Review of Commissioned by Chara Games

My family has really gotten into playing games as of late. The more strategic you need to be to win, the better. We were recently asked to review Commissioned by Chara Games, and I was so happy! Another great game to add to our game closet? Yes, please!

First, you should know that this is not a simple game. Like most strategy games, there is a lot of thought that goes into creating the rules and gameplay theory. I'm not saying that it's complicated, but it is something that you should play for the first time when you are sharp and understanding that it can be a longish gameplay time. It is designed for kids 14 and up. But I have allowed my 13-year-old to play with no issues.

Commissioned is Biblically-based. I welcome this because we do play a lot of games, but sometimes, I feel like we should be doing something more enriching. This kind of meshes the two priorities and allows you to play a really fun game with your kids while also reviewing the principles of discipleship and sharing God's Word.

We have actually been really paying attention to the worlds of God as He speaks to the Great Commission in the past month. Having this game review come up was perfect timing!

So what's gameplay like?

Well, there is a lot of set up. I would get a big table area and commit that to be your gameplay space. Since the time to set up and play can be longish, you don't want to go through all the work of setting it up just to take it all down for lunch. There is a setup and gameplay video from Chara Games where they walk you through everything. I would highly recommend taking the 24 minutes to do this. Without out, you might miss an important aspect of the game or become discouraged.

Once you've equipped yourself with the gameplay rules, it's really quite easy! The game focuses on three gameplay categories: trails, faith, and growth. Just like in real life, you'll be asked to make decisions that will guide you through the game toward the end result of becoming more mature.

You start by picking one of five gameplay scenarios. All are very good, so we had a hard time picking:

  • Acts of the Apostles
  • Peter's Gentle Outreach
  • The First Missionary Journeys
  • Appeal to Caesar
  • To the Ends of the Earth

Once you settle on that, it's time to set up the game. The notes and rules for each scenario are laid out and you are also told how to win. These are unique to each scenario. There are also notes as to what qualified a failure (which can happen). A brief history of the time period is mentioned on the back of the card, as well.

The sample in the video had a 3-player scenario, so that's how we played. It is designed for 2-6 players. As a large family, however, it's not uncommon for the older kids and grownups to have a younger child on their lap, helping and feeling "included" in the play, even though they are not officially players.

Gameplay will obviously differ from scenario to scenario, but the basic premise is that you want to work together with your teammates to build up your faith decks through good decision making and cooperation. You'll also want to collect all the books of the New Testament. Do this without losing your churches, and you win!

The game is to take just an hour to play. Since we are kind of new at this, it took us a bit longer, plus set up time. The first time you play, I would recommend having the adults watch the official play video, and then set it up for the scenario you want. Then invite the kids in for the 1 hour play time. After you've done it a few times, it really gets to be easy to set up and you don't have to refer back to the video or rules.

As with any strategy game, there is an investment in learning how to play, but it's very rewarding! Commissioned is a game that is just super fulfilling to play! You can play for years, as it is always relevant to our lives.

I will also be reviewing another game from Chara Games in an upcoming post. It's called 3 Seeds, and it's about the principles of reaping what you sow! I really, really enjoy what we've done with it so far. Look for that in the weeks leading up to the holiday season!

Learn more about Chara Games on their website. Feel free to see what else they are up to on Facebook and Twitter, too!