Introducing, a Conservative Board Game
It is not often that we get to review a political board game. I think the last game was “Electoral College Combat,” so it is always a pleasure when one chooses to darken our doorstep with a contender. Most game companies tend to either stand as neutral in the political debate or lean to the left; to each their own.
With the case of Constitution Games and “We the People Fight Tyranny” the board game, we have an honest to goodness, dyed in wool, conservative board game. This game is a neat spin on the classic trivia game and it is one worth taking a look at next time you are at Wal-Mart or other fine retailers.
We the People, The Story
Let’s start off as always, with the story. As a trivia game, I was worried that this game was going to get a weak score for the story because trivia games do not generally have a story. However, one of the interesting parts of this game is that the United State’s history is rolled into the game. This means that the game’s story is our story.
How cool is that? It is very rare that you get to play a game where the story is still being written and you do not have to dress up as a mage or an orc to be part of the story. This is an amazing theme for a trivia game and for that “We The People” gets a 9.5 out of 10 because America’s story is a great story.
Artwork and Mechanics
The next criteria that we look at is the artwork for the game. “We the people” has interesting, well-developed artwork, but it is not stand out. You have several scenes that are real photos, some very well drawn cartoons and some simple cartoons interspersed through the game. While none of it is bad, there is a disjointed feeling that, while it supports the political nature of the game, gives it an odd feel. This earns “We the People” a score of 4 in the artwork.
Mechanics of the game are classic trivia game mechanics, with a twist. It is the twist that brings up the score for the mechanics in this game. In classic trivia games, you roll a dice and ask a question. If you are lucky, then you can go again if you get the question right. If this was a “nothing new under the sun” variant of this system, the score would have been a 2 or a 3.
However, Constitution games changed things up with this game by creating a dual-track system with variants on how the questions are asked. There is betting, stealing and risking all the stars on the card. This changes the game to make it a strategy game as well as a trivia game. For this, “We the People” earns a solid 6 out of 10 for mechanics.
The Strategy of We the People
Strategy is a harbinger for how good a game is going to be outside of the niche crowd. “Big Bang Theory” was a great example of this. The game was hard as hell for people who did not watch the show, but the “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” element changed it up enough to make it playable.
If you didn’t know the cards you could steal them. In this game, the strategy change is that you can try to stay on the outside ring or move right to the socialist ring and try to hold on till the end of the game, stealing stars from other players. Either way you choose has elements that can decide if you win or lose. While this game is not going to drain your brain for strategy like Dominion or Diplomacy, it will give your brain a workout with the trivia. The strategy, therefore, is simple but fun, netting a score of 6 out of 10.
Let’s Not Forget the Novelty
Finally, let’s look at novelty. Trivia games have been done to death. This means that for a trivia game to even register on this list, we need to see something novel about the game. “We the People” has that novelty. The game is niche-specific, with Americana being the breadwinner for this game.
People can play if they are a generalist in history or if they are really good in one category. This spreads out the field of people who can play but also makes it a fun little party game. The fact that the board steals most of your money each time around is a great homage to the way that our tax system fines the hard-working people of this country. This game is novel, and since it does try to look at both the semi-capitalist system and the socialist system, it earns a novelty score of 7 out of 10.
High Scoring Game, For a High Scoring Country
For a trivia game to bring in a total score of 32.5 out of 50 is impressive, but so is the America that this game represents. While the scores are scattered (4-9.5 is the biggest point spread we have had in a game thus far), we see a great little game in “We the People.” This is a great game to play with trivia buff friends, but it is also a great way to teach kids about the history of our nation.
This game is highly worth taking a look at if you are into America’s history, want to learn about America’s history or just want to wipe the smug grin off of that gender studies drop out’s face when they give the media-industrial answer rather than the correct answer. Regardless of your reason, this is a great game to have on any patriot’s coffee table.
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