Friday, October 26, 2018

Freedom–The Underground Railroad

Freedom-v2Freedom – The Underground Railroad
By Academy Games

Freedom The Underground Railroad is a cooperative history game for one to four player which is set during American history.  Players will play the role of Abolitionists characters which are attempting to help slaves to move from the Southern States to freedom in Canada.  As the same time as trying to help as many slaves as possible, players have to avoid the slave catchers as much as possible.

Throughout the game the players will need to work together – hence the cooperation in completing the game.   The goal is to get two victory conditions – to raise the strength of the Abolitionist movement while acquiring support tokens and help slaves to escape from plantations in the south, move them north to freedom in Canada all the while trying to avoid the slave catchers.


The game mechanics is definitively more complicated than regular board games out there.  Keep in mind that this is based on historical events during the Civil War of the USA and that Canada was involved in the underground railroad.  Consequently because of the game mechanics complexity and the fact that it is based on historical events that are hard to understand, this game is essentially geared for thirteen years of age and up.

The game board itself is composed of two distinct sections.  The map on the right features parts available for the escape – slaves and slave catchers will navigate through this side.  On the left side, the North Star Newspaper will hold the resources available to the players.

This game is played over eight rounds – covering the years of early independence up until the end of the Civil War.   In all you will go through three historical periods which all have resources that you will try to unlock.   You have to move rapidly to obtain the support tokens for the period you are in in order to get the Underground Railroad to continue its journey.

The slave catchers add a unique twist of tension during the game.   The goal is to move slaves out of the southern plantations and move them into Canada.   If the slaves lost card get fill you have lost the game.

As you might imagine this game approach a touchy subject of discussion which could be use as part of history lessons on the Civil War or the Underground Railroad.  However, not everyone would be keen into playing this game.   It could be that they find the fact that slavery was very wrong and they do not feel comfortable in using this kind of theme game.  

Keep in mind that this game requires advance thinking skills and collaboration between the players to be a successful one.   Not every game played with Freedom will end up with a win.  You will loose slaves and sometimes the slave catchers will be quicker than you.

This game is available for purchase at your favorite boardgame store or even on and


Disclaimer: I received this kit for review purposes from Academy Games. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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