Portal Games, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC, and Genuine Entertainment, announced that they have secured an agreement to produce officially licensed tabletop games set within the DC Universe featuring Batman characters.
All Batman games will feature new and inspired iterations of the story-driven, cooperative deduction game system from Portal Games’ award-winning Detective game series, delivering deeply thematic games that challenge two to four players to team up with the Caped Crusader and bring the theatrics and themes of Batman to life in a fully immersive tabletop experience.
“While many games fight like Batman, our games will challenge you to think like Batman. Every fan has dreamed of what it’d be like to stalk the Gotham City streets and solve crimes alongside the world’s greatest detective, so working with WBCP and DC on our own line of Detective cases in this iconic universe has been a dream come true for everyone involved,” says game series CEO and lead writer/designer Ignacy Trzewiczek.
The first game, Batman: Everybody Lies, will feature an original narrative in a crime-solving deduction game where players need to gather evidence and connect the facts to unravel the mystery. Fully anchored in rich comics lore, Batman: Everybody Lies challenges players to take on the roles of four key investigators – instinctive journalist Warren Spacey, tenacious reporter Vicki Vale, brutish detective Harvey Bullock, or the cunning Catwoman – who are drawn into a series of mysterious events unfolding in Gotham City for their own respective agendas, ultimately becoming unlikely allies entrusted to help thwart villains new and old as only the World’s Greatest Detective can!
Throughout the game, players must solve a series of challenging cases with a finite amount of time and resources. Players cooperatively make decisions on how to forward the investigation, as they decide to visit famous locations in Gotham City (like the Batcave, Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Penitentiary, and the Gotham City Gazette) and cross paths with well-known Batman characters (like Batman, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, and more) as they chase leads, identify suspects, and gather enough information to help save Gotham City. Yet even when these unlikely allies combine forces, their goals are not always aligned. So to capture the complexity of the comics, Portal has added a new hidden agenda mechanic to the Detective system, which assigns secret goals and unique win conditions for each player based upon which DC character they portray.
During gameplay, players will utilise a variety of physical and digital game components to solve the puzzle and steer the game narrative in fun, surprising directions – a deck of cards with essential clues and plot twists, various physical handouts, and a dedicated website with access to in-world resources from the Gotham City Gazette archives – for a truly immersive experience. The game also features another new thematic treat – Scenes – that bring memorable gameplay moments to life via original comic book illustrations that feel torn straight from the pages and panels of the beloved comics.
Beginning with an introductory Prologue designed to get players acquainted with the game rules, Batman: Everybody Lies then continues with three big cases to solve, each taking roughly two to three hours to play. Each case can be played separately as stand-alone episodes, yet should players crack all four cases, they will unravel a master narrative with an epic climax. Every scenario ends with a final report with questions verifying how well the team has investigated the case. This game format proved a commercial and critical success for Portal Games’ award-winning Detective game series, spawning a growing library of original and licensed titles selling hundreds of thousands of units worldwide in over a dozen languages since 2018.
Future games may explore other corners of the DC Universe as well as pluck inspiration from DC film and TV content. “Batman is easily one of the greatest crime-solving sandboxes ever created. So as long as there is a need for the Dark Knight in Gotham City, we can only hope to give him and our players more cases to crack in the years to come,” says Genuine Entertainment CEO Joe LeFavi, who brokered the Portal/DC deal and serves as a producer and brand manager on Portal’s tabletop game series.
Batman: Everybody Lies will debut this Spring 2022 via an epic pre-order campaign launching on 4 March with the $50 game rolling out into retail this summer.