Review: “Secret Hitler”

Scum bag Socialists!
Filthy Fascists!
Which one of you is secretly Adolph Hitler?
How to find and expose Hitler, after the Break.

Designers: Mike Boxleiter, Tommy Maranges, Max Temkin
Artist: Mackenzie Schubert
Publishers: Goat Wolf & Cabbage, Print & Play Productions
Players: 5-10, but the closer to 10 you get, the better
Ages: 13+
Play Time: 20-45 minutes

“Secret Hitler” is a game of political deception and intrigued, set in 1930’s Germany. The object of the game depends on which side you are on: The Fascists are trying to get Hitler elected as Chancellor, via their policies, while the Liberals are trying to get their policies passed, keeping Hitler out of the Chancellor’s seat.
There’s very little setup to this game. You have a game board that keeps tracks of which Policies were enacted, Voting Cards for the players, wooden nameplates for the President and Chancellor, and that’s about it.
Before game play begins, the players are divided into 2 groups: the Fascists and the Liberals. All players then close their eyes (and lower their heads, for that extra bit of secrecy). The Fascists then open their eyes (and raise their heads), revealing themselves to each other. The player that is Secret Hitler does not open his/her eyes; instead, they hold up their thumb. This lets the Fascists know who they’re trying to get elected; Hitler, however, doesn’t know who’s working against them. The Liberals don’t know anyone’s identity.
Game Play
Game Play centers around Policies and Votes.

Two players are initially nominated to be President and Chancellor. The rest of the players use one of the cards pictured above to vote on the choices. Once the majority of players agree on the President and Chancellor, the President then draws 3 cards from the Policy Cards deck.


Each of these cards has “Liberal” or “Fascist” – these represent the policies that are on the “desk” of the President, for him/her to sign. The President discards one and hands the other 2 to the Chancellor; the Chancellor discards one and plays the remaining card on one of the trackers, corresponding to the card that they are holding. The Chancellor and President cannot communicate with each other, in any way, but the rest of the players can communicate as much as they want. This is where the rest of the players have to not only pay attention to what the Chancellor plays, but what has already been played; the Liberals have to have 6 policies passed to win, the Fascists need 5, and there are ‘powers’/’consequences’ if the Fascists or Liberals get more than 3 policies passed. For example: if 3 Fascists policies were passed and the Chancellor is secretly Hitler, the Fascists win. 

This was a Social Collaboration game that everyone seemed to enjoy playing in our Game Night group. The game, depending on how much you’re paying attention, will give you info on who is in which party. It’s a relatively quick game, taking 30 minutes or so, and an easily portable game. The rise of Nazi Germany might be a sore subject to some, so I’d recommend not having very young kids play. Other than that, give it a try, especially if you are into Social Collaborative games, like “Mafia”.

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