We Asked 50 of our Closest Friends What They Like About Proliferation. Here's What They Had to Say..
Updated: Mar 12
With the end of the manufacturing process in sight and our pre-order store open this week, our team thought it was time to make the case for Proliferation: The Game of Nuclear Strategy.
But rather than take our word for it, we decided to ask 50 of our closest friends who’ve played the game before what they liked about it. After three years of play testing the game since its original prototype, we’ve compiled plenty of feedback, always keeping our eyes and ears open for ways to improve the game. Here’s what they had to say!
Proliferation is infinitely replayable.
“When can we play again?” - Katie, NV
The countless potential strategies available to players in Proliferation makes the game infinitely replayable. Friends who helped test the game told us time and again that once they finished, they couldn’t wait to try out a completely different strategy. People who were aggressive, purchasing multiple Nukes and initiating nuclear exchanges between players, wanted to try a more peaceful route. Diplomats wanted to strongarm. And power players wanted to try to fly under the radar, letting the more dominant players battle it out until they were nearly defeated.
During our testing process, no two games were ever quite the same, even after hundreds of games played. Proliferation’s replayability was definitely one of the most frequent answers to our question of what makes the game awesome.
The game mechanics keep it interesting.
“Being able to do things during other player’s turns kept me engaged.” - Sean, NV
“The best part was sending Nukes. Hands down.” - Marisa, NV
The game mechanics that make up Proliferation also keep the game interesting. Playing Mission Cards during another player’s turn, engaging your Defense System while getting nuked, collecting Economic Points during each Collection Phase, and engaging in Trade Agreements are all things you can do during another player’s turn. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible on your own turn.
Purchasing, arming, and launching Nukes was definitely a contender for favorite game mechanic when asking our friends who helped us play test. You can also cause havoc on the world stage through the power of Peacekeepers during your turn. At the end of each turn, a Summit is called, where all players left in the game vote on a motion proposed by the player whose turn it is.
Keeping all players engaged at all times makes Proliferation a top contender for a game night with larger groups. There is virtually no limit to the combinations of mechanics at each player’s fingertips.
It puts you in a position to feel like a world leader.
“It was cool to play as North Korea. The best part was getting to put myself in the shoes of someone like Kim Jong Un.” - Manny, NV
Proliferation was inspired by one main idea: What if you could play a tabletop game where you were the leader of one of the nuclearly proliferated countries of the world?
We received a good amount of feedback from our friends that the game did just that, allowing players to try their hand in crafting domestic and foreign policy as a world leader. The game mechanics and types of cards played during Proliferation attempted to mimic some of the choices world leaders face each day. For example, Infrastructure Cards help to grow a country’s economy, Mission Cards allow a country’s intelligence agencies to pull off a top-secret mission, and Trade Agreement Cards allow players to form economic alliances with each other. And, of course, there are Nuke Cards, which help eliminate players from the game entirely.
Playing Proliferation may not turn someone into the ultimate statesman. It will, however, give players an opportunity to witness just a few of the decisions involved in crafting successful domestic and foreign policies. We also hope that the game can serve as an introduction to the concepts behind International Relations.
The player count is unique and perfect for any gathering.
“Playing a 9-player game was absolutely chaotic, in a good way.” - Alex, NV
The player count for Proliferation is 2-9 players. This makes the game pretty unique; few tabletop games have a higher limit, and even fewer have the diversity of gameplay that Proliferation does at each player count.
2-player games feel like a standoff, while 9-player games have so many moving parts involved, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of it all. Picking a strategy for each player count is another added dimension to the gameplay of Proliferation. There’s even an altered rule set for 2-player games.
The variability built into our debut tabletop game also makes it a perfect choice for any game night or gathering. Be warned, though: The higher the player count, the more secret your strategy should be.
When asked for a favorite player count, most of our friends agreed that 4-6 players was ideal for the ultimate Proliferation experience.
Proliferation makes for a great party game.
“Once you get the hang of it, it’s simple enough to be a drinking game.” - William, NV
“My new favorite party game!” - Oscar, NV
When backers of our successful Kickstarter campaign receive their boxes this Spring, the first thing they might notice is the size of the rulebook. While there is a lot of new ground to cover in learning the game mechanics behind Proliferation, we have received plenty of feedback that the rules are intuitive and easy to follow, so much so that many of our play testing sessions eventually involved drinking and party atmospheres. In fact, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Proliferation became our party game of choice, sheltering us for a moment from the political instability and chaos unfolding each day.
Play our debut tabletop game in any setting, and watch the party unfold!
Anyone can win.
“I really love the fact that anyone can win. I didn’t expect to win my first game.” - Robert, NV
Veterans of Proliferation stand the same chance of winning against a novice as they do another veteran. Especially in games with higher player counts, the coalitions that players build can be weaponized against a single player who is dominating too heavily. In games with lower player counts, the variability contained in the Event and Collection Card decks create enough of a shifting landscape to successfully shake dominant players.
Just like in real life, the world stage of Proliferation is wildly unpredictable. Strong domestic and foreign policy can be completely foiled with the flip of a card, and players in weaker positions can rise quickly.
It also means that there’s no reason not to jump into your future favorite nuclear-themed tabletop game! You will start out on an even foot with the best of them.