- For ages 8 and up (publisher suggests 13+)
- For 2 to 4 players
- Approximately 45 minutes to complete
- Active Listening & Communication
- Counting & Math
- Logical & Critical Decision Making
- Memorization & Pattern/Color Matching
- Strategy & Tactics
- Cooperative & Team Play
- Hand/Resource Management
- Child – Easy
- Adult – Easy
Theme & Narrative:
- Politics in the world of Pandemonium
- Gamer Geek approved!
- Parent Geek approved!
- Child Geek approved!
The various factions of evil gather once per year to plan, debate, and decide how to plague the world. Politics come naturally to these nefarious creatures who delight in parliamentary procedure and creating loopholes in laws. Power, however, does not come from the masses. Control comes from manipulation. Time to see if you have what it takes to lead the assembly of darkness!
The Majority: Complete Edition, designed by Muneyuki Yokouchi and published by Ninja Star Games, is comprised of 72 Members card (for use with The Majority), 15 scoring aids, 60 Member cards (for use with The Majority 2), 60 Money tokens, 5 color tokens, 1 First Player token, and 13 promotional cards for The Majority 2. This boxed set is not one, but two games. While they share the same name, the different artwork and game play makes each unique.
The Majority of the Majority
Note: Normally our game reviews summarize the game set up, but we are going to skip it this time to focus on the two different games.
Each of the different versions of the game are summarized here. Unless a component is mentioned, consider it out of play. The Majority can be played by 3 to 4 players, while The Majority 2 can be played by 2 players. When playing The Majority, have team members sit across from each other so that player turn order always alternates between the different teams.
Each player begins the game with 6 Member cards and some Money tokens (which doubles up as points). The game is played in rounds for a total of 4 rounds per game. A round is broken down into 3 phases which are summarized here.
1) Power: Used when scoring and determining special ability sequence.
2) Special Ability: Activated when played.
3) Card Color: Cards come in the colors red, blue, and yellow.
Phase 1: Selection
Each player selects 1 card from their hand to keep, placing it face-down in front of them. The remaining cards are passes to the opponent on their left. The players then select another card from those they were passed and repeat the same process until all players have selected 6 cards to keep. For rounds 2 through 4, only 4 cards are dealt. The cards that are kept are the player’s hand for the round.
Phase 2: Representation
At the start of this phase, each player exchanges 1 card with their team member, keeping it face-down and hidden from their opponents. Team members must select which card to exchange before seeing what their fellow team member passed them. This passing of cards won’t make much sense during the first round, but will be very important during the rest of the game.
Then, simultaneously, each player selects 1 card from their hand to play and places it face-down in front of them. After all players have played a card, they are turned over. Starting with the card with the lowest number value, any special abilities are resolved. The card abilities and the order in which they are resolved are as follows.
- Card Value “0”: Bribery – Steals all Member cards played this turn that matches this card’s color (stolen cards are added to the player’s scoring area).
- Card Value “2”: Assassinate – Force discard all Member cards played this turn that do not match this card’s color.
- Card Value “3”: Spy – Awards the player the Spy marker, allowing the player to force opponents to play cards face-up.
- Card Value “7”: Betrayal – Instead of being added to the player’s score pile, it’s added to the score pile belonging to the opponent left or right of the player.
After resolving all abilities, players take their cards and place them in their scoring area. Cards should be grouped by color into piles. This is repeated a total of 5 times, leaving 1 card not played. Players should keep their scoring areas organized so as to make it easier for their team members to know which Member cards to pass.
Phase 3: Debate
Players now add the number values of all the Member cards in each of their color piles, starting with red, then blue, and then finally yellow. Scoring is resolved as follows.
- The player or players (ties) with the highest total for the current scored color is referred to as the “Winner” and is given 2 Money tokens.
- The player or players with the second highest total for the current scored color is referred to as the “Runner Up” and is given 1/5 (rounded down) of the Winner’s number total in Money tokens for each Winner.
