Who doesn’t love a good game night? As our four get older (our oldest is 11; our youngest is 18 months) I really feel the value of nights spent together playing games; building relationships. Like most brothers and sisters, ours fight (lately too much!) and so I have really felt pressed to find fun and interactive things for all of us to do. Together. In the name of strong family bonds. I mean, watching a show or playing a video game, that’s just not powerful quality time. SO I was quite eager, excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to be a part of the review for Commissioned from Chara Games. This is not only a fun game to play but it is also one that is Biblically based, so there is lots to learn, in a fun way, as you play!
Can I just say that from the moment this arrived I was so very impressed? The game pieces are a work of art as are the cards and the board used in play. I was truly in awe of the beauty of it all! This is so full of lovely and intricate art work. I could just as easily enjoy looking at the many images that are a part of this game, as play it. Of course I was also a bit overwhelmed; the instructions that come with the game were a bit confusing. We usually prefer to read the instructions but in this case, its a great thing that there is a “how to play” video (its about 25 minutes in length) to help get started with playing the game. And trust me this is definitely something you need to watch before you begin! Play along with the video, step by step. It definitely helps make it all clear.
The word Chara is the Greek word for unshakeable joy. And the mission of Chara Games is just that. They strive to create games that bring about joy developing relationships, believing that true joy rests on those relationships in our life. I do love how they value relationships as they do – certainly so many us, I believe, find it hard to cultivate strong ones nowadays in these fast paced, busy times. What a great reminder though of the value of taking time out to sit around a table and work together (because in this game you do work together, towards a common good) building and creating strong relationships. 🙂
In this game (meant for ages 14 and up – my two boys really got into this one as well even though they are younger) you are taking on the role of one of the Apostles. With the Faith Deck, you gain unique skills that are to be used to help grow the church. As you play you may fall into persecution, tribulation – trials will come your way – your faith will grow as you play through these situations.
This game was a fun addition to our home studies right now! My two boys both love studying the Bible and they love playing strategy games (my younger son is 7 but has quite a mind for this kind of thing!) so we really had a great time with this game. We are studying, very heavily, the Books of Acts this year; so this game’s mission to grow the church while also enduring trials. This is such a fabulous way to bring to life Bible history; particularly that of the early church. For my older son (who so many call the little preacher boy) this was a fun opportunity to experience the “work,” that comes along with planting and growing a church. It was also a unique way for him to explore the trials of life in general as well as the value of having others alongside you. So many wonderful discussions came up because of this game as we spoke of the value of sacrifice, service, humility, leadership and meekness. The Biblical way. It really makes it so much easier I think to see how to solve problems, how to joy in the trials that come your way, and how to glory in the Lord through it all. Even if it is just in a game. Practicing those fruits of the Spirit perhaps? 🙂
There are a number of different scenarios possible within this game too! Each one of covers a different period of church history too so as you can imagine that makes the strategy in the game so much more exciting to figure out with each time you play. Choose to go along on the Missionary Journeys; perhaps you would like to experience for yourself Peter’s Gentile Outreach; or Appeal to Caesar. There are more. But what excitement, to play each scenario out and experience just a bit of what the Apostles must have felt so long ago. A neat addition, is the Theme Appendix included. As it is written, “This appendix is designed to explain some of the historical background around the people, place, and events depicted throughout the game. The designers acknowledge taking certain liberties with the material in order to translate into the game space. Our objective has been to construct a gameplay experience that replicates the difficulty, wonder, dependence, and excitement felt by early members of the Christian Church. Hopefully, this appendix will offer gamers a unique viewpoint on one of the most amazing periods in human history.” And of course there is so much more explained within this book that really brings this game to life even more!
Chara Games also has a fun new card game, 3 Seeds! This one is about 45 minutes in length and for 2-4 players. Considered to be a “light” strategy game this one is a fun opportunity to make choices around time, money, and labors as you sow and harvest. What a way to learn about the importance of minding our days. A number of us on the Crew were doubly blessed to recieve a copy of this card game for review as well – that one is coming soon!
We love how Commissioned really encourages (it actually requires) teamwork and cooperation. While this is a bit more complicated for our younger ones, this is definitely something that I can see being played regularly as our children get older. In the meantime my husband and I do enjoy playing this one with our older children when we are able. There are so many ways this can be used, not just for play, but also for learning the rich history of the faith which we so dearly love and strive to live out. And again, with it being a game that requires cooperative play, this is a wonderful experiment for siblings who love to squabble. I definitely encourage you to consider this for your family; what a wonderful way to learn and grow loving your neighbor along the way.
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Chara Games on Twitter @Charagames