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  • Writer's pictureCecilia MacDuff

Is "The Initiative" the best co op campaign we've played this year?

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

We thought this game was just going to be a cute, long winded puzzle style teens adventure game - boy were we ever wrong.

Your group of teenage friends stumbles upon a board game with puzzles and hidden messages that bring you closer together, and all over the place. Will you be able to decipher the messages throughout each mission, or will time get the better of you?

Choose from 4 different characters, each with their own ability - navigate the board to collect clues and activate traps onto your group - oh no!

Use the clues that you collect from the game board to crack the codes.

I would've been excited to know that there were 10-12 mission cards in the game, but I was in absolute awe this morning upon learning that there are 41!!

We've gone through 4 of them in total so far, and have played for just under 2 hours total, so this will be the beginning of a few reviews as the game evolves.

The first game play is really more of an introduction into learning all of the different things going on at the table during the course of the game.

To start, you have the choice of using 2 action cards. These cards include "run" - move up to 3 rooms/"intel" - reveal 2 clue tokens/"gather" - collect 2 clue tokens in the same or an adjacent room/ "regroup" - this comes in handy based on the way you're utilizing these actions.

Let's talk about regroup, since it's the least self explanitory.

Regroup is an action in "The Initiative" which allows you to clear the action cards (and trap token, if one is on the card) off of a certain action.

This is useful because of the way the actions are played. Each player has 4 cards in their hand, ranging from values between 1 and 12. Players must create a ladder on each action similar to "The Game" or "The Mind" in order to take the action, so sometimes you just can't afford it and need to regroup.

Within the first four games, moving characters around the board to collect clues from each "room" in order to solve a cypher seems to be the main point of the game, and it doesn't look like that will change along with other aspects of the game anytime soon.

The difficulty level and ramp up of the game itself has been very satisfying and fair, which is rare for us to say as such avid and diverse gamers. The very first mission is very introductory level, but do not let that fool you.

With 41 mission cards in that box, we truly have no idea what more we have to look forward to with "The Initiative" but we can't wait to find out and tell you more!

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