Checks and Balances is a card game that simulates American Democracy. The game demonstrates the powers of each branch of government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) and how they balance each other. When the powers of government seem unstable (e.g. one party holds power in all three branches), the game demonstrates how voters, elections, activist organizations, lobbyists, campaign contributions, etc., come into play to restore balance or in some cases drive even more instability!
In the game, players compete against each other as America’s two major political parties (Democrats and Republicans). The first player to pass 3 pieces of legislation to support their platform goals wins! It sounds like an easy goal, but in many cases is surprisingly difficult – experience the frustration and roadblocks faced in American Politics. If you’re successful, experience the thrill of passing legislation that your party believes will benefit the American People!
Players: 2 (or team play)
Playtime: 5-60 minutes
Game Play: Follow the Game Play - Turn Phases card. 1) Draw until you have 5 cards in your hand. 2) Play an action card (if the atmosphere allows!). 3) It is campaign/election season, so Get Out the Vote and elect a government official! 4) Draw a legislation card from your legislation deck, especially if you have a House/Senate majority or president (or an action card like "bipartisanship") start the process of moving legislation through the House, Senate, and to the president. Once it's on a platform card it's passed and safe from Checks and Balances. Pass 3 and you win! 5) Discard as many cards as you want to draw up to 5 more at the beginning of your next turn.