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Designer Diary – Death Note: Confrontation

Death Note: Confrontation is out in stores now! Designers Jordan & Mandy Goddard sat down to share their thoughts about designing the game and some tips and strategies on how to outwit your opponent! Check out this Designer Diary for Death Note: Confrontation.

Murder is a tricky business. We found this out pretty quickly when we set out to design Death Note: Confrontation a little over a year ago. Now that the game is released and we have some perspective on the process we thought we would share a few of the things we learned while designing this 2-player asymmetric game of hidden roles, hidden movement, and hidden motives.

“The human whose name

is written in this note shall die.”

– The Death Note

Death Note: Confrontation is a game that is played with pen and paper in two secret notebooks. The idea of playing a game in something as inconspicuous as a notebook was integral to the game’s concept from the very beginning. It was literally the first thing we wrote down during our first brainstorming session. We love designing games with clever components and we had never seen anything that used books in this way. This early decision determined a lot of how the game would look and feel, and it set the tone for how we would approach creating a game that was compelling to Death Note fans, while still being fun and approachable to those who have never been exposed to the story.

The most common question we get these days is “Do you have to know the Death Note story to enjoy your game?” and the answer is absolutely not. Fans of the story will find lots of little things that will deepen their appreciation for the game, but at it’s heart Death Note: Confrontation is a cat & mouse game between murderer and detective. We wanted to create an experience for everyone that enjoys a good head to head puzzle. The game allows players to get in each other’s head and try to predict their opponent’s next move while using that player’s strengths and limitations against them in a way that we have never seen before.

“You can’t ever win if you’re always 

on the defensive. To win, you have to attack!”

– Detective L

It has been incredible to watch the game be released and sold around the world. Players have commented on how simple it is to learn and how quickly they are able to start forming more and more complex strategies to outwit their opponent. So with that in mind we thought we would include a few notes from the design team that might make you a more formidable opponent in your next head to head.

Tip 1: Don’t take the Day Phase for granted. If you are L, don’t spend too much time just blocking high points or Kira will figure out your pattern and eek out a win with consistent low point rounds.

Tip 2: Bombs are valuable to both Kira and L. When designing the game we made sure that Bombs give L more information about Kira than any other kind of kill. As Kira, be sure to kill only the bombers that don’t give L too much information.

Tip 3: As L, use Quiet Nights to your advantage. More advanced players will note that a well placed Quiet Night can allow L to eliminate more suspects than anything else in the game. Learn to use them strategically and you will have a leg up, but use them poorly and L will lose every time.

Tip 4: As Kira keep track of everything L knows. You can use the clear search grid tool to know which suspects L has been able to eliminate, and you can make your kills in areas that make your opponents job much more difficult.

“Kira is childish and hates losing… 

I am also childish and hate to lose. 

That’s how I know.”

– Detective L

– Jordan & Mandy

Death Note: Confrontation is available in stores now!

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Thank You For Playing Games With Us At Gen Con 2018!

We had a wonderful time at Gen Con 2018! Thank you to everyone who came by to play games with us and check out the latest from IDW Games. We had a lot to share and it was great to hang out and show off what we have coming down the line. Lets take a look at some of our favorite moments!

We demoed Batman: The Animated Series – Gotham City Under Siege at the booth each day and we can’t wait for this game to land on shelves. The co-op, threat management game from Richard Launius and Michael Guigliano is coming out in late August/early September and is a fun must-have for any Batman: The Animated Series fan. Even Batman came by to test his gaming skills at the game and loved it.

Co-Designer Michael Guigliano at IDW Games Booth at Gen Con 2018
Co-Designer Richard Launius at IDW Games Booth at Gen Con 2018

On Thursday Night at Gen Con 2018, we held a Pizza Party to show off the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures game and the release of Munchkin: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was a fun night filled with pizza and gaming! Designers Pete Walsh and Daniel Lansdown hung out to show off the latest for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures and Jon Cohn hung out and played Munchkin: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thank you to everyone who came by to check out the games! We had a blast playing games and eating some pizza.

We had an early look at the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures game at the booth too, Pete Walsh and Daniel Lansdown ran demos all weekend, showing off the new mechanics, miniatures, art and hanging out with the fans. Thank you to everyone who came by to check the game out! We are excited for this next chapter of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniatures game and are looking forward to sharing more!

We were excited for the release of Death Note: Confrontation and Masque of the Red Death too! We were excited to demo the first look at Death Note: Confrontation by designers Jordan & Mandy Goddard and it was great to see everyone’s reaction to the head-to-head hidden movement detective game. Both games are available in stores now, so be sure to go check out them out!

Designers Jordan & Mandy Goddard sharing Death Note: Confrontation on Bell of Lost Souls
Designer Adam Wyse with the Deluxe Edition of Masque of the Red Death

We had a few other previews at the Gen Con booth as well and we are looking forward to sharing more on those upcoming games!

