We can all agree that this game leaves one question in our minds when hearing it – “Sorry, say again?”. No need to worry though! It is a satirical title that was created by Max Temkin, the creator of Cards Against Humanity. Get the idea now? You can be sure that this game will live up to a very dry type of fun in pre-WWII Germany.
Who will win? The Fascists or Liberals? Only you can decide! Read our full Secret Hitler review below.
Brief Overview of Secret Hitler
Secret Hitler is set in 1930s Germany where betrayal and politics are the names of the game. It’s the Liberals (good guys) versus the Fascists (think Mussolini supporters) – oh, and Hitler of course!
It’s a 5-10 player hidden traitor board game in which players are divided into two factions with one person secretly designated Hitler. Each side will try to get as many policies of their factions into law and then either assassinate or vote in Hitler. We can agree that you don’t need to guess which side wants what.
Unboxing Secret Hitler
The cover art on the box does allude to possible means of betrayal, however, it doesn’t particularly scream much about Hitler really. The snake on the skull does have a really good visual description of what paranoia would look like! So it does fit the theme.
One feature that really stands out and is definitely worth mentioning is the font style on all the pieces. You immediately get the feeling that everything has been typewritten – which in the 1930s was the only.
Inside the box, you find the following:
- A Presidential placard
- A Chancellor placard
- A deck of policy cards for both Liberals and Fascists
- Player cards – identity and Ja & Nein cards
- A Liberal & Fascist wooden board
How to Play Secret Hitler
So, the first thing you’re going to do in the setup phase is choosing the correct starting Fascist track that corresponds with the number of people playing. You can see it in the rule book – each game changes with the number of players. This is the most important part of the setup!
Each player will then need an envelope that will contain their secret role card, their party membership card, a Ja and Nein card as well. Players must be sure to not reveal their role cards!
Once all the cards and envelopes have been handed out, give a few minutes for everyone to get their bearings on their roles. Then a presidential candidate should be chosen at random – feel free to make up a Fascist-like rule here!
The last part of the setup is to let the Fascists and Hitler make contact with each other while the Liberals are kept in the dark. To do this, everyone must close their eyes and extend their arms with a fist. Now all the Fascists must open their eyes and acknowledge each other. When that has been done, Hitler must raise his thumb while keeping his eyes closed. That way the fascists know who Hitler is and can try to promote their agenda. The Liberals don’t know who anyone is.
The game progresses in rounds. Each round starts with an election, then a legislative session, and an executive action to perform a government power – so 3 phases for each round before being repeated.
The election phase consists of the new presidential candidate proposing a new chancellor. The presidential candidate placard moves clockwise each turn while a chancellor can be chosen from random. So, everyone should get a turn to be a presidential candidate. Just beware – there is a term limit on the president and chancellor positions!
Once a candidate has been nominated, the players must vote if they want the player as president. If there is a tie or majority Nein vote, the turn ends and the next person is the candidate. If the candidate does get voted in, they have a chance to collaborate with the chancellor and enact a secret policy. No communication must occur between the two! It must be strictly business.
The game is won when either enough Liberal or Fascist policies are enacted or Hitler is assassinated or voted in. It’s a real either-or ending! There are some smaller nuances to check out, like what the policy does and what happens if nothing gets enacted – the rulebook is super easy to consult for those, do check it out!
Pros & Cons
- The rules are very easy to understand
- Unique theme that is conveyed in the game art
- Historically informative
The game looks the part for its name and is surprisingly informative on the history of the time period. And, what makes that great is that it doesn’t feel like a history lesson at all!
● You need a big group to play
There are hardly any negative aspects to the game – in any aspect really. It is a party game, so it makes sense that you would need quite a few people to play it. So not really a con per se, but just something to note if you’re not aware of the different board game styles.
This is a game that is a must for any board game collector – whether you’re a casual collector or a gaming connoisseur. Social deduction board games are simply perfect for any party. It will bring so much life to a party that even those folks who say they have no interest in history may even ask what actually happened in the ‘30s.
My opinion? Look past what the box looks like and see what potential enjoyment you can get out of it. By the way, it’s a lot!
We hope you enjoyed our Secret Hitler review! Have you tried this popular hidden traitor board game before? Drop a comment below to let us know what you think!
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