My 'Hidden Agenda' Session Was Ruined Because I'm Too Good at Video Games


It's rare for me to have many opportunities to play games with people in real-life; it's mostly online these days. But some games only work in person, and when I randomly had several friends over a few weekends back, we decided to forgo a movie in favor of Hidden Agenda, one of several games Sony's launched this year under their PlayLink banner, a relatively quiet initiative by the company to develop PS4 games primarily played on a phone.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


This definitely sounds like an area where, lacking a proper handicap mechanic to balance play between several skill/familiarity tiers, they moved to a simpler version of the game with a cut-down co-op mode. Somewhat reminded of the Nintendo “helper” modes in a lot of recent games that have added a 2nd player interacting with the game but not in a way that would actually satisfy many players outside of very specific (almost exploit-like) ways of using that co-op to do things the solo game would make impossible.

Hopefully more developers will be working to solve these sorts of problems as we really could get beyond mirror-multiplayer where the community size is the only balancing factor, matchmaking taking the place of any handicap mechanic (which can keep a game rewarding for everyone playing, even if they’re not able to compete at the same level). Or possibly working to develop out co-operative play into a mode as developed (and able to play with several tiers of players together) as the competitive modes typically are.


The competitive mode seems like a neat quirk or idea for a group of friends who are equally skilled at games, but in all honesty the several sessions I’ve played of the game have been far more enjoyable in story mode just experiencing the branching narrative with others. It would’ve made more sense for takeovers to get removed in competitive mode.


extremely bold of you to put this article up alongside with one titled “Nothing Is Better Than When Shit-Talkers Lose”


I’m planning a game night with Hidden Agenda this weekend, and I’m keen to try the competitive mode as it seems to be the game’s most distinguishing feature. Even though we’re all avid gamers I’m thinking about implementing some house rules for the takeover cards, I want this to be fun for all of us and not have it come down to whoever gets the hang of the qte’s first.

If the author of the article or anyone else who’s played it could give me some pointers I’d really appreciate it. I’m thinking of simply letting each player have a given number of takeover cards, but would that work in practice? Do all players get some cards, or are they only rewarded from the qte’s, and how many takeover plays for each would be a reasonable amount for a playthrough?

I think this is an interesting concept, though it doesn’t seem to be quite there yet from what I’ve read, so a little massaging of the rules might improve the experience. Hopefully they’ll make more games like this and refine the mechanics.

Any and all input or suggestions are appreciated.


I feel like Klepek hasn’t been dragged enough for this headline yet. It continues to microwave my gourds.