Madeline Cole

Philosophia: Dare to be Wise is a new self-published game on Kickstarter from designers Joseph N Adams and Madeleine Cole. In Philosophia, 1-6 players take on the roles of famous Greek philosophers, trying to achieve monumental landmarks in debate and rhetoric across the whole of Greece before time runs out. Victory is achieved by amassing 3 labyrinth tokens, which can be accumulated one at a time by completing tasks, or all 3 can be awarded by finishing a player’s secret goal card.

Players can move to any marked location on the map of Greece, and take one of several actions. Players can tutor at a location to collect money, or place a follower (wooden block) at their location. Sophists can be hired for money, in order to convert other players’ followers to your own color. Schools can be built by spending 2 money, or tokens on the locations themselves can be gathered to place on a players board. At a Temple location, 4 money can purchase a study token, used to unlock one of your philosopher’s 3 locked Wisdom Cards. At Oracle locations, special ability cards can be collected, which can grant boons or obstruct your opponents.  

The Acropolis is a special location on the board, offering a further 4 actions. Players collect Sophistry and Syllogism cards by observing debaters, and these cards can be used in the second Acropolis action, to fuel public debate, an interesting card-on-card battle system. Players can progress the timeline at the Acropolis, hastening the end of the game, and finally players can initiate auctions for Athena Tokens, very powerful reward items.

Players earn Labyrinth Tokens by placing all of their followers, founding all of their schools, getting the correct Oracle tokens, unlocking all of their Wisdom Cards, traveling to and collecting each color of Location token, or winning 3 public debates. Once a player has 3 Labyrinth Tokens, they can participate in the final public debate card play to declare themselves victor. Of course, each player has a secret Olympic Card, which grants all 3 Labyrinth Tokens in one fell swoop if completed.

Philosophia is a beautiful, thematic game involving all the intricities that embodied active philosophy in ancient Greece, adding an educational element to varied game mechanics. The Kickstarter Project for Philosophia: Dare to be Wise is scheduled to continue through October 10, and the game should ship to backers by June 2020. For more information, check out the website for Philosophia here.