HomeBoard GamesA Review of Game Election

A Review of Game Election

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Does your group have trouble choosing which game to play?  Then game election may be the choice for your group.  It’s a simple, quick, and fun way to choose your next game.

Nominations

Players can nominate up to 8 games to play.  If there are more than 8 nominated games players an divide them into groups and hold primary elections.  Everyone in the group should be willing to play any of the nominated games.  Players can have some fun here and give speeches about why the nominated games should be chosen.

Prepare Ballots

Give each player all the cards of one color, players should keep the cards numbered one above the number of games nominated.  For example, if four games are nominated players should keep cards 1-5.  Players may decide to play with a different set of cards.  For example, they can including the veto cards with three games.

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Cast Votes

Voting is done by a secret ballot.  Players must vote for each game by placing one card next to each nominated game.

Backroom Deals

After voting players will have one card left.  This card may have a power and if it does they may play that card.  Powers are resolved on a first to play basis.  These powers have checks and balances so be careful when you play them.  For example, players can use the “Swap Two of a Player’s Votes,”  to switch one players vote from one pile with a vote from another pile.  That players whose cards were switched gets to choose your color or faction within in the winning game.  Another power is “This Game Loses Ties.”  With this power if there is a tie when the votes are tallied, this game would lose.  The consequence of this power is that the player will set up the winning game.

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Tally

Now comes the time to count the counts and score each games pile of cards.  Yea Yea cards are worth +2 points, Yea cards +1 point, Nay cards 0 points, and VETO cards are worth -X points.  X in this case is equal to the number of VETO cards in that pile.

Announce the Winner

After the votes are counted the game with the highest score wins and must be played.  Of course if there is still a tie, you can just flip a coin!

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My Thoughts

When your game group has a hard time deciding which game to play, Game Election may be the perfect match.  The rules are simple and easy to learn, and the interactions will entice gamers.  Because you can campaign for your game, and engage in some of the backroom deals, it will hit that gaming itch.

The components are good quality and made of glossy card stock.  There is no artwork on the cards, but the graphic design is colorful and easy to read.  For the price and small size, its a bargain for the right group.

The card interaction will make the game for most players. You aren’t simply voting yea or nay, but have some additional meaningful decisions to make.  Choosing to use the Double Yea card, or choosing to save it for a backroom deal may not be an easy a decision.  Having consequences also adds to the appeal.  Someone who hates setting up games or not being able to play with their favorite faction or color will think twice about a backroom deal.

My group rarely has trouble choosing a game to play so Game Election isn’t a game I will usually need.  Instead of just choosing and playing a game right away, we would be taking the time to get out all the games, vote on them, and then put back the losers.

As a Civics teacher, I do appreciate the election terms and the use of primaries, nominations, and vetoes.  I think it is something I can use in the classroom, especially with the upcoming presidential election.

While Game Election may not find a lot of play with my game group, I know there are those who would welcome a more democratic way of choosing the next game they play.

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Quick Stats

Designers: Alex Papadimoulis, Patrick Roach
Publishers: Naturalist Games
Players: 3-6
Game Length: 10-15 minutes
Ages: 8 and Up

 

I received a review copy of this game.

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