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Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Homeschool Crew Review: Chara Games
Chara is the Biblical Greek word for unshakeable joy. Chara Games was founded in 2014 to design and publish Christian games that will create joy by building relationships with God and people. We recently had an opportunity to use and review Commissioned from Chara Games.
Commissioned is a cooperative board game for two to six players ages 14 and older. Younger children can play with help. The game takes approximately one hour to play. The game is based on the spread of the early church. Players are the early Apostles and need to work together to grow their faith deck, grow the church, collect the books of the New Testament and overcome trials and persecution.
The game includes:
1 Double Sided Game Board
5 Double Sided Scenario Cards
6 Player Boards
96 Faith Cards
27 Trial Cards
4 Missionary Meeples
75 Church Member Cubes
1 Elder Staff
6 Player Pawns
30 Double Sided Stop Tokens
5 Double Sided Extinguished Tokens
1 Converted City Leaders Token
1 Roman Legion Token
1 8 sided die
There are 6 apostles in the game: Andrew, Paul, Barnabas, James, John, and Peter. Each player chooses an apostle and takes the matching player board, faith cards, and player pawn. There are 5 different scenario cards that tell you which side of the double sided board to play on and how to set up your pieces. Each round of play has 3 phases. In the Arm Phases, players draw cards to add to their Faith Deck. In the Live Phase, players face trial, pray, share, move, and grow. In the Mature Phase, players use the cards left in their hands to purchase new Faith Cards. The game continues until the victory conditions are met (conditions are listed on each scenario card), 5 churches are extinguished, or the last trial card is drawn.
One of the first thing I noticed was that all of the game pieces are high quality. Even the box is sturdier then many of your typical board game boxes. There are a lot of pieces to the game. Some of them came in small zipped baggies and I put all of the cards and tokens into a ziplock bag so they would not get lost. All of these fit neatly back into the box.
When the game arrived, I read through all of the instructions and tried to set up the game. The children were eager to go ahead and start playing. But after reading the instructions I was very confused. I went to the Chara Games website and watched the video they have posted. I set up the game board and played the game as they did it on the video and it made much more sense. You really need to watch the video to understand how to set up and play the game. It is around 25 minutes long.
I like the overall theme of the game. I think Commissioned helps people to understand early church history and the great difficulties the early church endured. It is different then most board games, because rather then trying to compete against the other players, you are playing cooperatively towards a common goal. I think the suggested age range on the game of 14 and up is a good one. My 13 and 14 year year could play and understand the game quite well once we got past the initial set up. My other younger children wanted to play and could with help but really did not completely understand and the game was a bit long and repetitive for them.
In addition to Commissioned, Chara Games has a brand new game, 3 Seeds , that is currently in production. It is a 2-5 player card game in which players use seed cards to complete crops, employ special event cards to gain bonuses, and uncover hidden harvest cards to gain points.
To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!