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Dutch Resistance – Orange Shall Overcome is the Most Thematic Game Ever?

I’ve played a lot of games that had really good themes, but so often you look at the game and think to yourself, “this could be another theme and still work.” Sometimes the theme could drastically change, and other times the theme could slightly change.


Life of the Amazonia, for example, could have just as easily been Life on the Serengeti, or any other biologically diverse place on earth. City buildings games themes can be swapped out for different eas, centuries, etc. Have a game about building a city in 2024? Why not tweak it and make it about building a city in 1700 BC! Dutch Resistance – Orange Shall Overcome is so much different, and I’m here to talk about why.

Our review of this title will be going up soon, likely closer to the campaign when it launches on May 7th, 2024, but I wanted to talk about this game’s theme. This is a thematic review, which is the #1 selling feature of this game, in my opinion. In Dutch Resistance, you will be playing as one of numerous characters attempting to thwart the Germans peacefully, but meaningfully.

This is a game based on real world situations, using real world people from the family of the designer, as well as others he has interviewed. The detail put into this game is so real, that it even appears nothing narration wise was altered to make the game, ‘more enjoyable.

That is a truly impressive feat. Think of the dozens of television shows “based” on true events? Liberties are taken to make the visual presentation more appealing. It almost always happens. Think about book-to-film adaptations. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are full of changes. Why? Because it presents better on film. From researching the background and development of this game, to seeing some of the comments from Marcel, to sitting for hours reading the various cards, I was in awe of what was accomplished here.

This game hits home for me as a Canadian born, Dutch blooded individual who had grandparents who lived during World War II in the Netherlands, and who had relatives who participated in the very things this board game depicts. Even further, my Master’s Thesis in University was on the Dutch during World War II. My grandparents – all but one having past at this point – didn’t talk often about their wartime experiences, but there was talk from all of them about the resistance movement.


Although you don’t need a lengthy history lesson to appreciate what this game does, having some knowledge is beneficial. Marcel – the designer of the game – does a great job introducing what the resistance movement was in the Netherlands during World War II, and also provides backgrounds on the real life individuals who influenced the various characters you will be playing. That’s right, although I’ve mentioned it a few times, once again the stories within the game – on the HALT! Cards I assume – as well as the characters you play, are all based on real people.

And. You. Feel. It.

Every decision in Orange Shall Overcome had me wondering, “Am I going to get caught?” or “What will happen if I try to sneak past this soldier with items on me?” These were the real world situations that faced resistance members. Moving contraband, moving messages, moving whatever – there was always a risk, and this game does a fantastic job of highlighting the risk and making you as the player choose the safest (in your opinion) course of action. It’s phenomenal, and few games have given me this feeling in recent memory.

The realistic decision space overflows into the Halt! Cards as well, where you are given a scenario and must make a decision. Again, these scenarios are based on actual experiences, and I believe them all because I’ve been told similar stories. Although just a child during World War II, my Oma – grandmother you would say – said she had similar experiences when walking to school, or heading home. Do you avoid that soldier ahead? Do you walk past? Do you take another route? These were all real world situations individuals in the Netherlands – whether part of the underground resistance or not – had to make on a daily basis.


I’ve played through a few scenarios in the game, winning and losing, and while we can never feel the emotions felt by those who actually endured these trials, this game does it’s best to give you a small measure of that, and it delivers. This is one of the most thematic game I have ever played, and that theme isn’t easily replaced. This was a game built on a passion for the history of this topic, and it shows. Hats off to Liberation Game Design – this team did the topic justice, and produced a fantastic experience.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel