Dark times. An evil government sows fear amongst their people. The streets are empty at night. Adversaries are disappearing. A whole nation is silenced. But there are whispers in the dark, whispers of a group. A group of brave people who dare to take a stand against the mighty Empire. But the Empire is cunning and has infiltrated this group, trying to break The Resistance apart.
What do you get for your money?
The rules, 3 score panels, 10 character cards, 15 plot cards, 10 mission cards, 5 team tokens, 20 vote tokens, 5 score tokens, a round token, a leader token and a token to keep track of the amount of votes.
How do you play the game?
Everybody has a secret identity, either you are part of the Resistance or you are an imperial spy. A member of the resistance tries to carry out missions against the Empire and the Imperial spies try to sabotage these missions. The spies know the identity of the other spies, the members of the Resistance don’t.
There are five missions if three missions fail, the spies win, if three missions succeed the Resistance wins.
How do you win a mission? Every mission has a team leader. His task is to put together a mission team. The size of the team depends on the amount of players and the mission. For instance, in a 5 player game the amount of team members, each mission, from first to last mission is: 1,3,2,3,3. So, for the first mission the team leader chooses two people, he can include himself. Then everybody votes if they think this team is suitable for this particular mission. If the majority approves, the mission is conducted, if not, the next team leader puts a team together. When teams are rejected five times in a row, there is too much disagreement within the Resistance and the spies win the game.
When everybody approved the mission team, the different team members get a mission fail and a mission succeed card. They secretly choose one and discard the other. The cards are shuffled and the mission leader reveals the cards. If he reveals one or more mission fail cards, the mission was sabotaged and the mission failed miserably. A red spy token is placed on that mission and the next player becomes the team leader and chooses the members of the next mission team. If either the Resistance or the Imperial spies succeed or sabotage three missions, they win the game.
In this game, as members of the Resistance, you’ll need to talk, listen, watch and interpreted all the different signals you will receive to unmask the spies.
The spies must sow discord among the members of the Resistance and pretend to be a genuine member to go on key missions.
A game of deliberation, trust and deception.
The game comes with an expansion (in the box): ‘The plot thickens’. It adds plot cards. These can give people more information about the secret identity of other players.
Every round the team leader takes a certain amount of plot cards (it depends on the number of players) and gives them to one or more players. Some cards must be dealt with immediately (e.g. look at the character card of the player on your right). Others can be activated once by the owner (e.g. you can stop an approved mission team). Yet another card has a permanent effect: you have to approve or reject a mission team first and openly.
The gameplay is very simple. There are only a couple of things to do that are defined in the rules: a team leader chooses a mission team, everyone approves or not and the mission team members choose a mission failure or success.
The rest is up to you. Talk, interact, play.
There is no player elimination. You are still part of the game. When you, a spy, are caught in the act, you can still confuse people and protect you fellow spies.
The expansion, the plot cards, adds a way of revealing the secret identity of the players if played cleverly by the members of the Resistance. They also add a way for the spies to confuse others (‘Why did he gave that card to him?’), but mostly the plot cards are in favour of the Resistance. They are interesting enough to add them right away or after a couple of plays.
Flavour and Theme
The Resistance versus the evil Spies. This game is pretty thematic. Not because of the illustrations or flavour texts or something like that, but because of the player interaction. Everybody suspects each other. Lots of table talk. Discussion. Insinuations. Trust is won one mission and lost the other. Back stabbing. Collaboration. The whole mood at the table is very thematic.
(Does it really matter? I don’t thinks so. If there was only text and no illustrations, the game itself would not suffer from that.)
The illustrations are nice, everything looks really futuristic, but it doesn’t look very specially when the game is on the table.
Quality of the game parts
Nice linen cards. Thick cardboard pieces. High quality game parts.
Like many party games, if you have fun or not, depends entirely on the people you play with. The best party games can still be boring when you play them with the wrong people. If you have to force people to interact with each other or if you play the game like it is a to-do list, ticking of one action after the other, you won’t have fun.
The game itself is more like recipe from a cookbook, a very basic recipe. It gives you the basic ingredients and some simple tools to make a nice dish. But you, the people, are the cooks. You can add extra spices, some exotic vegetables and lots and lots of love to turn this basic recipe into it a great dish.
When you all do a good job and you have finished this delicious meal that is called the Resistance, you will talk about it for weeks, months maybe.