Spy Alley (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

In this game of bluffing and deduction, your goal is to guess which countries your opponents are from, all while trying to conceal your own identity. In these Spy Alley rules, you will learn all the tips and tricks you need to play the game!

In Spy Alley, your goal is to obtain all of your spy’s items and return them to your country’s embassy. However, every spy in the game is watching your every move, so you must trick them into thinking you work for another country. 

Can you get to your embassy before someone blows your cover? Or will you win by revealing everyone else’s identity first? Find out by playing Spy Alley!

This Spy Alley rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Spy Alley?
  • What you’ll need to play Spy Alley
  • Spy Alley rules
  • How to win Spy Alley
  • FAQs
  • Similar game guides

Find out how to play Spy Alley by reading more below!

What is Spy Alley?

Spy Alley Board Game Info image

Spy Alley is a game of deduction and bluffing. You must be the first player to obtain all the items needed for your spy without giving away your identity to the other players. You can also win by being the last person remaining in play!

Number of players: 2-6

Ages: 8+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of play: 45 min

Category: Board, bluffing, deduction, player elimination

Similar to: Spyfall, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Codenames

Main Objective: Be the first player to obtain every spy item for your assigned spy or be the last player remaining in the game if all others have been eliminated.

Why We Love It: We love the mystery of who each player is secretly acting as and that you must use deduction and bluffing skills to win!

What You’ll Need to Play

Everything you need to play Spy Alley can be found in the box:

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The following components can be found inside each game:

  • Game Board
  • 6 Spy Identification cards
  • 6 Score cards with pegs
  • 6 Pawns
  • 1 Die
  • Play money
  • Free Gift and Move cards

Spy Alley Rules

Game Setup

  1. Place the game board on the table within reach of all players. Take the play money, move cards, free gift cards, and pegs out of the box and place them within reach around the game board.
  2. Each player chooses a colored pawn they would like to play with and places it on the “Start” space.
  3. The Spy Identification cards get shuffled, and each player is dealt one card. This identification card shows your secret identity and must be kept secret the entire game or until someone correctly guesses your identity.
  4. Provide each player with a scorecard. When you purchase an item during the game, you will place pegs in the holes on the scorecard to signify which item was purchased. The scorecard must always be in clear view for all players to see.
  5. Provide each player with play money as follows:
  • 2 players = $20 each
  • 3 players = $30 each
  • 4 players = $40 each 
  • 5 players = $50 each
  • 6 players = $60 each

You are now ready to play a game of Spy Alley!

How to Play Spy Alley

Determine who takes the first turn by having each player roll a die. The person who rolls the highest starts the game. Players take turns in clockwise order.

On your turn, you have two options:

  1. Roll a die (or use a move card if you have one) and move the number of spaces shown. Depending on which space you land on, you have the option of performing that space’s action (scroll down for further explanation on spaces).
  2. You may choose to guess another player’s identity. There are two ways to perform this step:
  3. Instead of rolling, simply select a player and state aloud which secret identity you think they have.
  • If you are correct, that player is eliminated!
  • If you are incorrect, YOU are eliminated!

The eliminated player’s possessions (money, cards, and items collected on their scorecard) and their Spy identification card is collected by the player that either correctly accused the eliminated person or the possessions go to the person that was falsely accused (and not eliminated).

The player who obtained the eliminated person’s possessions may choose to switch their identity with the identity of that person who was eliminated. That person must put aside the unused identification card without others seeing it.

4. You may also move your pawn onto the Spy Eliminator space in Spy Alley. When landing on this space, you can make an accusation of another player’s identity who is also located in Spy Alley (only).

If you are incorrect, you do not suffer any penalty and stay in the game. If you guess right, that accused player is eliminated from the game.

Space Descriptions

You may perform the following actions when landing on these spaces:

Black Market: Purchase any one item of your choice by paying the cost labeled on the scorecard.

Border Crossing: Pay the bank $5. If you cannot, you must move your pawn to Spy Alley.

Confiscate Materials: Take any one item from another player’s possessions. You must pay that person the amount labeled for that item on this space. You may not take an item you already have in possession unless it is a Wild Card.

Disguises/Keys/Code Books: Purchase as many of these items as you can afford when you land on the corresponding space. If you purchase an item, place a peg in the row of that item and in the column for whichever spy you want to designate that item to.

NOTE: Your goal is to confuse the other players so they can’t guess your identity. If you place every item under your secret spy identity, the other players will suspect that’s who you are.

Passwords: Pay $1 to obtain the password for the country of the space you are currently on.

Embassy: If you have collected all of your secret spy’s items, make your way into Spy Alley and land on your country’s embassy space. You win the game!

Free Gift: Draw the top card of the Free Gift card pile. You may collect the item shown (if it isn’t already in your possession), then put the used card on the bottom of the deck.

If you draw a Wild Card (there are only 4 in the deck), you can keep it face up next to your scorecard. You do not need to state which item you are using the Wild Card for until the end of the game.

Move Card: Pick up a Move card and place it face up in front of you for all players to see. You may use this card on your turn instead of rolling the die. Once the card has been used, it gets placed at the bottom of the Move card deck.

Spy Alley Entrance: If you land on this space, you must move into Spy Alley at the start of your next turn. If you move over this space while moving your pawn, you have the option of going into Spy Alley or continuing around the game board.

Spy Eliminator: Guess another player’s identity without suffering a penalty if you guess incorrectly (explained in detail above).

Start Space: When a player lands on or passes this space, they collect $15.

How to Win Spy Alley

To win a game of Spy Alley, you must meet one of two conditions:

  • Be the first player to reach your spy’s embassy space with ALL of your spy items collected for that spy.
  • Be the last remaining spy in the game after all other players have been eliminated.

Video Tutorial for Spy Alley

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter which color pawn players use in Spy Alley?

No, it does not. Pawn colors should be picked before being assigned a spy, it will just be a coincidence if you happen to be the same color as the spy you were assigned.

What is the ideal amount of players?

It’s recommended that a game is played with 4 players, but the game can still be enjoyed with as little as 2 and as many as 6.

Is Spy Alley a hard game to play?

Spy Alley is a simple game and is not considered “hard.” It may be challenging at times, but most players get the hang of it once gameplay starts.

Other Similar Games to Spy Alley (Our Guides)

If you enjoyed reading about Spy Alley, check out these similar game guides (if we have covered them):

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