Thank you to everyone who came by to play games with us at Gen Con and looking forward to seeing you at the next show!

IDW Games Team

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IDW Games at Gen Con 2018

IDW Games Booth #158 is excited to be attending Gen Con 2018 with new game demos, previews, releases and designer meet-ups, this year is packed with a lot of exciting board games from IDW!

At Booth #158, IDW Games will be demoing exciting games and previews from our upcoming product line. To kick it off, we teased about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures during our San Diego Comic-Con International panel and we are looking forward to sharing an early look at this upcoming miniatures game. Designers Daniel Lansdown and Pete Walsh will be showing off the first preview of TMNT Adventures, the highly anticipated miniatures game in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe. We will also be demoing Munchkin: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, designed by Jon Cohn and featuring all new art from Kevin Eastman, which ran a successful Kickstarter earlier this year and will be shipping to backers very soon!

Adding to the lineup of exciting demos, Gen Con attendees will also have a chance to play Batman: The Animated Series: Gotham City Under Siege, which was first previewed at San Diego Comic-Con International and now making its way to Gen Con! This dice-allocation, threat management game based on Batman: The Animated Series, will be coming to stores in late August, but will be shown off at Gen Con. With over 100 pieces of new art and co-designed by Richard Launius and Michael Guigliano, this co-op game is a wonderful addition to game night for board game and Batman fans alike. Come by each day the IDW Games Booth #158 to play a demo of Batman: The Animated Series – Gotham City Under Siege!


New games will be available at the IDW Games Booth #158 this year too! For the first time, Death Note: Confrontation from designers Jordan & Mandy Goddard, will be available. This head to head game puts players in the roles of Kira and L as they face off in this hidden movement, detective game based on the popular anime series Death Note. Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, designed by Adam Wyse and fully illustrated by Gris Grimly will also be making its first convention appearance. This successful Kickstarter which is delivering to backers right now, will be available at Gen Con. Additionally, a selection of IDW’s top games will be available, games such as The Legend of Korra: Pro-bending Arena, Seikatsu, The X-Files: Conspiracy Theory, the Outpost series and more! Along with these games available at the booth, there will also be an early look at upcoming games and products from IDW Games!

What would all of this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action be without some pizza!? We will be hosting a Pizza Party at Pearl Street Pizzeria on Thursday Night at 8pm. We will be showing off our new TMNT games, giving away free comics and hanging out with the designers of TMNT Adventures and Munchkin: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Come by on Thursday Night and have some pizza on us! – FB Event for Details –

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IDW Games and VIZ Media Announces Death Note: Confrontation

San Diego, CA, March 15th, IDW Games and VIZ Media announce Death Note: Confrontation. This 2-player game challenges players to a head-to-head battle of the wits.

Based on VIZ Media’s popular anime series and recently adapted into a Netflix live action film, Death Note follows Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by Ryuk, a rouge Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

In Death Note: Confrontation, players take on the role of either L, as he tries to deduce Kira’s true identity, or as Light, as he delivers justice to as the supernatural killer Kira. Each player uses their character’s specific notebook and either as L, reveals the criminal targets and to systematically locate Kira, or as Kira, eliminates targets in order to gain enough victory points. Death Note: Confrontation, designed by Jordan and Mandy Goddard (Lotus), places players in the hot seat as they battle wits to out-smart the other player.

Jerry Bennington, VP of New Product Development says “Being able to bring the story of Death Note to the tabletop is great and we are looking forward to people playing this spine-tingling game. Jordan and Mandy have done a great job capturing the feel of this story and it will be fun to see people be able to play it out and see who wins.”

Death Note: Confrontation will be releasing to retail in June 2018 for $29.99.

For more information follow the IDW Games social media and website about this upcoming head-to-head game.

The agreement was brokered by Evolution USA, the licensing agent for VIZ Media in North America.


About IDW:

IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (OCTQX: IDWM) is a fully integrated media company, which includes publishing, games, entertainment, and the San Diego Comic Art Gallery.

IDW Publishing’s comic book and graphic novel catalog includes some of the world’s most popular entertainment brands, including Transformers, My Little Pony, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, and Disney’s classic characters. At IDW’s core is its commitment to creator-owned comics including 30 Days of Night, Locke & Key, Wormwood, Ragnarök, V-Wars, and Archangel by bestselling sci-fi author William Gibson.

IDW Publishing is also home to the acclaimed and award-winning imprints; Top Shelf, The Library of American Comics, Yoe! Books, and Artist Editions, showcasing the greatest original art ever published in American comic books.

IDW Games’ diverse line-up includes the international phenomenon Machi Koro, as well as hit licensed games such as X-Files, Dragonball Z, Atari Series, and TMNT.

IDW Entertainment serves as the worldwide distributor of Wynonna Earp airing on the Syfy Channel in the U.S. and is producing BBC America’s Dirk Gently, based on the bestseller by Douglas Adams starring Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett.

About VIZ Media, LLC: 

Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premier company in the fields of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan’s largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.