Sep 14, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Unauthorized

We love games around here. The kids play all the time. I play often, and sometimes, we even talk the dad into playing with us. When we learned to play Unauthorized by Chara Games, he had no choice but to join us.

Chara Games was founded by a couple in 2014 with the goal of creating games that encourage joy and relationships. Unauthorized is their third published game. All of their games encourage awareness of church history without espousing any one particular doctrine. So you can play and learn without worrying about your kids being taught something you do not believe. 


At first glance, Unauthorized is a simple game. It is a card game in a sturdy cardboard box with Role Cards, Reference Cards, and a deck of Experience Cards. It also, of course, has a booklet with instructions. It is meant to be played with 6 to 12 players, which is why the Dad was pressed into service. 

The object of the game is to either grow or extinguish the Church. Players' loyalties are determined by the Experience Cards that they are dealt. Their loyalty can be swayed by the actions of other players. Some of the Experience Cards are Wild Cards, so certain players can determine their loyalty, at least some of the time, with the use of these Wild Cards. 


At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt a Role Card. This card not only assigns loyalty in certain cases (Police and Pastor) but also tells each player what they can do during their turn. Some of the roles are: Teacher; Rebel; Clerk; Thief. There are ten roles, so depending on the number of players, you might or might not have all of the roles. If there are more than seven people playing then you need two Policemen and if more than nine people are playing you need two Pastors. This ensures that each game is unique and interesting!

The game lasts four rounds, which keeps it short and exciting. The winning team is the team who has the majority at the end of the game. Executed players do not count for either side. The Church also has to have at least one player not in prison. The State wins if there is a tie or if all the Church members are in prison.

Initially, the game seemed complicated with a lot of confusing rules. However, we just jumped in and played, referring to the instruction booklet as we went. Sometimes, we did something wrong. But that was okay. We either fixed it as soon as we noticed or we fixed it in the next game. By the end of the second game, we had a good grasp of the game and could play it quickly and easily. 

The game box says ages twelve and up, but my ten and eleven year olds had no problem grasping and playing the game as quickly as the rest of us. 

It was fun not always knowing who your opponents were or who you should try to sway to your side. It was fun to be the mysterious neutral who could go either way. Daniel especially had fun as the Policeman when he got to execute me, the Pastor. See the expression on his face? 


We highly recommend this game! It is easy to learn but challenging to play. Strategy is involved, but also luck of the draw. It's complex but doesn't drag on. We could usually play several rounds before any kid got restless. It's a great game for the whole family!

Unauthorized {Chara Games Reviews}

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