We really enjoy games but had never tried a collaborative board game as a family. We were glad to get to review Commissioned by Chara Games because it appealed to us in several ways. First of all, it was a collaborative game and that would be new for us. Second, it is themed on the Apostles of the New Testament with several variations on the spread of the gospel. Third, it looked like a challenge and who doesn’t love a good challenge?
Well, I found out that two of my three giggly girls do not like a good challenge when it comes to board games but my third? She loved it. She is only 7 and pretty far beneath the suggested age for this game (14+). Still, she and I have played it a few times and she enjoys it each time. She does not have the attention span to play all the way through the game but we have done well and gotten pretty far.
So, what is Commissioned?
Commissioned is a collaborative game, as I stated earlier. That means that all the participants are working towards the same goal and do so by cooperating, choosing plays that benefit everyone. The teams work together to select moves and make choices that guide them all towards fulfilling a scenario. Acting as the twelve Apostles, the players work together to grow the church, overcome persecution/trials, and collect all of the books of the New Testament.
Commissioned is created by Chara Games. Chara Games was founded in 2014 by Patrick & Katherine Lysagh. Their vision is to create games that bring joy and develop a relationship with God. Chara is the Greek word for unshakable joy and that is built right into their vision. This startup company has a unique perspective, in my opinion, and their products are really quite innovative.
So, how do you actually play Commissioned?
That is a bit more difficult to explain. Rather, it is best to see it. That is why Chara Games has created a fantastic set-up video that walks you through how to set up and begin play on Commissioned. You can find that video on YouTube, as well as on their website. This video explains each of the parts of the games, the pieces, and how to set them up. It is definitely the starting point for the first game of Commissioned.
A game runs through several rounds that consist of ARM (getting yourself prepared to live and share God’s word, gaining your talents or strengths), LIVE (growing the church, facing trials, sharing the Word, gathering God’s written word, and more), and MATURE (gaining more faith and talents). The team is attempting to complete the scenario that is chosen. Success of that scenario is defined on the card.
Example: Acts of the Apostles (suggested starting scenario) states that a victorious end will happen when there is a church in every city on the board and all of the New Testament has been collected. It also tells us that failure occurs when the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity.
While it is extremely difficult to describe each aspect of Commissioned, if you will visit Chara Games’ website, you will find several videos and explanations to help you understand more about the game. And, as with so many of the very best games, start playing and it will make more sense. Playing is hard the first couple of times. But it gets easier with each game you play. And this one? It encourages us to be more like to Apostles and to somewhat visually see the impact that choices make on the kingdom of God and its spread in the world.
Chara Games has created a really fun game here. But they have also created another game very recently. This game is titled 3 Seeds and the first printing just came off the production line. We have been playing 3 Seeds, as well. This one is a card games in which you are trying to sow seeds, grow crops and harvest them, scoring points along the way. This is a strategy game designed for ages 12+. If you would like to view a video on 3 Seeds, please visit Chara Games’ website. I have posted a full review for 3 Seeds that you can click over to read.
Chara Games has created unique and original ideas for games. With their first two games, Commissioned and 3 Seeds, they bring joy to families and bring the families together. The games are fun and different. We will get much use out of these games in the future, I do believe.
Read additional reviews from other families on the Homeschool Review Crew to see what they thought of Commissioned.