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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Subdefuge (2017) is a strategy game played with human opponents. The game is designed to be played over a week or so, to give players time to talk between goes. This encourages players to team up, trick or double-cross other players to get them to make the move to their advantage. It's like the board game Diplomacy but with the complex mechanics handled in a beautifully simple interface.

The game takes place in an underwater world where players use diplomacy and tactics to defeat their opponents. It features minimalist art, except for the specialist portraits, which were drawn by Shane Nakamura.

Players check in a few times each day to assess their situation, issue or modify orders, and engage their fellow players in that diplomacy. You will need to master both strategy and diplomacy to earn your victory, so plan ahead, coordinate with others, and carefully consider the consequences of your actions.

Players don't have to play at the same time to progress the game. Instead, there is a time machine mechanic that lets you issue orders and see them play out. Unlike the board game, this offers a simple visual way to see plans play out and encourages more complex strategies.

The game offers good introduction tutorials and tactical puzzles to help players learn how the game works and the likely results of different strategies.

It's a game you need to play with people who are old enough, and robust enough, to be happy to lie to each other and be lied to. This exposes the enjoyment at the heart of many games: the interactions between the players in the real world rather than the action on the screen.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Subdefuge 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 10 weeks ago.
There are lots of games similar to Subdefuge. Here are some we picked for you:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Battle, Communication and Strategy game with Puzzle and Simulation elements. You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 10-player online game. You need 4 players for a good game because of the player interactions and double-crossing.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: It takes between half an hour and 1 hour to play a round of this game. Executing orders in the game doesn't take a long time, but players can spend many hours strategising and discussing their moves with teammates or opponents.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game has been rated PEGI 3.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Account Rating

You don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online.


There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
After completing level 1 challenges you pay for unlocking the rest of the game. 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 07/03/2017

Out Now: Android and iOS

Players: 1-2 (10 online)

Genres: Battle, Communication, Strategy (Puzzle and Simulation)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 2D Side-On, Open World and Text

Developer: Ron Carmel (@RonCarmel)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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