeat this process three more times with the killer removing one fewer boxes from the message each time.
The drawer in this game is easily under the most pressure, as 15 seconds to fill a whiteboard with pertinent information is a minuscule amount of time, even if you are a fantastic drawer. I would argue even with 2 flips of the timer the game would still be difficult. Writing words certainly makes it easier than drawing pictures but that also takes away some of what makes the game fun in my opinion.
While the game is amusing and the plays we have had over the holidays have given us some laughs, there is definitely an imbalance in how much each player is actually playing in the game. The victim and the murder are infinitely more involved in what is happening than the investigators, although the investigators turns can take much longer to finish.
With no scoring system, Last Message is much more of an activity than a game, but with the right group it can be a lot of fun, especially the early rounds where more often than not your "last message" is almost blank!
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