This is my first review - go easy on me
After reading several opinions on Revolution! I went out and purchased it from the local comic (game) store. On opening the box, I was excited by the game bits (as Scott Nicholson would call them). The board is beautiful, the bidding screens built to last, and the tokens were as good as most out there.
For those of you who do not know, Revolution! is a blind bidding game with a couple of great twists. The goal of the game is to gain support of the major stakeholders in the town (magistrate, priest, general, etc...). The player with the most support wins. Support can be garnered by 'bidding' for the favour of these characters or by 'bidding' on characters that allow you to play your influence (little wooden cubes) on the different sections of the town (market, inn, harbour, cathedral etc...). Don't worry, I am making it sound way more complex than it is - three of us had the rules read, the game set up and played in an hour.
The bidding mechanic is probably the best part of the game. There are three types of token: Force (the red fist), which trumps Blackmail (the black envelope), which trumps Gold (gold piece). The first twist is that every player gets to see the tokens that the others hold and therefore due to the red/black mechanic (explained later) has an idea on where the other players may bid.
The second twist is that the Force (red) cannot be played on any red character from whom you are trying to gain support and the Blackmail (black) cannot be played on any black character. Also, if you use Force (red) it may pay out in Blackmail tokens but never more Force tokens (use Blackmail and it may pay Force but never more Blackmail). Gold can be played anywhere. Some characters are black and red and therefore only gold can be used to sway these characters. This red/black mechanic is great as it stops players from taking one path to victory (force or blackmail).
There is also a subtle balance between using the bidding system to gain immediate support or by using the bidding system to gain influence in the town's regions. eg. Force, blackmail or bribe the printer on the bidding card and, if you win the bid, gain 10 support points immediately. Or, bid on a character and win and play a cube in a town region. The most cubes of one colour at the end of the game in a region wins the support of that region (eg. Cathedral = 35 support points etc...)
The game ends when all the influence squares on the town map (board) are full.
Quick to play
Great bidding mechanic
Should appeal to noobs and veterans alike - though the force, blackmail bribe may not appeal to the sensitive among us.
The endgame can be put off if no one bids for characters that allow you to play influence cubes in the town.
Remember - this is a one play review and I'll give it 7 out of 10.
I cannot see the score going lower with more plays!