Publisher: Indie Boards and Cards
Year Made: 2012
Platforms: Tabletop - Card Game
Content Areas: English, Social Studies
Suggested Age Level: Middle School, High School
Play Length: 15 minutes
Number of Players: 2-6 (can play with more with the expansion pack)
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Ally with and then betray your friends in this much more political version of B.S.: Indie Boards and Cards’ Coup. Set in the same world as The Resistance, Coup requires players to strategize, plot, and lie to those around them in order to knock out the competition through assassinations and coups and succeed in their struggle for power. Players use characters such as the Captain, Ambassador, Duke, Assassin, and Contessa to leverage their abilities and lie about the rest. They have to be careful though, because if they get caught in a lie, they have to lose one of their two characters as well.
While Coup is quick to learn, if more players are involved, it can take a while to get back to someone’s turn. For the players who are knocked out early on, it can also take a while before a new game is ready to restart for them. It requires a bit of patience on the part of those players, but in watching those still in the game, they could look for how other players strategize and avoid the pitfalls that fell them.
Similar to One Night Ultimate Werewolf, it would be great for an English language arts class to practice speaking, listening, and arguing. It could also be a good fit for a social studies lesson on corruption or how politics and money can influence one another. Teachers could even replace the names of the general characters with those of a specific time period that best match the characters. I played Coup with my eighth graders after our state test and they were instantly hooked. After that, they became experts at not only playing the game but at roping other students into playing and explaining how to play. They even had a moment of pride when three of them teamed up and knocked me out of one of the games. The whole class cheered for the fall of Ms. Kessen! After a few rounds, I was able to step back and just watch the magic happen as my students went from learning to teaching and evaluating...all while being so absorbed in the game that they didn’t realize it.
Coup is a quick game that can instantly capture students’ attention and will leave them wanting to try their hand again at besting their classmates or even you!
Educational Rating: 5/8
(Classroom Tech Friendly, Motivation, Concrete Learning, Additional Skills, Feedback, Difficulty, Accessibility, Extension)
Overall Rating: 7/8
(Immersion, Environment, Storyline, Replayability, Entertainment, Gameplay, Originality, User Control)