“There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”
― Victor Hugo,
Les Misérables – Eve of Rebellion is a card game by Nick Ferris from Escape Velocity Games, and is dropping on Kickstarter today.
In Les Misérables, you guide the fates of the characters of the novel; You do so by attempting to save some characters while killing others. Gameplay is straightforward: The center of the table holds a tableau of three face-up cards, which the players may draw from, or they can blindly draw from the deck.
Then you use the ability of one of your cards. If you use the ability, that character is now out in the open with a chance for another player to kill them. As you can see on Jean Valjean’s card, he can take one card from the Kill pile and place it under the draw deck. The deck is small, so it will very likely return to the table at some point.Other characters have the ability to kill or save characters.
Finally, you may choose to score one of your cards. Each card has a set of goals which you need to accomplish in order to score that card. If you wished to score Jean Valjean, you would score one point for having Marius in your Save pile, two for having Cosette in the Save pile, and 4 points for having 10 points worth of crowns in the Kill pile.
The player then chooses whether they want to place Jean Valjean in the Save or Kill pile. You may score a character in order to get them into one of those piles, even if you wouldn’t score anything.
The game ends once the draw deck is exhausted. Players lose one point for each character they have in front of them who hasn’t been either Saved or Killed.
As I said, the game is pretty straightforward. The art by Charlotte Gilbert is fantastic, with illustrations for the main characters you know and love, as well as thieves and peasantry alike. The cards all feature quotes from the novel and feature great graphic design as you can see in the card example above. The art is also diverse, with a wide range of ethnicities featured across the cards.
There were a few points in the first game where we needed to keep referring to the rulebook to clarify, but you would find the same in any game, and by the second play, we didn’t refer to the rulebook once.
This is definitely a game to pick up if you enjoy Les Misérables, great art, and/or great card games. It’s an elegant, quick game you can play anytime, and pairs well with a red wine and a few rounds of Guillotine.
Dice Monkey was sent a prototype copy of Les Misérables by Escape Velocity Games for review.