The Resistance: Treachery and Deception that Fits in Your Pocket
So you think you can trust your friends, huh? You think they’re on your side? How do you know that? Well, guess what: you don’t know anything! You can’t trust any of them, and they can’t trust you. But somehow, just somehow, you have to make them trust you… make them see the truth…
The following sums up your thought process as you play The Resistance. Well how is that any fun, you wonder. But deep down you sense how much fun it could be. You want to accuse your friends of some terrible plot, you’d love to spy on them and go behind their backs just this once. Because after all, it’s just a game. And this is why The Resistance is so great.
Don’t trust me? Let’s take a look.
To play Resistance, you must have between 5 and 10 people. The way it works is that you are a team out to accomplish missions. However, some of you are spies who want the missions to fail. But only the spies know who they are. From this point on, it’s pretty much a best of five contest: if three missions succeed, the true team members win; if three missions fail, the spies win. It’s as simple as that, but it’s how those missions play out which is so interesting.
The missions themselves are pretty basic. A mission team is selected and each person on that mission team secretly submits a mission succeed or mission fail card to the leader. If even one failure shows up, the mission is sabotaged. So again, pretty simple. So what makes the missions interesting? The mission team selection.
Every game someone is chosen as the leader. This leader must choose who goes on the missions. The number of people sent will usually increase for each mission (the numbers are stated in the rules). But who do they choose? They must look at what happened in previous missions and try to figure out who they trust. Meanwhile, people will be accusing others, defending themselves, doing anything they can to push their own agenda.
But what if they leader is a spy? Or what if they select a bad team? Well, that’s why there is a vote for every team selected, and if the selected team is voted down, the leader loses their position of power. So you can see how many different dynamics are going on here, all deriving from the simple concept of that best-of-five contest.
The components really consist of a bunch of different cards. There’s the mission cards , the vote cards, the character cards, and the mission member cards. The character cards tell you whether you are loyal or if you are a spy, and they each have individualized characters drawn with excellent artwork. The other cards are pretty basic, but get the idea across well. The mission member cards are simply given to who the leader picks; I’m not sure they’re that necessary, but it’s nice that they’re included I suppose.
The Resistance also boasts the smallest board game board I’ve ever seen. It simply has 5 slots for the 5 missions, with red and blue discs to mark the wins for each side. But it also provides easy reference for how many spies to include and how many people go on each mission depending on how many players you have.
Altogether, the game is really small. The whole game box can literally fit in your pocket. And they have a neat design. But really, the components aren’t the highlight of this game. The highlights are the mind games that go on and the great interaction which is drawn out.
The Resistance is one of those games which manages to scratch just the right itch in a particular situation. This situation is when you have a larger group of people who are in the mood for some deviousness and deduction. It’s similar to Werewolf in that way, but I believe it’s a better structured game than Werewolf, with no player elimination and a more outlined mechanic for accusations.
This is a great party game which fits a different niche than the Apples to Apples and Craniums which dominate the party game market. The Resistance has more bite to it. Sometimes it’s fun to keep secrets and try to out think and outwit your friends in a maddening labyrinth of mind games.