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December 14th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

I can’t help but ask (in a badly imitated computerized voice), “shall we play a game?” every time I set “RESISTOR_” up to be played.  That’s a “WarGames” reference, kids…go watch your Matthew Broderick movies.  Anywho, “RESISTOR_” pits two players against one another, each of whom have entrusted their global thermonuclear warheads to their respective supercomputers.  Here, players will be racing to hack one another with the intent on getting their opponent’s DEFCON level from 1 to 5.  Before you ask if you’d rather just play a nice game of “Chess”, I’d like to thank the folks from Level 99 Games for sending me a copy for review purposes.



RESISTOR_: 2 Players, Ages 8+, Average Play Time = 20 Minutes



The game includes 50 double-sided circuit cards, 4 double-sided mainframe cards (2 red, 2 blue), and 3 action cards (red on one side, blue on the other).  There is an optional fourth action card called “lockdown” that players can include if they so wish.

Setup & Gameplay

Each player receives two mainframe cards of their chosen color, starting with DEFCON 1 on top.  The deck is shuffled (minus the action cards) and seven cards are drawn in a line between the mainframe cards, aligning the black chips on the card sides.  Any cards with resistors are shuffled back into the deck and replaced.  The deck is put into the vertically standing box, arrow pointing down.  Each player draws two cards from the deck and are only allowed to look at one side (their opponent can see the other).  The player with the fewest cards in the line showing their color goes first, flipping the action cards to their color.

A player will perform each of the three actions on their turn:

1. Flip Over: Flip a card on the board over the short edge in the direction of the arrow, aligning the black chips appropriately.

2. Draw & Trash: Draw a card from the deck and add it to either player’s hand, discarding one from the same player so that they have two cards.  If a resistor is discarded, the opponent must play a flip over action.

3. Switch Out: Remove a card from the board and add it to either player’s hand, replacing it with a card from that same player.  The side both players saw on the table will face the active player   Likewise, the card being placed onto the table will be placed face-up on the side the active player saw.

When a resistor appears on the line, it must be resolved immediately:

1. If either player has a connecting line of their color to the resistor, they repair a DEFCON level.

2. Any color line connecting to the resistor is flipped, regardless if it connects to the mainframe.

3. Remove the resistor from the board.

4. Slide the cards to form a line again.  As the game progresses and resistors revealed, the line will shorten.

If a player connects a line of their color to the opposing mainframe, the opposing mainframe takes damage increasing their DEFCON level.  If a player is damaged while at DEFCON 4, they lose.

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

“RESISTOR_” is very unique in terms of theme and very colorful to boot.  It focuses heavily on memorization, which may dissuade those who hate memorization games.  After all, your primary goal is to arrange the cards in the line in such a way that your colored line connects with the enemy mainframe.  If you’re not paying attention as cards are flipped and switched out, then you could end up hurting yourself as you take actions.  Despite the fact that I personally suck at memorization games, I think the game is unique and sound enough to recommend anyway.  The hardest part, I found, was getting used to the double-sided circuit cards and maneuvering them so that the appropriate side could only be seen by the appropriate player.  The variants listed in the manual are a nice touch, as is the optional extra “lockdown” action card.

Long story short, the gameplay mechanics in “RESISTOR_” are unique enough to where it should be checked out regardless of what kinds of games you prefer to play.  You can find it for $20 via the link below (as of 12/14/15), making it a fair buy for what you’re getting here.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Purchase: http://level99store.lvl99games.com/resistor

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