Enlighten board game
by Amanda Nettgen
Board game manufacturer:
Enlighten Games Inc.
Number of players:
2 players or teams
Don’t let the name fool you; Enlighten isn’t just about Buddhism, it deals with all of the significant religions. It’s a trivia game that is as diverse as it is tolerant.
The game and gameplay
To begin your knowledge quest, place your party’s pawn on the Number 1 spot of any of these religions: Buddhism, Christianity, New Religious Movements, Judaism, Hinduism, or Islam.
Whether it’s your “home” religion in real life or not, whichever faith you choose will be your “home” religion on the board – your starting and stopping spot.
The concept is quite basic: keep moving around the “world” by correctly answering trivia questions in their corresponding faith zones. If you land on a space reading digits 1-6, you get an easy question. Spots for questions 7-12 are harder and may be “debated” by the opposing team; that is, rivals can try to debunk your answer if they think you got it wrong and steal your move.
Sometime throughout the board you may land on Life’s Rough Patch and be forced to perform a silly (and perhaps even a bit offensive) Embodying Ritual to get through it. Some of the rituals include genuflecting, sitting in lotus position and saying “om”, and doing a dervish dance while giving praises to Allah. All that and you still lose your turn.
Upon conclusion of your lengthy trip around the board, you will enter the center section or final Enlighten Path. The questions in this section have to do with religious quotes. Be the first player to become “enlightened” and you win!
Pros and cons
This game is very interesting and incorporates an even wider range of beliefs than the Big Three. You’ll learn a lot all in all.
All of the question cards sure are a “devil” to organize at first, though. With ten categories stuffed into the box, they’re also hard to navigate with your fingers. The game can take a long time if you like your religion lukewarm and is sure to bore some people out there.
Atheism is nowhere to be found, which I consider to be negligent of the game designers. Now atheism isn’t a religion but rather the lack of religion, and important to include in a game all about faith, I would think!
Visit the Enlightenment Inc. website.
If you like finding out more about religion for any reason, then this game could help to bring some World Peace to your living room. Anyone steadfast to the claim that they possess The One True Religion, however, should stick to getting their entertainment from the Bible.