Game review: Intrigue and betrayal highlight Dominare and The Resistance

By Cody Carlson

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28 2013 4:30 p.m. MDT

The spies have an advantage in that they know who the other spies are. They cannot, however, communicate openly. At the beginning of each turn, a team leader selects a team to go on a mission. All of the players may vote yea or nay to the proposal, and majority rules. Team members are given success or failure cards, and resistance members must always play success. Spies, however, can play the fail card to sabotage the mission, or success to hide their identity.

The face-down cards are mixed together and revealed. One fail card and the mission is a failure. With a total of five missions, whoever wins three missions first wins the game.

This is an incredibly simple and yet endlessly frustrating game. And it is unbelievably fun. At its heart, The Resistance is a game of bluffing — can the spies convince their friends that they are on the same side? Personality is what the game ultimately comes down to. Do you believe the protestations of innocence from a friend when a mission goes south, or do you think he's playing you? Conversely, when playing a spy, do you play a fail card and risk exposure? Or do you play a success card to build your credibility, with an eye to better sabotaging later missions?

Paranoia is the watchword in The Resistance, and it offers the same great “who do I trust” mentality that marks heavier games like Battlestar Galactica. Playable in about 20 minutes to a half hour, and recommended for ages 13 and up, The Resistance will keep you guessing right up until the end.

Cody K. Carlson holds a master's degree in history from the University of Utah and currently teaches at SLCC. He has also appeared on many local stages, including Hale Center Theater and Off Broadway Theater. Email: ckcarlson76@gmail.com

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