For example, let’s say the Winner had a total of “20” and earns 2 Monkey tokens. The Runner Up earns “4” Money tokens (5/20 = 4).
Scoring continues for each of the 3 colors. A Winner and a Runner up must always have more than “0” when totaling the number values.
Ending the Round and the Game
The round ends at the end of the phase 3. The 1 Member card not played remains in the player’s hand. Cards placed in the player’s scoring area remain and continue to be added to as the game progresses. At the end of the 4th and final round, team members count up their Money tokens and add them together. The team with the most points wins the game. If there is a tie, the player with the Spy marker wins.
The Majority 2
To begin, shuffle all the Board Member cards and place the deck face-down. This is the draw deck for the duration of the game. Place all the Money tokens and color tokens within easy reaching distance of both players. Then deal each player 4 cards face-down. These cards will go in the player’s reserve, which is nothing more than a small sideboard for the player to keep cards at the ready. A player’s reserve should never be confused with the player’s hand of cards. Finally, randomly give 3 Money tokens, making sure to place their value face-down, as well.
Determine who will go first and begin. The first player is given the First Player token and draws 6 Board Member cards to create their hand.
The Majority 2 is played in rounds with no set number of rounds per game. Each round is divided into sequential phases. Only 1 player at a time completes a round, making each round something like a turn. After the active player concludes the round by completing the last phase, the active player’s opponent takes their turn. A single round of game play is summarized here.
1) Member Faction: Factions include Witches (blue), Demons (green), Dragons (red), Angels (pink), and Reapers (black).
2) Member Rank: Ranks include Secretary, Junior, Senior, Veteran, and Aristocrat.
3) Cost: The cost the player must pay to bring the card into the game.
4) Requirements: Some cards have requirements that must be met before they can be played.
5) Special Ability: The effect that must be resolved when the card is played by paying its cost.
6) Bonus Special Ability: Some cards have an additional special ability.
7) Victory Points: One victory point per star.
Phase 1: Income
The player turns all their Money tokens face-up so the value is showing. The total value represents the amount of money the player has available to them to pay costs.
Phase 2: Exchange
This phase is optional and it allows the player to exchange their entire hand of cards with their entire reserve. If an exchange is made, it’s not a 1:1 return. The player takes all the cards in their hand, placing it face-down, and then picks up all the cards in their reserve.
Caution should be taken. While a player can only ever use cards in their hand (making any cards in their reserve essentially useless), the player will be giving their hand of cards to their opponent (which is why the second player in the game didn’t draw a hand of cards).
The only time this phase is unavailable is for the first player on their first turn.
Phase 3: Draw
This phase is optional and it allows the player to draw cards to improve their hand. The number of cards that can be drawn depends on the number of factions the player’s opponent has.
Factions are comprised of Witches, Demons, Dragons, Angels, and Reapers, which sounds all very dark and gloomy, but it’s best to think of them as nothing more than card suits.
If the player does choose to take this optional phase, they must draw the total number of cards determined by the size of the opponent’s factions. Then the opponent gets to draw 1 card and add it to their reserve.
The only time this phase is not optional is if the player has no cards in their hand. In which case, they must draw cards.
Phase 4: Free Play
During this phase, the player will attempt to create as many factions as possible, but only if they want to. This phase is optional.
The first card they play from their hand is free. Every card they play after that will cost the player. When a player pays the cost of a card, they flip over the required number of Money tokens, signifying that they have been spent.
When a card is played, its special ability is not triggered unless specifically stated otherwise. Cards are played to columns in front of the player, face-up.
When a column has 5 or more cards, with at least 3 of those cards belonging to the same faction, the player has “formed a faction”. If a column ever have 5 or more cards and does not have at least 3 cards that are of the same faction, all the cards in the column are discarded.
When a faction is formed, the player selects 1 card from the column to be the “Faction Representative”. This card is removed from the column and placed above it. This area above the columns is referred to as the “score area”. Then the player blindly takes 0 to 2 Money tokens, based on the number of cards in the faction.
