There inevitably will come a particularly impactful moment in every gamer’s life. A moment when the very overly used metaphoric lightbulb will light up. You realize that you’ve found something you never new you were looking for. For me that moment came roughly 4 years ago.
One way or another I stumbled upon a web series called “Tabletop” hosted by a former Star Trek star. On this particular episode they featured a game full of deceit and treachery. It was a small card game that seemed to be greater than the sum of its parts. The game was called “The Resistance”. I immediately ran a quick Google search and found a similar game on Amazon for roughly $14. With a little convincing my wife let me buy it. (Little did she know this was the beginning of many more purchases, most of which at much higher costs).
Components: As I’d originally thought, there are few components to the game. You get a small deck of cards, a couple flimsy boards, and a handful of cardboard tokens. That’s it. The cards are decent quality, I sleeved mine immediately, and my tokens eventually started to loose the plastic seal on them.
Accessibility: With so few components come very few rules.
This makes the game very easy to teach and to play. You basically have players making hypothetical decisions based on speculation and your buddy’s poker face. Some might even refer to it as a social experience rather than a game.
Strategy: There is very little. The decisions you make are based less off intellectual workings and more off gut feelings. You do have to cooperate with teammates at times with minimal communication, but it won’t take much effort.
Replayabillity: The variance in this game won’t come from a variety of cards or the luck of dice, but rather from the social interaction the game brings. Each game is a mystery waiting to be solved, with your only clues coming from the actions and words of those around you. Too much of a good thing can be an issue, and the mystery will grow stale and unexciting if visited too often.
Comparisons: This game is pretty unique but many will find the idea of hidden teams similar to games like Werewolf or Mafia. The edge for me goes to The Resistance: Avalon because there is no player elimination and the opportunities for meaningful discussion are greater.
Fun: There is no way around it, this game is just FUN. It does require the right crowd, friends who think they know and can trust each other. This game is the one I’ve had the most success introducing others into the hobby with because it’s hard not to have a good time yelling at your friends calling them liars, all the while deceiving them yourself. And for $14-$18 it’s pretty much a no brainer.
There are few games I recommend without hesitation, and this is one of them. The memories you’ll create with friends and family are well worth the price of admission. So if you are looking for a way to get others into the hobby I recommend starting here. After all, it worked for me!