Review Detail

Board Games 1302
The Pope Is an Inside-Out Demon!
(Updated: August 07, 2019)
Rating 
 
5.0
"Awright—lissen up, fools! The time machine has dead-ended; grab yer package from Time Patrol Costume Division and go smother your respective heads of state—and let the games begin!"

The perfect gateway game for Reformation scholars?

This is one of those games you wouldn't end up playing unless you had a specific woody for the theme (at least one would hope). Me, I get all sweaty for it. The game has two issues that by themselves are no problem, but when combined work to kill it off:

1) It takes all day to play. Our "learning game" took eight hours; and

2) It requires repeat plays to really grok the interlocking systems and possibilities.

This isn't a problem for me, personally—I enjoyed the hell out of that long Saturday spent with friends in the early 1500s. But it will take insane levels of logistics to arrange a day off with a suitable quorum of six ("An all-day game where we LARP the Reformation? Holy crap—now THAT makes my pants fit funny!"). So really we're looking at Die Macher levels of replay... like twice a year, max. And that's a bummer.

If you're here asking, "Is this game for me?" take the Here I Stand Compatibility Quiz:

1) Does the idea of nailing stuff to a church door make you sweat?

2) Do you have five friends who would fight over being the Pope or Martin Luther?

3) Not counting those five friends, are you a social misfit who has no life such that you can spend whole days gaming without pissing any SOs off?

If you said "no" to any of the above, this probably isn't for you.

Provisional rating after one play = 4 stars.

UPDATE: The second play rockets this to a solid 5 stars. The first game was with five n00bs, the second with only three; both were 6p games. Even though it was fraught with error and much page flipping, it was an incredible experience. Can't wait to play it again!

Ideally, the ultimate game would be the seventh one, with the same six people; six games so that everyone gets a chance to play each power (as well as get all the kinks out of the system). That seventh one would be the Real Game, with no n00bs, no one getting hammered through ignorance, and everyone knowing what everyone else is capable of... I know there are at least two of us who are completely smitten with this game, and at least one other we can reliably convince to play, but I fear those other three slots will be forever sat in by n00bs playing for the very first time. Sigh. Time to install some more D-rings in the basement ceiling and break out the chloroform so I can collect some more, uh, dedicated friends.

UP-UPDATE: Fourth play, two n00bs. Rock solid. Also, we now have so many people up for this that we actually had two alternates waiting in the wings for an opening.
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