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  • Writer's pictureJared Neal

Similo - Hidden In Plain Sight

Similo - Hidden In Plain Sight

Retail Price: $10

Player Count: 2-8 (best at 2-4)

Age Range: 7+ (3+ in our experience)

Play Time: 10-15 mins. (consistent with our experience)

Complexity: 2 out of 10 (consistent with our experience)

Mechanisms: Cooperative Game, Deduction, Limited Communication

Designer: Martino Chiacchiera, Hjalmar Hach, Pierluca Zizzi

Artist: Xavier Gueniffey Durin

Publisher: Horrible Guild

Educational Value:

  • Deductive reasoning

  • Effective communication

  • Teamwork

Flavor Text/Overview:

“Your goal is to make the other players guess one secret character (out of the twelve characters on display in the middle of the table) by playing other character cards from your hand as clues, stating whether they are similar to or different from the secret character. After each turn, the other players must remove one or more characters from the table until only the right one remains and you win — or it is removed and you lose!”


  • Shuffle the deck of cards

  • One player draws one card, and secretly looks at it

  • Draw an additional 11 cards, and shuffle them together

  • Place 3 rows of 4 cards face up in the middle of the table

  • Deal 5 cards to the clue giver, from the remaining deck


Standard Game:

In Similo, one player (“clue giver”) selects a secret card during setup, and then deals it out with 11 other cards into a 3 by 4 grid in the center of the table. Then the clue giver plays one of the 5 cards in their hand to the table, vertically if it is similar to their secret card in some way, or horizontally if it is different than their secret card in some way. The other players ("guessers") will then discuss the clue given, and will select a card to eliminate. The clue giver may not give any clues or hints as to what their clue card means, or how it relates to the secret card, other than it being designated as either similar or different. If the guessers don’t eliminate the secret card, play continues into the second round. The clue giver then draws back to five cards, and will choose another card to play to the table as either similar or different from their secret card. This process continues with the clue giver giving a clue, and the guessers eliminating cards in each round as summarized below:

  • Round 1 - eliminate 1 card

  • Round 2 - eliminate 2 cards

  • Round 3 - eliminate 3 cards

  • Round 4 - eliminate 4 cards

  • Round 5 - make your final guess between the two remaining cards

At any point if the secret card is eliminated, the game ends and all players lose. If the guessers are able to guess the correct card in the last round, then everyone wins the game.

Game Variants:

There are several different decks of Similo available (6 decks so far, listed below), and there are lots of fun ways to mix and match.

To Decrease Difficulty

  • Have the clue giver draw all 12 cards, as well as their hand of clues, and then they can select which card they want to use as a secret card.

  • Allow the clue giver to give more than one clue per turn

To Increase Difficulty

  • Mix two or more decks together, and just play as normal.

  • Use one deck to form your grid on the table, and a different deck to give clues.

  • Expand your grid to 4 by 4, and have the guessers select one additional card to eliminate in each round.

Different Decks

  • Animals

  • Fables

  • History

  • Myths

  • Spookies

  • Wild Animals


Similo is not a deep strategic game by any means, and the luck of what cards you draw into your hand can have an impact on the difficulty of the game. However, the gameplay here is largely about the clue giver and guessers learning to adapt to the style of the other. In that vein, I would definitely describe this game as more strategic than lucky, as especially the clue giver has to determine how to make the best out of the unique clue cards they are given, based on how they expect the guessers will read into their clues.


Each deck of Similo just consists of 30 tarot style cards, that are excellent quality cards. The real thing that stands out here, is the artwork in each deck is absolutely amazing. With such a wide variety of decks, there really should be something for each audience, but the artwork in every deck is really phenomenal.


Other than as expressed through the artwork, there really isn’t any theme to speak of in this game. The one thing I will add here, is that there is tiny print down the side of each card, that adds some fun information about each character.

Replayability/Fun Factor:

I will preface this by saying I have never had a game of this that wasn’t widely enjoyed by the group playing it, but this game is largely group dependent. The biggest element of this game being successful, is the ability of the clue giver and guessers to be on the same page about what different clues mean. However, some of the most fun experiences we have had with this game, are when things don’t go right, and it devolves into a lot of laughing and asking how in the world someone expected everyone else to understand a clue they gave, or how the guessers missed the clue that was given. Generally this game is also extended by the fact that everyone wants to have a turn as the clue giver. This is a great game to break out when you have a few minutes of downtime, in between bigger more complex games, or as a fun activity at a party or gathering. It isn’t a game that we usually play for extended periods of time all at once, but it is almost always a blast to break out for 4 or 5 quick games in succession. We have multiple decks, but even with a single deck this game has a whole lot of replayability, due to it being so group dependent.


Similo is probably our favorite filler game, as it is just so easy to teach, and a quick and fun experience with just about any audience. It could probably be classified as an “activity” as much as it is a “game”, but it has been a hit with every group we have played it with. Additionally, I think it is a great game for an ice breaker or team building experience, as it requires you to really try and get in sync with the other players, as you are all working together to try and win. There is no real text in this game, and the premise is very simple, and so we have played this very successfully with players as young as 3. The clue giver does require a little more understanding of strategy, and so it wasn’t until my son was 4 that he was able to handle that role independently. We highly recommend this game for all audiences.

+ Easy to learn

+ Quick to play

+ High replayability

+ Beautiful Artwork

- Can get repetitive over multiple plays in one sitting

- Can be lucky at times

Final Score:

Jared - 8.0

Abigail - 8.0

Other Games You Might Like:

This game was purchased from my friendly local game store, and is available here. This isn't an affiliate link, but just my way of trying to support my FLGS, who carry great games at even better prices.

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