Civitas Government Game

civitas-government-game

This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

While studying high school government, my family won a copy of the Civitas government game by Bright Ideas Press. It was so much fun to play that we decided to write about our epic adventure with this game!

Civitas is a government card game (Ages 10+), and it is especially good for high school students studying government. The players become familiar with many different types of government. We decided to add hats to our game; we used a dictator hat, a crown, a pope hat, a military hat, and a top hat. You do not need the hats to enjoy the game.

Civitas is a game about ruling all the players at the table with many forms of government. The goal is to have the fewest points at the end, and points are gotten by how many cards are in your hand and what type they are. The game ends when one player loses all of his/her cards.

civitas-game-review

There are 8 decks for you to choose from, excluding the gray deck. Select whichever decks you want to play with (the game gets more challenging with 7 or more) and shuffle them together into one huge deck. You have to include the gray deck.

Then 1 player (the dealer) deals 7 cards to each player, sets the huge deck in the middle, and flips the top card over onto a new pile (discard pile). This card determines the first form of government. The dealer gets the corresponding leadership card (one of the oversized cards that corresponds to the color of the face-up card) and places it beside them.

playing-civitas

The player to the left of the dealer goes first. They can do one of 3 things: play any card of the same government type (color) as the face-up card, play a number card that is the same number or color as the one in play, or play a wild or law card (anarchy cards count as wild). A player can choose to not play any card if they don’t want to, but they have to draw a card if they don’t play anything.

When the government type changes, whether by a wild government change card, normal government change card, or number card, the leader of the existing government type has to flip their leadership card face down and the government type is changed according to the new government’s leadership card.

Civitas Government Game (video demonstration)

Take a look at a game we played, and how we re-enacted the takeovers in the backyard:

The game started with Bryan (the dealer) getting communism, and ruling with an iron fist by changing the order of play, forcing everyone to draw cards, and other such nefarious actions. Then Stephen decided to make it interesting by playing Wealth Redistribution, which makes the player with the most cards have to give one card to the player with the least cards. It so happened that Nathaniel had the most cards and Bryan had the least cards, so Nathaniel was forced to give Bryan one card.

Bryan stayed in power while changing the government type from communism to military (in order to exert more power over the people, no doubt). Soon afterwards Nathaniel rallied the people behind him and changed the government type to democracy, taking Bryan out of power. Bryan was not through, though, and brought the corruption even to democracy by playing Gerrymandering, and switching a full hand of cards with Rachel.

high-school-government-game

The democracy could not stand under corruption, and it fell apart and gave way to Bryan taking power again, this time in the form of a monarchy. Bryan got his revenge on the usurper, forcing Nathaniel to draw two cards and exchange one card with Stephen. He even got sneaky and caused the order of play to be reversed so that he could skip Nathaniel’s turn with a coincidental Red Tape law played by Stephen.

But Nathaniel would not take all this lying down, and forced Bryan to abdicate to change the government type to democracy again. Not much happened before Stephen, tired with the seat of power dancing between Bryan and Nathaniel, started a civil war and took control of a military government. However, forcing Rachel to draw two cards was his mistake, as she took over the reins of government with a democracy of her own later on.

Bryan, not one for sitting idly by, decided to ally himself with his old adversary and crown Nathaniel king of a new monarchy. Stephen, wanting another taste of power, almost immediately started a revolution, changing the government type to military again. All was quiet for many years until Nathaniel, who ever since the revolution had been planning a revolution of his own, put his plan into action. It worked flawlessly, planting him as the leader of a democracy once again.

After a lawsuit or two, Bryan, unimpressed with Nathaniel’s governing job, crowned Stephen king of a monarchy. But Stephen didn’t impress Bryan with his leadership skills either, so Bryan decided to revisit the start and make Rachel the leader of a new communism. But the move was too late, as Nathaniel won the game with a well placed change to democracy.

If this Civitas government game sounds intriguing to you, go buy it from Bright Ideas Press!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Free Bible Crafts e-book!
Join our monthly newsletter for new articles, spiritual encouragment, exclusive printables & free e-courses.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be shared with anyone else.

Tags: , , , ,

8 Responses to “Civitas Government Game”

  1. Wow, this sounds like a great game. It definitely came at the right time for your family since you’re currently studying government. Thanks for creating that video. It’s always nice to see details about gameplay before deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

    • Susan says:

      My kids LOVED creating this video! When I saw them climbing to the roof, I was nervous, but it turned out great and there were no accidents!

  2. Honey says:

    I have been looking at getting this game for our homeschool time. My oldest is really interested in government and I think he would love it (and help the rest of us learn to love it).

    • Susan says:

      You definitely learn a lot about the types of government and what they do in this game. You can also count it as school time if you are tired of doing academic work on a school day!

  3. Andrea says:

    Probably a lot of fun for both kids and adults – and a lot of learning would come out of it!

  4. Betty says:

    What a great way to incorporate learning about the government! We love playing educational games.

Leave a Reply