Unauthorized Game Review

One of our favorite things to use for homeschooling are games. We love to change the routine up and break out different games for learning. We had previously been introduced to Chara Games and when their newest game, Unauthorized came out, we had a chance to try it out.

Unauthorized is a card game for 6-12 players, ages 12+. It is a short game lasting no more than 30 minutes. The premise is that there are 2 sides, the underground church and the state. The idea is to sway loyalty as dictated by your cards. Included with this game are:
  • 12 double sided role cards
  • 1 dealer card
  • 2 reference cards
  • 97 experience cards
  • rule book
While the rule book is fairly thorough in explaining how to play the game, we watched the instructional video before getting started. This better explained how to play and walked us visually through the steps so it made complete sense.

If you have less than 6 players, someone will need to double up on roles which can make it a bit more confusing. That would be my only draw back on this game is that you need a large group to play it and it isn't always possible to have that many people around. On the other hand, this would be a great game to play with a youth group or a teen hang out night. Sometimes we used my 6 year old as the 6th person but had another person play her hand. At least it provided the 6th person which made it a little easier.

To start out, someone takes the police officer card and someone is the pastor. There are 2 of these if you are playing with 10-12 people. The rest of the role call players are shuffled and each person takes one. They are doubled sided with 2 different pictures so you can choose if you want to be male or female. Each role card has different abilities that they can do during the game. Some of the roles are a rebel, musician, teacher, etc.

The experience cards then determine which side your character starts out on. If one has more church cards, that is where your loyalty lies (these cards are green). If a player has more state cards, that is who they start out playing for (these cards are red.) A players loyalty can change throughout the game. There are 4 rounds that are played (and these steps are listed on the dealer card). There are also wild cards where the player gets to choose which side to choose to be loyal to.

There are actions that can be taken after a player draws a card. They can use their role power to try to influence another players loyalty, they can speak to a neighbor to see their hand, they can seek parole if they are imprisoned or the police officer can choose to execute a player, thus taking them out of the game. The key is, no one knows who you are loyal to until the end of the game.

At the end of the 4 rounds, the winner is determined. The church wins if a majority of the players were loyal to the church and at least one of them is not in prison. The state wins if they have the majority of loyalty.

This game is very much one that requires some critical thinking skills. Decisions made in each round ultimately affect the end. The hardest part was intentionally playing against the church as it goes against what we are used to living in every day life. It definitely made my teens think about real life and how easy it is to be swayed to make important decisions in life and who to follow.

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