Time to take over the town! In Revolution! from Steve Jackson Games, players seek to win through secret bidding, knowledge of the other players' resources, and knowing what's best to have and how much to risk to get it. This game is due out in August, but I was fortunate enough to play it last Wednesday -- thanks, Steve Jackson Games rep!

Each player starts with one Force token, one Blackmail token, three Gold tokens, numerous wood pieces in their color, and a board showing the different people in the town. During each turn every player secretly places their tokens on the townspeople, each of who gives certain benefits. Force beats any amount of Blackmail, Blackmail beats any amount of gold, and some townspeople can't be affected by Force, Blackmail, or both.

After all players have bid with all their tokens, their bids are revealed. Roles can give different things to the players, including: support (points towards victory); more Force, Blackmail, or Gold; moving their wood tokens onto spaces in specific buildings in town; switching two wood tokens between buildings, or replacing someone's wook token with another one. The buildings are all worth points, and whoever has the majority of tokens in a building at the end of the game gets the points for that building. Players who won that role get the benefit, and no one wins in case of a tie. If someone has less than five tokens, they get gold until they have five tokens. Then the secret bidding begins again. The game ends when all the buildings are full; then players get points for buildings and any remaining Force, Blackmail, and Gold tokens.

Revolution! is a lot of fun. Bidding is quite the challenge, as you not only have to anticipate what your opponents are doing but how much you'll risk to try and stop them. Some rounds I got multiple townspeople on my side with one gold piece, and other times I poured three or four tokens on townsperson and still lost them to an opponent. And while every turn is the same process -- bid, reveal, resolve, repeat -- Revolution! is easy to learn, pretty quick to play, and challenging. Let the Revolution! begin!

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch


Andy Georges said...

How much does this feel like Machiavelli (from 999 games)?

James Lynch said...

I haven't played Machiavelli, so I couldn't say. None of the experienced Gamers I played with made a comparison, though, so I'd imagine there are some big differences.

Philip said...

Thanks for the review!