Theme&andn’What is it?
The State Knows All, Sees All, Is All
The State is everywhere and the underground Church provides hope and a memory of freedom. Play as The Police, a Pastor, or one of the many unaligned roles and guide the group towards a victory for your cause. Do you adhere to Big Brother or are you following your calling to God or are you secretly an agent for the other side?
1984 Come Alive?
Interesting topic to bring to a game. Not a big fan of social deduction games but the theme certainly lends itself to this style of play.
Simple setup, straightforward game play
The goal of Unauthorized is to be on the right side at the end of four rounds, either the Church if they have the majority and at least one is not imprisoned, or the State with a majority, tie, or all Church-aligned are imprisoned.
Based upon the number of players, shuffle and deal out the roles to the players. Each Police gets seven State Experience cards, each Pastor gets seven Church Experience cards, and the neutral players are dealt seven cards from a shuffled Experience deck. The remaining role cards are set aside and the remaining Experience cards are put in the center as a draw pile.
There are four rounds in the game. Each round has three phases of play: Card Actions, Player Turns, and Change Dealer. During Card Actions, cards are exchanged and played based upon which round it is. For Player Turns, starting with the Dealer, each player performs one of the following actions: Role Power, Speak to Neighbor, Seek Parole, and Conduct a Public Execution. Finally, to Change Dealer, pass the Dealer card a number of places to the left based upon the number of players and start the next round.
The game components for Unauthorized are only cards. They are of decent stock with a sturdy core, built for a lot of shuffling. The texture is a gloss finish, where a linen finish would’ve been better for gripping the cards.
The art in the game is straight-forward and well done. The role cards get the most attention with more intricate pictures of the people. There is a set number of Experience card images for both Church and State that are reused. Wish there was more to the art, more intricacy, but the art style reflects the theme’s style.
Gotta love the theme
The fun in the game is like other social deduction games — figuring out who is who and what is what.
Could be younger but easy to pick up
The age range of the game is 12+ and the game is really simple, rules certainly less than a sheet of paper. The age range is off at least a couple years for complexity but given the number of players needed, I wouldn’t try younger. The theme could lend itself to the age restriction for some people.
Close but felt like it needed more
Theme and art are great for this game but where we felt the issue with the game was with the mechanics for achieving victory. Many of us felt that regardless of the abilities of the characters and the switch up of cards for each round, the game was either too random based upon the draw of cards or didn’t feel like there was much control over how to achieve a victory — the end of game came with the big reveal and the result wasn’t all that satisfying. This might be different depending on the number of players (we had 6) but, as I mentioned before, social deduction games aren’t something my group really likes.