TABLETOP TUESDAY – Psychological Warfare – DPH Games Inc. – Review

I really love this game!  The humor hits my funny bone in all the right ways!  I love the tension involved with the limited resources and hand management.  

Heather Swanson



Theme and What is it?


This is a humorous psychology themed game.  They base it on real terms, mental health conditions, and treatments. 

It is tastefully done and could probably even be used to understand and learn about different mental health issues.  At the same time it is a hoot to play!

Players take actions to bolster themselves while sometimes pulling others down in the process.  However, these kinds of shenanigans take mental energy and result in emotional baggage.

The game is a balance of feeling good about yourself and trying to reach your personal desires while trying not to end up in therapy….too often.

Gameplay Mechanics


Psychological Warfare is a game of reaching personal goals or hidden agendas.  You gain victory points based on your archetype.  For instance, the Lover wants to be highest in his category of freedom but is less concerned with his sense of belonging.

As long as you are higher than other players in one of the four categories when the cards run out, you will earn the amount of points listed on your archetype card.  Have the most victory points and you win the game.

There are 6 categories of cards to include, Actions, Reactions, Special, Defense Mechanism, Phobias, and Hidden Agendas.  The cards show what you can do and when.  However, when it is a player’s turn they may play actions or special cards.

To play cards, players must have the mental energy required.  Players have 5 cards in their hands and they may permanently put some face down in a mental energy pile.  You can never use them for what you write on them but you can use them as mental energy.  They won’t count against their hand limit of 5 cards either.

If a card costs 4 mental energy, a player may play it if they have 4 cards face down in front of them.  They spend mental energy by placing the cards face up in the discard pile.  Then, they can read and activate the card they paid the mental energy for.

Unfortunately, taking these kinds of actions on others brings baggage into a player’s life.  For each baggage gained they can have one less card in their hand.

When a player has run out of mental energy and has too much baggage, they need to go into therapy.  They can get rid of their baggage, phobias, and defense mechanisms, and return to holding 5 cards in their hand.

Initial Impressions


At first glance I thought this was a military game.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it a psychology based game.  There are so many war games on the market it is nice to see something different.

The box didn’t look like much so I didn’t know what to think.  I hoped it was a half hour game…. being that many game boxes advertise a short game, and it ends up taking hours.

Game Build Quality


The cards and tokens are good quality.  The thickness of the cards and the quantity actually make shuffling a bit difficult.  It isn’t a big deal to cut the deck in half and shuffle.

There were a couple quality distractions.  The tokens that go over the numbers on the scoring cards were a little large for the job.  Also, the scoring cards are thin.  I might like them to be a little bigger and thicker if I were to upgrade.

Artistic Direction


The only artwork in the game is on the archetype cards.  The images have a Japanese anime feel to them.

The art adds some flavor to the game which is otherwise words and color dependent.

Fun Factor


Psychological Warfare is great fun with friends.  You can slap down funny cards on your bestie and get away with backhanded comments or send them into neurosis.

The fun is really in getting reactions out of your friends.  I find it to be more interesting than winning sometimes…. although winning is great too.  You don’t have to be competitive to have a lot of fun with this game.

I found that my friends who were therapists had the most fun because they recognized the terms and themes.  I have a degree in psychology but am not a therapist.  I caught all the humor as well.

Folks I played with whom didn’t have the background knowledge had a great time but sometimes missed the more subtle nuances.  They had just as much fun giving a friend a frontal lobotomy or taking a placebo and feeling better.

Age Range & Weight


They rate this game for ages 13 and up.  I would say that is correct.  Players that are younger will not have enough life under their belt to catch all the humor.

The game is easy to understand.  Even so, don’t be deceived, there are great options to consider in this game.  You always seem to want to do more than your resources allow….nice tension in the game!



I really love this game!  The humor hits my funny bone in all the right ways!  I love the tension involved with the limited resources and hand management.  

This game is especially fun if you understand all the psychological terms.  I have a couple of friends who are counselors who thought this game was a real hoot.

If you work in the mental health field, this is a must buy.  It is so funny, but it is also done tastefully.  There is no condescension or insult related to any mental health condition.

This is great fun with friends.  I really recommend this game for parties and get-togethers!  I found it to be more fun with over 2 players.