While I was on vacation this Social Deduction Game arrived and waited for me to return from the Netherlands. I backed this game on Kickstarter in February 2018 because I wanted to have a Social Deduction Game that is playable with less players that, for example, Werewolf where you need 7+ players to get going. In Human Punishment I found a game that was already funded October 2017, was well received in the gaming community, only needed four players to play and was available in German so I could also play it with my family. The Publisher Godot Games was back on Kickstarter to fund the Expansion “Project: Hell Gate” so I jumped in to go for the base game as well as the expansion.
Even though I haven’t played the game I can still tell you what makes the game so special and I will post more details after a few games – hopefully soon.
Man versus Machine and Outlaws against everyone!
It is a dark future where the Machines and Humans in at war at you are in the final stages of war where the last remaining Humans are trying to win against the Machines. But there are also Outlaws who are against both Factions, trying to survive all by themselves.
All players take two ID cards and one Loyalty card. The ID cards have either Human (blue), Machine (red) or Outlaw (grey) written onto them and the Loyalty card will also list one of those factions, but may also bring their own rules with them. If you have more cards from one faction you belong to that faction, if all are tied you are an Outlaw. As already mentioned, the Loyalty card may force you into one faction (e.g. by saying “Always Human”).
Each turn a player can do one of the following: Observe one ID card of another player (secretly looking under the card) or the Loyalty card if both ID cards have been revealed, take one of the unlocked weapons lying in the middle of the table or drawing a program. If you have a weapon your turn has other options: Drop the weapon, point the weapon at someone or pull the trigger. Weapons force the player to reveal one of his cards or take damage. If a player’s character takes 2 points of damage the player’s character dies and must reveal all his cards.
Damn, I’m dead. Is that the end?
Players with dead characters become kind of referees, at least in checking the victory conditions: All players still in the game close their eyes and the “dead players” ask for the factions and the players belonging to a faction raise their thumbs. After checking for the factions that Machines win if there are no more Humans, the Humans win when there are no more Machines and the Outlaws only win when the last surviving player is an Outlaw.
But there are ways for dead players to be revived and join the game again, with all the knowledge that player(s) may have gained in the meantime! This is just one of the powers that the Program Cards have, they might let you reveal cards, change your or your fellow player’s factions etc.
For a quick three minute rules summary you might also take a look at this YouTube video by therulesgirl.
Sounds fun, so let’s play a game!
Indeed, this sounds like a lot of chaos and fun and like a quick and exciting game. But since I haven’t played a game so far I can’t tell you more at this time. I am sure to find a way to play in the next two weeks, so I’ll keep you updated how it went.