Freedom: The Underground Railroad puts players in the heart of the historical struggle against slavery as they work to help the American abolition movement grow in this cooperative game. Within the game, players encounter important historical figures, significant locations from the Underground Railroad, the laws for and against slavery, and other key events and documents from the period. To be successful, players will need to cooperate as they work to complete two major goals. First, enough slaves must be helped from Southern plantations to freedom in Canada. Second, players must raise the strength of the abolition movement by acquiring support tokens. Can you help enough slaves to freedom and build enough support to win the game before time runs out?
The game takes place across three phases, 1800-1839, 1840-1859, and 1860-1865, roughly corresponding to early abolitionist movement, the period around the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Civil War. Each era introduces a new deck of cards as well as movement tokens to help slaves escape Northwards. Players take on a historic role from the Underground Railroad movement, such as conductor or agent, that provide special abilities to create a unique experience for each player. Exploring these roles, as well as the historical text on the cards the drive game play, provide opportunities for deeper understanding about this pivotal time in American history.
The depth of thematic integration makes this game a truly powerful and highly emotional learning experience suitable for middle or high school aged players. Gameplay aligns to content typically taught in 7th grade, 10th grade, and AP American History in many states. Freedom handles this sensitive period in American History with respect and appropriate delicacy.