Card Game Review: Power for the People


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Number of Players: 2-4

Time: 30 minutes

Age: 10+

Game Type: Card/Trick Taking

Gamer Type: Casual

Complexity: 4

Political games are always a challenge. On one hand, you want them to be engaging. On the other hand, you do not want to offend half of your audience. One approach to deal with this is to ensure that you offend everyone, making sure that no group feels like you singled them out. While this can be effective (and lucrative), it can also get you a lot of hate mail. Power for the People, LLC chose the second approach. They have designed a great card game, Power for the People, which pokes fun at a broken political system while keeping the core values of a very engaging game.

Story

It’s a tale as old as time: you are a political leader and you want to rule the world (or at least your corner of it). Through a set of rules, both included and created, you build your coalition to have the most power within the system. The leader cards bring in some famous political figures from history and the present, each with their own parties and their own stories. This makes the game relatable and more fun to play. 6.5 of 10.

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Artwork

The artwork for this game is fun. The cartoon cards are easily recognizable for what they are and the colors function in the game play. The text is simple and easy to read, which makes the game playable by hardcore gamers and people new to the hobby. The box is a little smaller than a standard small box, so it will fit on your shelf, but needs to be near the top of the stack. Inside the box, there is ample room for all the cards and the rulebook. The game is well laid out with engaging artwork. 6 of 10.

Mechanics

The cards are the randomizer in this game, so for you war gamers out there, there are no dice to be afraid of. Players play from the same deck and play cards trying to get rid of their hands first each round. Play follows an Uno-style discard mechanism; however, there is a catch. External rules create a penalty system which can have other players give you cards. Any time you break a rule (no talking during the round is one of them), you are given a card (from the pile) from the person who caught you breaking the rule. However, if they make a mistake giving you a card, you can penalize them, too. Even more interesting is that there are “secret rules” which are the end of game function. This allows the winner of each round to make a rule. These rules can be specific or vague. If you break these rules you get cards, too. This makes the game engaging and interesting at the same time. 6.5 of 10.

Strategy

Card control seems to be a main strategy in this game. This limits “rush” and “engine building” as strategies. The main strategies we saw develop during the game were to keep your head down and try to play your cards (offense) and to be a “rules hawk” and watch like an eagle to find others breaking the rules. While defensive (rules hawk) play seemed to be slow at first, as more rules were created this seemed to become more viable. 6 of 10.

Novelty

Anytime you see a trick taking game, it tends to look the same. Power for the People, however, seems to bring several elements from different segments of the field into a trendy little card game. With card games, there is generally nothing new under the sun; however, it all comes down to the skill of the designer to use elements in an interesting way. Power to the People has done this and has created something unique in a very robust genre. 8 of 10.

Overall

This is a fun little game you can play relatively quickly with a group of friends (or one on one). There is limited room for expansion, which can always be fun. The humor in this game is very level; if you are offended by anything, then you are way to sensitive. The game pokes fun at everyone, but in a classy way. Power for the People took the high road and did not go for the “offensive” low-hanging fruit. With a score of 33 of 50, this game has a strong showing for a quick card game. This is definitely one of those games you want to have on your shelf, for a quick card game or when you want to see just how broken our global political systems are.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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