RESISTOR_ is a very clever mix of a card, memory game with a bit of deduction thrown in. Like all Level 99 Games, there is a lot of replayability in the game. Sadly, this particular mix didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
What is RESISTOR_ like?
RESISTOR_ is a game about two war faring nuclear powers – and two players – trying to hack each other to defeat the opponents nuclear weapon system. With the enemy’s system offline they will fire off your own missiles and be victorious. This hacking process is represented in the game by a line of cards going from one players ‘mainframe’ to his opponents. The game is played with each player doing three actions in alternating turns. The actions you must take on your turn are: Drawing a card and discarding one, switching a card from the play area to a hand and flip a card in the line of cards. What you want is a line of your colour going from your mainframe to your opponent’s. The trick is that all the cards are two-sided and that you can only see the one side of your hand while your opponent can see the other. This also means that when you do your actions you can manipulate your opponent’s cards and not just your own. This is a very interesting mechanic in theory but in practice it proved to be a problem for me and the people I played it with. It was quite difficult to get a good overview of the card in your opponent’s hand so most of the time we just played with the cards on our own hand, taking some of what is interesting about the game out of it. On top of that there is a memory element of remembering what is on the other side of the cards on the table already.
This game sadly just fell flat for me and the people I played it with. We all felt that we understood what was interesting about the game, but when playing it didn’t click. You can definitely get better at the game and there are strategies and depth to explore for those who think this combination sound interesting. I have played it around 7 times and I never got more than a “Meh” out of it. I wanted to like it as I usually love the games from Level 99 Games, but this one wasn’t it. Is it a bad game? By no means! But it fell incredibly flat for me.
This is where the flaw of the game is. It just wasn’t fun for us.
The theme is pretty strong and while the mechanics are definitely an abstraction you feel the weight of your decisions and it evokes a feeling of out thinking and outmaneuvering your opponent.
Resistor_ has a distinct and beautiful retro style that I really like.
The game is well produced and presented. It is a bit quirky to keep the cards facing the right direction and keep the orientation right at all times, but I don’t see any way that it could have been fixed without changing the whole concept of the game.
This is a game that anyone can understand. The nuances of the game come with repeated plays, not with a complicated rule set.
- Players: 2
- Playing time: 20 minutes
- Suggested age: 8+
Would you like to know more?
For more on the game and a very different opinion than mine, take a look at this review of the game: