Revolution Of 1828 Review

21 June 2020
It's no Hamilton

The revolution will not be televised, but don’t worry, politics will still be dirty without Fox News and the Daily Mail. Revolution of 1828 is a curious game, allegedly about the ‘first smear campaign in the world’ – to which we ask, what was all that bad-tempered nonsense in ancient Rome all about then? 

The game itself is one of taking tokens from the board, getting extra goes by taking them, and building up the most matching tokens to take various slices of the US electorate. In this there are ‘smear’ tokens, which give you advantages, but if you’re caught with too many of them, the ‘press’ will come and make you give some points to your opponent. It’s kind of living in the dream world of 2017 film, The Post. The press will save us, the game suggests. 

The taking of various campaign areas, and the risky token snatching should be fun. It should be a model of the way various winner-takes-all situations in politics works out. Instead though, it just feels solved. My opponents tended to declare my moves before I took them, and I could guess theirs too. It felt like it was simply lacking any real depth.

The historical background included is nice, but a bit Wikipedia. Maybe it’s simply the subject, or the way we like to look back on the past and imagine its people as slightly thick, but the whole thing seems to be a little too reductive to be of any particular interest. Which is a shame, we’re all desperate for really good two-player games. 



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Designer: Stefan Feld

Artist: Alexander Jung

Time: 45 minutes

Players: 2

Age: 12+

This review originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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