Board Game Resource Review: Secret Directive

In All, Kickstarter, Reviews by Zach HillegasLeave a Comment

NOTE: Secret Directive is a Kickstarter Project that is yet to be released. The version we have in this review is a review copy sent to us by the designer. This will not affect the final score; we believe in journalistic integrity at BGR and will give an honest, unbiased review of the game.

“Who are the people in the shadows?” This is the question that Secret Directive asks, a wonderful new card/board game by designer Mike Lee. Secret Directive is a game that pits spy agencies against each other, sending their secret agents to gather intel that will either benefit their mother country, or inhibit the progress of their rivals. It is a card drafting/deck building game at its core, allowing you to play cards on yourself or on your enemies, though the mechanics go much deeper than that with the game’s ability track, which grants you special abilities the farther up you progress. The more intelligence a player brings to their own country, the higher up they will move on the board. But beware, because enemy spies are everywhere, and they can supply you with false information that will inhibit your progress. Finding the balance between your own progression, and the amount that you sabotage your enemies is the key to success in Secret Directive.

This game is currently unreleased, with a Kickstarter campaign that is now live. Designer Mike Lee was kind enough to send a review copy to Board Game Resource, though this will not affect the review or the final score. If you like what you read here, feel free to visit the Kickstarter page and help this game to become a reality!

Gameplay

How do you play the game? Is it a fun experience? How much interaction is there between the players? Is there very much luck involved? Will it take forever to to learn and teach?

Depth

How much strategy is involved? Is there a sense of variety and balance? Does the game play well no matter how many players there are? How long does it take to play?

Look and Feel

Is the game aesthetically pleasing? Are the components made out of quality material, or do they feel cheap? Is the rulebook well-designed and easy to read? How well is theme integrated into the game?

Value

Is it a game you can play over and over? Are there expansions available for the game, and if so, are they necessary? Does the amount of the content in the box justify the price?

Conclusion

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by Secret Directive. Our group will continue to play this game, and I would love to see it get into the hands of more people. It blends good mechanics in a way I’ve never seen before, and promotes strong player interaction that will be great, uh, bonding time for you and your group. It has a perfect running time, and is easy to teach and set up. It is visually pleasing, with solid components that get the job done. Given that I’m committed to writing honest, unbiased reviews, I was really hoping this game wouldn’t be bad, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s fun, a lot of fun, and I’m glad it’s in my collection. I hope that it finds a place in yours, too.

Verdict

YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF:

-You want something that can be played in an hour or less
-You like deck building and card drafting
-You like feeling like a spy
-You like to mess with your opponents (and be messed with in return)
-You like ability progression, or feeling stronger as the game progresses
-You like discovering new strategies every game

YOU WON’T LIKE THIS GAME IF:

-You don’t like “mean” games or being aggressive
-You don’t like a light dosage of luck
-You don’t like the occasional king-making scenario
-You have more than four people in your group
 

 

Leave a Comment