In Agents, a brand new card game that just hit Kickstarter, players fight one another with both Faction Agents and Free Agents to gain the most points and win the game. This game of intrigue and suspense is surprisingly deep and full of tension, but can also be a lot of fun.
Each player gets four Agent cards and two Mission cards, and can keep two of the former and one of the latter. As the players take their turns, they put their Agents into Factions, which are two rows of Agents they share. The Faction Agents have points that face one direction and commands that face the other, so depending on how you play them, either you or your opponent immediately performs the command. The game ends when there are eight Agents in each Faction, when the Agents deck is depleted, or when one player reaches 50 points.
Beyond these basic rules, there are also Missions and Free Agents to throw into the mix, changing things up and making them less predictable. Missions give you extra points (so long as you can achieve their stated goals), and Free Agents have many powers, including taking Missions off the table. You can opt to buy new Agents and Missions, paying extra for face-up cards in the discard piles.
Agents is fun and exciting, with a lot of built-in suspense. There are some cards that can break the game – for instance, there is one Mission card, Witness, that gives you a point anytime an Agent is reactivated, meaning you can essentially just rake points in on your turn and your opponent’s. This seems like an unfair advantage – although utilizing the ability to remove that Mission from play is a key strategy in undermining its success.
In fact, anything that I viewed as weak or strong at any point while playing at some point revealed itself as having some strategic importance. It’s tough to know when to play a Free Agent, because once it goes on top of the discard pile, your opponent can purchase it. Want to steal a mission? Your opponent could block you, or steal it right back. Manipulating points can be a complicated process as well. I found myself staring at the cards in silence, grinding the gears in my brain to determine how I could work any one card to my advantage on the table.
Agents is a great game for people who like to apply serious strategy to their fun, and aren’t afraid to work their brain while playing. I had a great time playing it, and I’m eager to see what the finished product will look like. Back it on Kickstarter now!