Different Forms of Jubensha

Read this article to find out how the forms of Jubensha developed over time



2/2/20242 min read

Today, I want to delve into the various forms of playing Jubensha. Just like board games, which you can enjoy online or traditionally with friends sitting next to you, Jubensha also boasts different playing methods. This article aims to give you a clearer picture of these forms.

Jubensha in Early Days

Initially, Jubensha was straightforward. Early versions consisted of simple stories with 4-5 characters, each with their own script and some evidence cards—or sometimes none. The primary goal was to identify the murderer among the players, alongside fulfilling assigned side tasks or objectives. These games required minimal facilitation, leading to the emergence of apps allowing play with friends via smartphones. The game's progression and evidence collection could be managed through app coding. Physical sets were also simple, available for purchase for home play at an affordable price—apps were usually free, and physical copies cost around $10-$20 USD.

Online Jubensha (APPs)

Over time, Jubensha evolved into more complex forms. Online apps became more sophisticated, focusing on hardcore deduction. At a game's conclusion, players could fill out a form or questionnaire to evaluate their performance.

Boxed Jubensha (盒装剧本杀)

Physical games diversified significantly. The most common form became boxed sets (盒装剧本杀), synonymous with Jubensha in China due to their popularity. Similar to board games, these sets include a DM manual, character scripts, evidence cards, props, and sometimes additional multimedia elements. Playing these games requires gathering enough people and a DM to facilitate, marking a shift towards more facilitation-intensive games compared to earlier versions.

Therefore, hosting these games in dedicated shops became commercially viable, leading to the rise of Jubensha shops. These establishments typically feature multiple rooms, each hosting a single game session facilitated by the shop's DMs. Players pay a session fee rather than purchasing the boxed set, similar to buying a movie ticket, with the understanding that one wouldn't usually replay the same game. Jubensha shops maintain a vast library of game sets, regularly updated to offer a variety of choices to customers. Initially, sessions lasted 3-4 hours, but as the games developed, some could extend to 8-12 hours.

More information about Boxed Jubensha:

Settings: Different Settings of Jubensha: Classical, Alternative, and New Classical Explained | Jubensha, StoryBoxed, Murder Mystery game, Board Game

Genre: A Beginner's Guide to Jubensha Genres | Jubensha, StoryBoxed, Murder Mystery game, Board Game

Exclusivity: Boxed Jubensha: From Standard to Unique Editions and the Costs | Jubensha, StoryBoxed, Murder Mystery game, Board Game

Immersive Scenario Jubensha (实景剧本杀)

Some shops take immersion to the next level by creating elaborately decorated rooms with costumes and NPCs, offering a gameplay experience akin to stepping into a scene from a story, such as an ancient Chinese building. These setups require significant space, with evidence searches involving tangible items (e.g., a rubber knife). Players get to fully embody their characters, complete with appropriate attire. However, these sessions are shorter, typically 1-2 hours, due to the need for high turnover. The themes are somewhat restricted to match the room's decor and updating the game involves extensive renovations.

Jubensha Attractions/Hotels

A more ambitious form of Jubensha utilizes entire towns or buildings (such as hotels) for a comprehensive adventure. This variant requires substantial effort, funding, and collaboration from various parties, including government and tourism boards, representing an expansive take on Jubensha.

This overview highlights Jubensha's evolution from simple scripts to complex, immersive experiences, reflecting the game's growing diversity and the creative potential it offers to players and creators alike.