A game with social deduction, bluffing, and outright deception, The Resistance fills a certain void that most people never knew they had. Expect to see your friends in a different light after playing this game.
The resistance is a small game with few components. What it lacks in size it gains in theme and game play.
The idea behind the game is simple; you are either a spy or a member of the resistance. The Resistance is trying to pass missions that will overthrow the government. The spies are trying to thwart the resistance. Sounds pretty easy right? The kicker is that members of the resistance have no idea who the spies are, nor do they know who their fellow comrades are.
There are five missions each game, and each mission goes like this: The leader chooses a certain number of players (dependent on the round as well as the number of players playing) to go on a mission. Everybody votes to either approve, or reject, the mission. If the mission is rejected, the mission is aborted and another leader is chosen to repeat the process. If the mission is approved, the people chosen either fail the mission or let it succeed. A single fail will thwart the entire mission and get the spies one step closer to winning the game.
The game lends itself to spies. It only takes one spy to fail a mission, and unlike the resistance, you know who your teammates are. It is biased in their favor and chances are that most game will end in a win for them. None the less, being a member of the resistance has its charm. Every game I’ve played as a spy has been fun and somewhat easy, but I’ve only felt accomplished when winning as a part of the resistance. There’s no better feeling than deducing who the spies are, and through trust and teamwork with other member of the resistance, circumventing the spies’ best attempts to sabotage a mission.
Unlike most games, The Resistance encourages social confrontation. In minutes you’ll be in a shouting match with the other players, pleading that you aren’t the spy. The game can become repetitive since there’s only so much a person can say or do to dispel accusations, but even then it’s hard not getting pulled into the theme and the eventual cycle of lies and distrust.
If the game becomes boring you can then start playing with plot cards. The newest edition of The Resistance comes with the expansion already included. These plot cards are meant to give everyone a better opportunity to out the spies, or conceal the fact that they are one. For example, the plot card “Establish Confidence” says that the leader must pass their character card (which display if they are a spy or a member of the resistance) to another player for examination. This lets a member of the resistance prove his loyalty, or a spy hide his identity. The plot cards are meant to add some depth and they do so quite well. The only drawback is that the instructions are horribly written so it might require a visit or two to board game geek or YouTube.
The game has its positives and negatives
Overall The Resistance is a great, light game that most people should have. It’s easy to learn and even people who don’t regularly play board games can enjoy it. If nothing else, the cost is far less than the enjoyment you’ll get out of it.