Coup – The Rookie Review

I’m the type of person that when I like something, I really like it. When I’m in a cooking mood, I’ll spend the entire day making delicious homemade protein bars and lunches for the week. When I wanted a Great Dane as a kid, I read every book about the breed and even made a PowerPoint presentation for my parents (true story).

As has been the case with other hobbies in the past, I developed a borderline obsession with playing Coup. I downloaded the app on my phone and duelled with strangers throughout the day, I coerced everyone around me into playing whenever possible, and even purchased a copy for myself—something I never really do as a non-gamer. In fact, my passion for this game became so intense that people’s faces would be struck with horror and fear whenever I pulled it out as they wondered how long I’d subject them to my surprising, newfound addiction.

In today’s post, I’ll share why I love this game so much and some things to keep in mind if you’re considering buying it for yourself.

How the Game Works (in the words of a non-gamer)

Everyone starts with two cards, with each card representing a different character. Your goal is to kill off everyone else’s characters so that they have no more cards in front of them. What’s neat is that each of the five characters in the game have different functions. For the most part, they’re able to perform one action and/or block another. The Captain, for example, is able to steal money from others but also stop others from stealing from you.

Money also plays a crucial role in this game because if you get 7 “dollars,” you’re able to kill off a character no questions asked (hence the name “coup” for the game), regardless of what their abilities are.

But… here’s the most fun part of the game: because only you know what two characters are in your hand, you’re able to lie about who those characters are. So, for example, I might act as if I’m the Duke—who’s able to take three “dollars” every turn and stop others from using foreign aid—but I might actually have a Captain and Contessa. The reason this gets so fun is because you, as a player, also don’t know what actions you should perform because who knows if players are being honest? And of course, every so often you’ll catch someone in their lie, which is enormously fun.

Likes and Dislikes

One of my favourite things about Coup is the bluffing component of it. You’re constantly on your toes because you have no idea who is being honest about their hand and who is lying through their teeth. For a rookie game-player like me, it also welcomes the perfect amount of strategic thinking; it’s not so complicated that you’re scratching your head the whole time, but it’s interesting enough that you won’t be bored.

I also love the artwork of the game and the characters themselves. The game also comes with an extremely helpful “cheat sheet” for each player so you can remember which character does what.

Because most of the characters can block people from doing certain things, you also develop friendly rivalries with different players, which can be oh so fun. I also think the therapist in me finds it fascinating to see people’s patterns surrounding lying and honesty; some people naturally gravitate towards playing completely honestly while others showcase their amazing bluffing abilities, which is really fun to watch.

In terms of dislikes, I found learning this game to be somewhat complicated. Part of this could have been because the people I was playing with were all learning the rules for the first time (and alcohol may or may not have been involved), so I would highly recommend having an experienced player explain the rules before starting, otherwise it just sounds too complicated (though this is a recommendation for any game, I suppose).

I also feel as though Coup is geared towards a very particular audience when I think about it; partiers looking for a social game could find it too complicated, but more hardcore gamers might find it too simple and boring. I’ve found this game goes over best for people like me who have a (minor) interest in board games but also have zero desire to sit and play board games for five hours solid.

Another critique is that Coup is really best suited for about 4 people or more in my opinion; anything less and the game just goes by far too quickly. 


As I write this review, however, my suppressed addiction for Coup has resurfaced and I find myself downloading the app to play all over again because it’s just that good.

Written by: Kristina Virro

Kristina Virro is the owner and writer of a health and nutrition blog, Fresh-Insight. She is currently attaining her Master of Science in Couples & Family Therapy as she is fascinated by the ways in which mental and physical health overlap, and hopes to open her own private practice one day. While she mostly relies on exercise, writing, and drinking wine to relax, she also enjoys playing board games every now and again when she’s too broke to afford a dinner out or has watched an embarrassing amount of Netflix. To read her blog, click here!

29 Comments Added

Join Discussion
  1. Jared Heifetz July 2, 2017 | Reply

    This is a good game. A nice new twist on Wherewolf 🙂

  2. Danny July 2, 2017 | Reply

    I own this game, increases the ability to lie.

  3. Hazel Van Der Meijden July 2, 2017 | Reply

    I’m the same i get super obsessive with things I’m interested in haha i think this may be the next game on the list to get.

  4. Yurii Furtat July 3, 2017 | Reply

    Love the artstyle, but don’t know if the game suits my group. I’m too hardcore, they’re too casual and social 🙂

    • DJHaak July 23, 2017 | Reply

      It’s been in my to play list for a while!

  5. James July 4, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the review. Trying to decide if this could work for my group

  6. KHamilton July 5, 2017 | Reply

    Now I’m going to have to find someone who owns it to give it a try.

  7. Umut C July 7, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t like this game at all, but that’s because I suck at bluffing games, not because of game itself. 😀

  8. Brandon July 9, 2017 | Reply

    I love Coup. It’s a great game because, when you play repeatedly with a group, it begins to have its own hifting meta. Tons of fun.

  9. BrianY July 9, 2017 | Reply

    Great game, family loves playing it

  10. Gunder July 12, 2017 | Reply

    Coup is good, but i dont know how i like everyone denying other players powers so often.

  11. Amnese July 16, 2017 | Reply

    Remains one of my favourite filler games after many plays.

  12. Adam July 17, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the review!

  13. Glennaldo July 19, 2017 | Reply

    This is great game and easy to explain hehe

  14. Amber s July 24, 2017 | Reply

    Just tried out this game for the first time yesterday!

  15. roraigh July 30, 2017 | Reply

    Saw this on geek and sundry, wil wheaton table top show.
    looks fun. greate breakdown.

  16. Josh Willhite August 20, 2017 | Reply

    Great review, one day I’ll track down a copy, lol

Leave Your Reply

DevetosGaming

We are a team of Toronto based board gamers bringing you reviews, news, giveaways and more! Thank you so much for supporting us.

Please visit our Patreon page here and consider pledging to help us bring you improved content and more giveaways!

Or please consider making a one time donation through PayPal by clicking the Donate button below!

Latest Tweets

Played my first game of Photosynthesis! Boy is that game pretty! #boardgames
RT @Zmangames_: Team Canada has done it! Curing their fourth disease while the rest of the world watches, they have become the 2017 #Pandem…