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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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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.