Chris Game Gumshoes
Holder Of Secrets
MFG: Atomic City Games
#of Players: 2 - 6
Age Range: 12+
Overall Construction: Well this company is new and using a new kind of service. They went through a company called The Game Crafter to get their game printed. The cards are on amazing cardstock and the printing looks nice. The box it comes in however needs a little something. I may be mistaken, but I thought the version I played at Origins opened like a briefcase, which I thought was brilliant. The copy I have, on the other hand, opens at the end and the game slides out. Overall the game is 2 decks of cards and a 3 sheet rulebook.
As I said the rules fit on 3 sheets of paper. I must say the rules are very easy to follow and cleverly put together with the obvious spy genre references. Nothing right seeing rules that look like they've been redacted.
So for construction I give them a B. If they want it to be a better construction rating they need to either make the box open like the briefcase it's designed to look like or put the cards & rules in a cheaper container like Cheapass Games' envelope (designed to look like a top secret dossier?) or Cambridge Games Factory's clam-shell.
Gameplay: When I mentioned the rules above I was serious when I said they are easy to follow. To the point that if you had a kid younger than 12 that can read well and likes strategy games where they can make an adult look bad then I would say they would have no problem following the rules.
Object of the game is to acquire secrets. You want to collect 18pts worth of secrets to win. Each player decides to be a spy for a different country (United States \ United Kingdom \ China \ Russia \ North Korea \ Japan) and had a little flag to put in front of themselves. They are also given a set of fake passports with each of the six countries on them. Your Fake Passports are used basically as bidding cards. When someone decides they want to score mission points the secretly chose which passport they are going to use. They a bid based on the country shown on the Incidents Cards. If your opponents guess the same country that you picked they have a chance at stopping you.
Next each player is given 5 Secrets\Mission Update cards. Mission Update cards do a variety of things to modify game play. The Secret Cards are what help you when you are trying to score points to win the game and also help you prevent an opponent from scoring mission points. There is a maximum of 7 cards they can have of this type in their hand at the end of their turn. To earn more Secrets\Mission cards you can play what amounts to War vs the deck it is called “The Drop”.
The last type of card to be concerned with is Incidents cards. These are how you earn your points to win the game. Each one has a country and a point level on it and the player who's turn it is can try to take it using their Secrets\Mission Update cards.
This game can be cut-throat if you want it to be, but the main thing to remember is to just have fun it's only a game not the end of the world.
Yes/No Recommend: Yes, we would definitely would recommend this game if your looking for a fun card game to play with friends.
Where To Get It: You can get it from www.atomiccitygames.com , www.thegamecrafter.com/games/holder-of-secrets ,or check your local hobby\gaming store to see if they have it or can order it for you. The price is reasonable at $24.99