Dan Bullock caught my attention with No Motherland Without, an examination of national security bogeyman North Korea that was simultaneously thoughtful, gut-wrenching, and possibly the reddest board game ever inked. What impressed me was Bullock’s insistence on making you stare the victims of your geopoliticking in the face. Rather than seeing its people as geography, crowds, or spy-plane images, here was a game that put its humans front and center as elites, escapees, refugees, and prisoners.
Bullock’s 1979: Revolution in Iran is similarly thoughtful. This time, his target is the barbed nature of political allegiance, temporary allies, and changing leadership.
Dan Bullock’s No Motherland Without is unflinching. Casting its players as either the Kim dynasty of the inaptly-named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or the amalgamous West, it directs your gaze into the cankered soul of evil and refuses to look away.
It’s also the reddest game ever. No, really. This thing is so red it scorches the eyes.