Vienna Connection by Portal Games

A Cold War espionage board game

Vienna Connection is a new stand-alone cooperative story-driven game for 1-5 players designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek (Robinson Crusoe, Detective, Imperial Settlers).

It offers a game night experience that lets you and your friends take on the role of CIA agents carrying out secret operations during the historic Cold War era.

Vienna Connection contains 4 missions forming one epic story, taking place across Europe—including Vienna, Prague, and Berlin in the 70s.

The game uses the Detective Investigation System introduced by the award-winning Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, while also adding new spy and espionage themed mechanics.

It’s January 1977. CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia gets wind of Soviet activity in Austria and has no choice but to intervene. The CIA decides to dispatch members of their Special Activities Division (SAD). The game is on.


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Who you are

You take on the role of CIA agents sent on secret missions in Central Europe during the historic Cold War era. The gripping plot and thematic mechanics will make you feel like you are in the middle of the historical conflict.

Vienna Connection unpacked

What you do

You communicate with local agents, police, and informants to gather reports and documents from various sources—including illegal ones. Intercept and decode transmissions, gather intel, listen to wiretapped conversations and decide which paths to take in order to understand the bigger picture.

Stay undercover

Your every move increases Exposure to enemy secret agents in one of the 4 Zones, which you will track on the mission sheet. If your activities become too visible, the CIA HQ will decide to abort the mission. So make sure to choose your next steps wisely.

Measuring exposure in Vienna Connection

Decode secret messages

Being a spy requires a great degree of confidentiality. Each mission comes with a dedicated code card, and depending on how the story develops, you’ll be using it to decode secret messages from your allies and enemies! This is one of the most immersive aspects of Vienna Connection.

Vienna Connection code card

Use Local Agents and carry out covert Operations

Every city has local agents at your disposal who provide invaluable help. Make sure to activate them for important tasks! There are also additional Operations you can carry out that will reveal new opportunities.

Vienna Connection local agents

Experience real historical events

Meet historical figures, and visit real places that held strategic importance during the Cold War. Vienna Connection tells a fictional story deeply rooted in actual historical events. Our writers spent countless hours doing research on the Cold War era, developing a plot that feels so real you’re unsure which parts are fiction, and which actually occurred in Europe during the Cold War.

Choose your ending!

At the end of each mission, you recommend further actions to the CIA and learn of their results. This will allow you to fully appreciate the campaign element of the game and uncover the avenues of the story you enjoyed the most.

Vienna Connection photo2

Vienna Connection Game Components

Want to get better prepared for your first mission? Read these prologue chapters to Vienna Connection before starting the game. They acquaint you with the story that is about to unfold.

Vienna Connection is a perfect choice if you like story-driven games with immersive narration and an engaging plot. This fascinating story, inspired by true events from 1970s Europe, could easily be used as a script for a top-rated TV mini-series on Netflix or HBO. So if you like TV shows like True Detective, The Spy, or Mosaic, this might be right up to your alley!

Vienna Connection is a game night experience. It’s not a single session eurogame that you play any day with any group. Instead, this is an entire game night adventure, with clues, leads, and red herrings that you will discuss hours after finishing. It involves deciphering messages and analyzing various reports and documents for evidence. If you love brainstorming with your friends—this is the game for you!

Vienna Connection is the first true spy game. If you like this genre of movies and novels, you can finally play a game about being a spy. There’s no game like it. You do everything

Can I play this game more than once?

We have provided components to play each Mission up to two times. But since this is a story-driven game, we believe that playing it for the third time is unlikely.

How long does it take to finish the full campaign?

The game comes with four missions that make up the campaign, each is about 3 hours long. Depending on your style of playing and the dynamics of your group, it takes about 12-15 hours to finish the whole game.

How similar is it to Detective?

The Vienna Connection game mechanisms were inspired by the award-winning Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, but many new mechanisms have been added to create a brand new experience with features recreating espionage during the Cold War era. The same as Detective, players work cooperatively as a group, are given a task, follow leads in order to solve the mystery, and to answer questions at the end of the game. Vienna Connection also uses the Antares website, giving players access to special files (like audio files from intercepted transmissions) and allowing them to finish the game by submitting a Final report.


We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.