Game review, impressions, and random musings of the MFers as we weave our way through playing every game ever made, ever. Well, almost.
First, a bit about the game: The Resistance is an intense social deduction game. It looks deceptively simple. Sharing similarities with games like Werewolf and Mafia, it’s set in the near future and pits a group of resistance fighters against a corrupt government. A mission leader chooses players and tries to get a round to pass (vs. fail). If a single spy infiltrates the resistance ranks for the round, the mission will fail — but no one knows for sure who the saboteurs are. Teams must be carefully chosen or you’ll lose your chance at freedom forever. The Resistance is a “a game of secret identities, deception, and deduction”.
Here’s our review:
What age range would most enjoy this game?
Due to the skill set necessary to be successful (deduction, bluffing and diverting) anyone above the age of 13 would be best suited.
How long did it take to finish the game?
The game plays out in around twenty or thirty minutes. But it’s the kind of game where a single session never feels like enough and we kept wanting to play “just one more.”
Did the theme fit the play?
The theme is essential to this game, which is surprising since it can be easy to overlook. Players hardly ever speak in explicit terms of the game’s fiction; no references to the Empire are ever made. Instead, players simply speak as themselves, pleading their loyalty (whether true or not) and accusing each other directly. But this is why the theme maps so wonderfully to the game’s mechanic—it’s totally natural. And when someone does elevate awareness by referring to the conflict explicitly, it never comes across as corny. It just works.
How was this game unique from other games?
It is similar to some other party/bluffing games like Werewolf or Bang, but gets rid of the player elimination mechanic that those other games suffer from.
How much did you like the appearance and materials of the game?
The illustrations are great, though we could nitpick about the art on the vote cards. Overall, while this game could easily be played with improvised bits, it’s so well produced and packaged (and should get so much use) it’s a great deal at twenty bucks.
How often will you play this game?
From the first try-through it’s obviously a great balance of suspense and playful deception. This is a game that can easily come out again and again, as long as you have five or more players on hand. While that does limit the frequency with which you may play, on the flip-side, it’s one of the few games that scales well up to ten players.
How much did the game play cause you to interact with other players?
Interpersonal interaction is the name of the game! Players talking to, and with, each other is most of the action in the game.
How much waiting did you do between your turns?
The game is structured in rounds, but all players can be active the whole time. If you’re not the Mission Leader, trying to decide who to put on/off a the mission, you’re still engaging with everyone else trying to buy into your reasoning or your bluffing (depending on your secret role).
Was there anything specifically you didn’t like, or do you have suggestions that would make the game better?
A weakness, inherent with this type of game, is that deception is part of how it works. This means that some care should be taken to keep players aware of the boundaries of its “magic circle”—where the game is a game, and all the lying and manipulating was for the purpose of playing the game and having fun. While this social balance is not nearly as delicate or brutal as in a game like Diplomacy, the feeling of being deceived is one that can linger. It shouldn’t be a shocker that good, friendly sporting conduct is best and you should avoid playing games with a**holes.