Preview: The Secret Order

Could you become the 'Leader' of The Secret Order? Even if you must wipe out competition! From MadMouth Games

What makes a game?  The art?  The theme? The parts? The simple answer is: Yep.  But let's talk about that.  Does the theme really matter?  To a certain extent yes.  Art?  Bad art would be... bad, but simple art works too. Bad parts? That makes us feel we paid to much, but doesn't stop us from playing a game.

The art in the Secret Order falls into that simple category. There are many card games that use simple line art, and text, to convey the cards impact on the game. The beauty of line art is in the simplicity and usually with line art, the message is clear and easy to grasp.  Look at UNO as the best example. I've taught that game all over the world, to people who spoke no English.

Line art = good.

The theme of the game is last man standing.  As of this writing, you can have your own card making you the ultimate last man standing.  But most start as THE last man and then have to be taken down by the other players.

Of course, they're trying to take down each other at the same time too.  Which could lead to all kinds of issues in the free-for-all game.  Who has the leader card? If that player is killed, does the leader card go to the person who killed them? What is the structure of a secret society anyway?

I can see some house rules for protecting the guy who is the leader, but since this is secret, who would know who that is?

The game play reminds me a bit of Pit. Although the game asks you to take turns, I can see how having no turns at all, but rounds where (edit: Pit is a commodities trading game where there are no turns, everyone shouts their trades at the same time, first with all the cards of one type wins) everyone gets to play one card, could be a madhouse. But that's where this game could really shine. The design says you can have 2-6 players, with 10, yes that's TEN, players being the most fun. You need more decks for 10 players, 1 more, since the cost of a deck is low, it's not breaking the bank to get to the ten player plateau.

The campaign doesn't talk about how the pecking order is established.  Maybe, and I can see this as being fun, the leader is the guy dealt the card, and the people sitting to the left and right are the next level down, and so on around the room.

If the leader is killed, who becomes the new leader?

A party game where the goal is to kill most of the other players, my kinda party.

There are things we don't like.

One of the recent trends in Kickstarter campaigns is to keep the stretch goals secret, "it is a secret society", but that's not selling me on the game concept at all.  If you want me to get excited and tell my friends to back you, then tease me with what is coming up, don't hide it.

The campaign is unclear on some basic rules questions, and that's a little worrisome at this point in the campaign, there are only a few days left. The basic premise and the fact that this is expandable to so many people, makes this game worth the small amount that the campaign is asking for.

Do as we have done and back this game!

You can play this game, or any game, but it's best to make a reservation!
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