Go back to a time where the struggle for freedom was difficult. Freedom: The Underground Railroad is a board game published by Academy Games. It is a cooperative game for 1-4 players, where you work as part of the underground railroad movement to move slaves from the plantations in the South towards freedom in the North in Canada. Take on the role of a preacher, a shepherd, an agent, a station master, a conductor, or a stockholder working as part of the movement to free the slaves.
During the game, slave catchers from the North move around in an attempt to catch escaped slaves and send them back to the slave markets. On each turn, players plan their actions by obtaining fundraising tokens, conductor tokens, or by purchasing support tokens. Once the planning phase is over, the action starts. Slaves can be moved along different routes towards freedom, or fundraising can happen to gain financial support for the underground railroad movement, or play an abolitionist card. After the action phase, more slaves are moved from the slave markets onto the plantations. If there is no room for the slaves on the plantations, those slaves are lost. Lose too many slaves and the game is over. To win, you must obtain all of the necessary support tokens, and move the required number of slaves to freedom. All of this needs to be done in 8 rounds.
Join forces with people like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Abraham Lincoln working to move the slaves north towards the North Star. But beware of the Opposition such as the Dred Scott Decision and others working against the Underground Railroad Movement. The setting of the game takes place from 1800-1865. The Abolitionist Cards contain true historical persons, places, and events bringing history to life in the game. Flavor text on the cards adds additional insights into history. The board game map has accurate routes for the Underground Rairoad movement, and distinct identification for the Northern and Southern states involved.
This game is a must for every family. Freedom brings history to life and is a great supplement to any history program. The game has a scaled difficulty based on the number of players and also has a normal and advanced play option. The quality of the components is top notch with wooden tokens and a beautiful game board. The game play is difficult but rewarding even if there is not a victory. This game is challenging as it should be. Was the Underground Railroad movement easy? NO! It took a lot of planning and hard work to be successful. The same lies true for this game. Team work, good decisions, and proper use of resources lead to success and freedom to the slaves. But not all of the decisions are easy. Some times you have to allow a slave to be captured for the good of others to safely move closer to Canada.
This game is perfect for junior-high-aged kids and up. It is a great addition for the game library; in fact, I think everyone should have a copy. It is also a great supplement in a home-school cirriculum or an enrichment program in the traditional school system. To me, this is the best cooperative game I have ever played, and one of the best games I have ever played period. I HIGHLY recommend this game to you, your family, and your schools.