In the not too distant future, the government is run for profit by a new "royal class" of multi-national CEOs. Their greed and absolute control of the economy has reduced all but a privileged few to lives of poverty and desperation. Out of the oppressed masses rose the Resistance, an underground organization focused on overthrowing these powerful rulers. The valiant efforts of the Resistance have created discord, intrigue and weakness in the political courts of the nouveau royal, bringing the government to brink of collapse. But for you, a powerful government official, this is your opportunity to manipulate, bribe and bluff your way into absolute power. To be successful, you must destroy the influence of your rivals and drive them into exile. In these turbulent times there is only room for one to survive.
"A hidden role game of sorts, Coup is unique in its simplicity and its player count. It is one of the few games of its genre that comfortably plays at as few as 4 players and is really easy to take on the go due to its size. In the game players are given two cards with roles on them that are a secret from everyone else. No one is obligated to reveal those cards unless they are challenged by someone on a turn or if they challenge someone’s claim and are wrong (with the exception of the coup action).
The goal of the game is to be the last one standing while ousting everyone else by reading their bluffs or by taking the coup action against them in order to force them to reveal one of their hidden roles. Each role has a unique ability associated with it and players can lie about who they have in order to try and accomplish actions they don’t necessarily have access to. For instance, I could try to prevent an assassination by pretending I have a Contessa even if I don’t. If no one challenges my claim, I have successfully tricked the other players and the action goes through. During each turn there is the option to gain income and once you have enough money stockpiled away you can or will be forced to take the coup action against someone. This keeps the game from dragging and provides another route to victory.
This is such an easy game to teach, and it has such staying power that I feel comfortable recommending it to most board game collectors and players. Even if you are like me and prefer crunchy war games or euro games, this one is great to have around for those times when you don’t have three hours to dig into a larger game or when you have friends or family who prefer slightly lighter fare. Coup is set at a very keen price for the enjoyment you get from it, and it also has a great expansion available for increasing player count and adding a new mechanic to the game in Coup: Reformation."