52 Family Game Nights – Revolution!

Last week I told you about our daughter’s published game Tiger Stripes. She was inspired and helped by her daddy who is also a board game designer in his “spare” time. Revolution! is the game that started it all.

family game night revolutionFamily Game Night #22: Revolution!

I remember playing Revolution! on a sheet of printer paper with tokens Philip borrowed from other games. His previous attempts at game design had not resulted in games that anyone else would play.

Revolution! was different.

Philip playtested his version with any of our friends and family he could talk into playing. They gave feedback, and it was mostly good.

He simplified a few things. Then he designed a real version, which he printed at a print shop and put together himself. In those days he even made his own boxes. (Ask me how I felt about all the stacks of various paper, cardstock, etc. filling our tiny house…)

He sold copies himself and somehow an employee at Steve Jackson Games (home of Munchkin) bought a copy, liked it, and wanted to produce the game. At the time we didn’t understand how crazy this was, but all these years later we know how rare of a story it is.

Anyway, he signed with them and away we went. It still sells and he’s done a few expansions. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite games. (And I’d like to think that I would say that even if I wasn’t in love with the designer.)

revolution tokensHow to Play Revolution:

Revolution! is an area control board game with blind bidding. You have tokens representing force, blackmail, and gold that you are using to influence various characters in the city. Force beats any amount of blackmail or gold. Blackmail beats any amount of gold. Everyone makes their bids behind a screen and then you reveal at the same time to see who’s going to earn influence, points, or more tokens.

There are lots of strategies to try but it doesn’t take long to learn how to play. Some people consider this another “gateway” game into Euro-games. If you’re tired of Monopoly and you’re ready to add a game with more strategy and a clear ending to your family’s game nights, Revolution! could be a good fit.

Rule Variation: The standard rules state that whether you win or lose (or tie), your bid goes back into the supply. This adds quite a bit of tension, but it can be unforgiving. Originally, the rule was that only the player who won each bid had to pay his tokens. Everyone else got to keep them for the next round. This might be a better way to play when younger players are involved.

Summary of Revolution!

Number of Players: 2-4, but there are expansions available for 5-6 (Revolution! The Palace or Revolution! Anarchy)

Recommended ages: 10+ The box says 12 but we’ve played with players as young as 8.

Reading Required: yes

You can buy Revolution! online or at various independent game stores. It’s not in Target or Wal-Mart yet, but maybe some day…

Really, we might not even be writing this series if it wasn’t for Revolution! I’d make a pun here about how it revolutionized our life, but that might be over the top.

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