While video games are awesome, sometimes it’s nice to play a game with friends and family as well. I got into board games a few years ago when I played Werewolf at a Ruby conference. Werewolf is really fun, but it’s not as accessible to novice players as it could be. Happily, there’s a whole genre of similar games (Mafia, etc.) and tonight I’d like to talk about one. The Resistance is a fun (family frienly) game for five or more players that pits a pair of spies against everyone else. The idea of the game is simple; identify the spies and keep them from winning. The game works as follows…
- In the beginning of the game, spies are choses at random. Each spy knows the identity of their fellow spy.
- The game consists of five missions or rounds. Both the spies and the members of the resistance try to win three out of five missions in order to win the game.
- In each mission, the leader (a job which rotates among all players) must use their knowledge (or best guesses) about their fellow players to build a team. The game dictates the size of the team, and it changes for each consecutive mission.
- Each team member anonymously submits either a blue pass card or a red fail card to the leader. A single fail card will ail the mission, awarding a point the spies. Conversely, if all cards submitted are blue, the mission passes and the resistance members get a point.
While the rules are simple this is a really fun party game. Since none of the Resistance members know the identity of the spies (or their fellow Resistance members) strange coalitions form quickly and fall apart just as fast. As the game progresses it becomes easier to identify the spies, but as they can actually work together to coordinate their efforts this isn’t as easy as it seems. Everyone quickly suspects everyone else. The game is balanced so that with a little skill, it’s usually impossible to be 100% sure of anything until the spies are revealed at the end of the game.
We opened the box up on the Saturday evening prior to New Year’s Eve and were still going strong four hours later. Our group size changed throughout the night, and I found that groups with 6 or more players were more fun; five just wasn’t enough. If you’re looking for something a little different to do with your family and friends, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Resistance; just don’t blame me if they find our you’re a better liar than they expected!
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