Phase 5: Standard Play
This optional phase is almost identical to the previous phase. Each card played must be paid for and added to a column. However, the big difference here is that the card’s special abilities take effect. If the player forms a faction during the course of this phase, they score it.
Some cards have additional rules that must be followed before they can be played. For example, “Veteran” Board Member cards require the player to have certain faction cards in their scoring area before they can be played.
Phase 6: Cleanup
When the player is done playing cards (either because they no longer want to or cannot afford to play any), they announce that their turn is over and give their hand of cards to their opponent. The player’s opponent will begin their turn with the first phase.
Ending the Game
If any player has 5 or more formed factions, the game comes to an end. Players now determine their score.
- Count Victory Points: The player counts the stars on the bottom of each card in their formed faction.
- Money Points: The player determines their total Money token value.
The player then adds their victory points to their total money collected. The resulting value is the player’s score for the game. The player with the highest score wins.
To learn more about The Majority: Complete Edition, visit the game’s web page.
The Child Geeks enjoyed both games, but the younger Child Geeks gravitated and wanted to play The Majority the most. According to one of these younger Child Geeks, “I just really like how the game is played and that I get to play it with a friend.” Having a partner does make the game feel more open and inviting, as many of our players later suggested. The older Child Geeks preferred The Majority 2, finding the game to be more interesting and cutthroat. According to one of these Child Geeks, “The second game just feels more interesting. There’s more to do and to think about. Plus, a lot more cool special abilities.” Both groups, despite having their favorites, all agreed that both games were a lot of fun.
Interestingly enough, we observed the same sort of natural tendency to enjoy one game over the other with the Parent Geeks. The non-gamer and more casual Parent Geeks very much enjoyed The Majority, finding it to be a fun partner game. According to one such Parent Geek, “It’s a very interesting and easy to pick up game. I like how you have to attempt to undercut or overcut your partner or your opponents to make points.” The more experienced Parent Geeks preferred The Majority 2, finding it to be a game that felt more competitive. According to one of these Parent Geeks, “This is a fun little card game. I was surprised how the easy learning curve completely misrepresents how intense the game can get.” All the Parent Geeks enjoyed both games, while still insisting that they preferred one over the other.
The Gamer Geeks were very pragmatic with The Majority: Complete Edition, which is not like them at all. They are usually driven by subjective assumptions and passionate opinions that I have a very hard time anchoring to objective facts. Not the case this time. The Gamer Geeks played both games several times, finding that both games had their pros and cons. One Gamer Geek said it best in his summary, “Both games are good enough to stand on their own, but by putting both games in the box, the player has a great deal of choice. This is why I am voting for the game. It’s something I would put on my shelf and be able to play with a wide group of players.” What it really came down to is that the Gamer Geeks never had an opportunity really like or really dislike The Majority: Complete Edition because one game’s positives nullified another game’s negatives. By pairing them together, the Gamer Geeks had to view the game as a whole. What they saw was something they enjoyed playing and would gladly play again.
The Majority: Complete Edition has a little something for everyone. The games have depth of play, strategy, tactics, cooperation, and a lot of cutthroat card chucking. What it doesn’t have is all this in one game. Both will challenge their players and will entertain, but the feeling of the games is different. This will force a player to choose one game over the other, which isn’t that big of a deal, since both games are provided. If you don’t play with The Majority, you’ll still enjoy The Majority 2. The same logic follows in reverse. If you enjoy both games, well then, double bonus for you. The point is, the game comes with two options that are both excellent. The only real question the player needs to ask themselves is what type of game they want to play.
I very much enjoyed The Majority: Complete Edition. It’s always nice when you can bring one game that you know just about everyone will enjoy. While this is not an overly difficult game to learn, it can be a genuine challenge to win. There is never too much to think about, but each turn feels very important due to the game’s short game play length. Creates for some interesting moments with an abundant number of cheers or jeers around the table. Do play The Majority: Complete Edition when time allows. It’s got my vote.
This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.