Political Suicide on Independence Lane

Regardless of where your particular political interests lie, I think we can all agree that some of our past (or would-be) politicians have more than a few skeletons in their closets. This has, of course, given the guys behind a new game, Political Suicide, quite a bit of material to work with.

About the Game

Political Suicide is a quick-fire game with Team-play, bluffing elements, and light strategy.
Political Suicide is a quick-fire game with Team-play, bluffing elements, and light strategy.

Political suicide is a quick-fire card game of  exposing and exploiting your opponents’ history of unsavory acts before they can do the same to you. Each player starts the game with 2 or 3 political suicide cards, face down on the table in front of them. No one, including the player, knows which crimes they have allegedly committed.

Players each have 7 cards in hand which allow them to: Peek at anyone’s cards, Swap a Suicide, Character, or card in hand between 2 players, Change a Law’s legal status, or Trump Spin an attack, redirecting it to any other player. While these aren’t the only cards you can play, many of them are used early in the game to gain an advantage, preserving your interests and defenses for future turns. The other cards you’ll have are primarily geared toward attacking the opposition or defending yourself at a moment’s notice.

When you're not attacking people, you'll tend to play a lot of these cards to give yourself the advantage.
When you’re not attacking people, you’ll tend to play a lot of these cards to give yourself the advantage.

Of course, those cards are primarily used to manipulate the game to your advantage… the real fun comes once someone attempts to uncover their opponents’ secrets… Occasionally, someone will play a Prep Card, launching the table into a race to play the next card. As soon as the Prep hits the table, that player’s teammate must play an Attack card to make an attempt at taking out another player’s Political Suicides. Meanwhile, the opposition needs to play a Distract card to nullify the attempt and steal the next turn. The first card to follow a Prep wins.

Here are your more aggressive and defensive cards.
Here are your more aggressive and defensive cards.

To Bluff or not to Bluff…?

Of course, what would a game about politics and crooked politicians be without an attempt to manipulate your opponents? Because the game requires you to play a card each turn, you can either discard a card you can’t or don’t want to play, or you can attempt to bluff (i.e. pretending to play a Prep card when you didn’t) and hope that someone else will attempt to play on it when they aren’t supposed to. Doing so will automatically cause the unfortunate person to lose one of their own suicide cards (regardless of how legal it is at the time.)

The Men of the Hour…err…Game

Most of the abilities on the Characters do a good job of keeping with the overall theme.
Most of the abilities on the Characters do a good job of keeping with the overall theme.

Finally, now that we know the basics of the game, we can talk about the characters. At the start of the game you have a choice of playing as: Bush, Nixon, Trump or Clinton. Each of these has a fitting special ability: Bush can peek at additional cards, Nixon can tamper with the legal system as it suits him, Clinton can take additional turns, and Trump can redirect attacks back at any player.

Final Thoughts

Political Suicide unapologetically pokes fun at Politicians and their endless vies for power while making a sort of spectator sport of the art of the smear campaign. If Saturday Night Live were to make a card game about the election, then Political Suicide could definitely be it. If you enjoyed quick-play games like Speed and bluffing games like Bulls#!t, but want something with more strategy, more humor, a little bit more adult theme to it then you’ll likely enjoy Political Suicide.

Its worth noting that, while the primary subject focuses on US politics, they also included a few jabs at international subjects as well.
It’s worth noting that, while the primary subject focuses on US politics, they also included a few jabs at international subjects as well.

Currently, the recommended gameplay is 2-on-2, however, there are additional rules online for 2 or 3 player Free-For-All (FFA) games as well. So far, I’ve only had the opportunity to play the recommended game, but the FFA games definitely appeal to me since this game mode seems to embody the campaigns as we’ve seen them–someone digs up dirt, and everyone else either launches an attack or attempts to distract from the issues.

If you’d like a copy for yourself, you can order from Etsy or Amazon. Don’t forget to check out the free Print & Play while you wait for your copy to arrive and maybe try it for yourself on Election Day!

PyroFrog is a gamer through most every medium as well as a father, novice blogger, hopeful game designer, and hopeless Kickstarter supporter. His blog is dedicated to gaming news and tends to focus on interesting and high value opportunities. He regularly organizes game nights where he and 3-8 friends frequently try out new games, playtest new IP's and enjoy popular favorites.

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